Once you've laid the foundation by means of your positive attitude, you then need to follow some basic study guidelines. Generally, these guidelines are suggested for the individual who has the gallon jug filled with a half-pint of knowledge.

Note taking. Again, it's recommended that you take notes to improve your listening and retention of information. However, what you need to take notes on is the math problem being presented on the board or on the overhead projector, as well as the instructor's explanation as to how the problem is solved. Taking notes based on the words you hear is insufficient without being able to relate the explanation to the problem. So, basically your note taking involves words and numbers. If you find that this is too difficult in terms of time, then you may want to consider using a tape recorder (with the instructor's permission), so that your notetaking is confined to copying numbers and problems.

Be precise. Math is an exact science. Therefore you shouldn't abbreviate or paraphrase information. Be exact. Math sometimes uses theorems, laws or rules. Copy these exactly. Don't leave anything to chance. You may abbreviate or shorten words or phrases when taking notes regarding the Civil War. This same methodology doesn't work well when dealing with an exact science like math.

Practice makes perfect. Once you have grasped a mathematical concept, practice and work with it. Do extra problems as reinforcement for what you've learned. Remembering that World War II began in 1941 for the United States can be "mastered" quickly. Learning how to work compounding interest problems may take several days of practice. You can't work one problem correctly and believe that you've mastered the concept. Practice, practice, practice until you are perfect.