I would not worry too much about the English because when I took the Praxis 5161 nearly all of the questions had little to no words. Yes, some had words but you don't need to focus so much on the words, but the key pieces of information given in the problem. All word problems boil down to this: Start with what you are given (initial conditions) and go to what we want (the answer). Start by writing out formulas that may be useful as well as the information given. Then try to translate the verbal model (words) into an algebraic model (equation). NOTE: The format of the test may have changed somewhat from when I took it. However, you can deduce how to solve the vast majority of questions from the context alone (e.g. Find lim (x -> 0) sin(x)/x or find the volume of this truncated cone with dimensions blah and blah). To show you what I mean, let's say they had you multiply square matrices (2x2 matrices) and fill in the entry for the product. To demonstrate, let A = [1 2; 3 4] and let B = [4 5; 6 7]. Then A*B = [1(4) + 2(6) 1(5) + 2(7); 3(4) + 4(6) 3(5) + 4(7)] or [16 19; 36 43], where the first two numbers (16 and 19) represent the numbers in the first row of 2x2 matrix AB and the second two numbers represent the numbers in the second row (36 and 43) of said matrix. Now, this is more than the problem can ask. They might just have you fill in maybe one or two of these entries. For example, they could have given you [16 blank; blank 43]. It remains for YOU to fill in the two blanks. NOTE TO MODERATORS: These are made up examples. These are not actual test questions. In case you were curious. The algorithm to multiply 2x2 matrices is as follows: [a b; c d]*[e f; g h] = [ae + bg, af+ bh; ce + dg, cf + dh] If you are a kinesthetic learner (i.e. learn by working with your hands) you can use your fingers to point which entries you are multiplying and it makes it easier to remember. For example, point to entries "a" and "e" with your index and middle finger and then add their product to the product of entries "b" and "g" (point to those two entries in the same fashion as before). This helps my students a lot when they learn about matrices. Edit: Try to recognize in what situations you would use certain formulas based upon the information given. Knowing when to apply the formulas is just as important as being able to use them correctly. And concerning the language barrier, math is a UNIVERSAL language. It is the same no matter what language you speak. For example, I was a math foreign exchange student to Japan twice -- once in middle school and once in high school. Both times I had absolutely no idea what the Japanese instructions were saying but I was still able to deduce what the problem wanted me to do because I recognized the math symbols and notation used in the initial problem.