After the recent Semester 1 Examinations, it seems to me that a large number of students either didn’t do any study, or as some students have commented, didn’t study the right things. Study for exams is essential, however, it must be part of an ongoing revision program. Here are my hot 10 tips on how to study for your next examination.
- Attend class every day. Listen and pay attention to the material. Maths is typically more visual than other subjects due to the equations and problem solving. Jot down any example problems from the class. When you review your notes later on, you will have a better knowledge of the specific lesson that was taught, rather than relying on your textbook.
- Ask your teacher any questions that you might have before the day of the exam. The teacher might not tell you specifically what is going to be on the exam, but he or she may give you helpful guidance if you don’t understand. Highlight any questions you are unsure of and take them to your teacher who will always be happy to help you with the problem.
- Do homework problems. Most classes have assigned, or at least suggested, problems that the teacher feels are most useful. A lot of exam problems are extremely similar to homework problems; sometimes they are even exactly the same. Do as many problems as you can so that you can get as much practice as possible and become familiar with the different problem set ups.
- Try to find out various ways to tackle a certain problem. For example, with simultaneous equations, you can solve them by either substitution, elimination, or graphing.
- Start studying weeks before a major exam. Do not wait till the last minute. As for the day before the exam, do not be stressed and just relax. Clear your mind when you sleep and you will definitely be prepared. Study as much as possible the day before the test, but allow yourself time for other activities too.
6. Join a study group. Different people see concepts in different ways. Something that you have difficulty understanding may come easily to a study partner. Having his/her perspective on a concept may help you to comprehend it.
7. Know that teachers will go back into the past. Even if you’re studying for a chapter or two, they may “polish” your skills and come up with maths problems that you studied a while back or at the beginning of the term.
8. Solve problems. In this way, you have the tendency to understand and realise the formulas and the given problems. You can solve the problems that have been given to you. Solve some problems even if you don’t know the answer and let someone check it for you.
9. Don’t look up the answer as soon as you get stuck on a problem. Struggling with it for some time will be much more beneficial, because you may find a new way to understand the problem. Even if in the end you need to look up the answer anyway.
10. Get plenty of rest before an exam. This helps to keep your mind fresh and allows you to perform to the best of your ability.
I hope this helps, but remember, always keep a good balance in your life. Fun and rest are just as important so you stay happy, healthy and positive.
Mr Jones (HT Maths)