HOW TO PREPARE FOR A MATHS EXAM – WHAT TO DO THE NIGHT/WEEK BEFORE
Maths isn’t really a subject you can learn overnight. It requires practice, practice and practice. Whether you’re in your junior high school years or doing maths for your HSC, there are a few things you can do to prevent you from having to cram last minute (but if you do have to cram, I also have a simple tip for you as well!).
A week or so beforehand
Be sure to ask and confirm with your teacher which topics and what type of questions will be in your exam. You seriously do not want to go into any exam for any subject and end up realizing there was an entire chapter you didn’t realise you had to study for halfway through it. Furthermore, don’t trust your friends. They can get it wrong too. Been there, done that. It’s not fun.
Remember to make sure you have all the equipment you need. Does this exam require a compass? Would a curve drawing template help you? If you’re in your junior years, be sure to double check on whether calculators are allowed in your exam as well.
The day/night before
No matter what level of maths you are doing, maths isn’t really a subject you can basically cram in last minute. If you want to do well, it requires dedication and practice overtime to truly understand the concepts and know how to apply them. It’s not like more content based subjects where you can try to memorise things last minute.
Thus, during the night beforehand, it would be ideal for you to do light revision of the key concepts that are going to be tested in the exam. It may also be wise to attempt some questions you may have found challenging in the past and you’re still slightly scratchy on. However, don’t forget to review the basic content as well. I can’t remember how many times I myself have been able to do the challenging questions at the end of a paper but end up losing easy marks on simple questions simply because I didn’t bother revising the easy content.
Okay, I knowww… If you’re reading this, you may be one of those that have the exam tomorrow, are dying, and really do need to cram. I am definitely not suggesting you should try to cram, but if you have come to this point, one tip you can try to take on board is to create a list of the concepts you need to remember. You can try to create a page or two of key equations and concepts (kinda like maths notes!), and find one or two basic questions based on each equation/concept. By doing this, you can try to quickly force yourself to understand the key things as fast as possible. Remember though, don’t put down too many equations or concepts, you don’t have much time so you can’t remember that much and it’s better to remember the main things rather than nothing at all.
Jack Zheng | N° 67