Mathematics exams can be very challenging, especially when you need to study a lot of topics. There is always the temptation to ignore some topics and study others. However, this could be a bad gamble if the areas you didn’t study come up on the exam. Instead, use these four tips to study for your maths exam much more quickly and efficiently.
1. Focus on basic concepts
When you have too many formulas and too little time, don’t try to memorize them. If you do, you run the risk of forgetting everything you crammed or remembering the formulas incorrectly, which will definitely lead to low scores. Instead, focus on understanding the underlying concepts that will help you derive most of the formulas you will need. For example, learning how to complete the square is more efficient than trying to memorize the quadratic formula. If you’re having trouble picking out the most useful concepts, consider going for a maths tuition to get a better idea of what you should spend time studying.
2. Practice solving problems
One mistake that many students make is studying for maths like they are reading their history textbook. The best way to actually do well on a mathematics exam is to apply what you read by solving problems. Your textbook and exercises from a maths tuition are good sources for questions that test how well you understand the topics. However, not all textbooks will have the solutions, so it would be best to attend a maths tuition session where you can get your answers checked for correctness.
3. Pay attention to words, not just numbers
Word problems are the trickiest parts of a maths exam. The way a question is phrased can confuse you and lead you to solve the problem incorrectly. When you are studying or at a maths tuition, pay attention to words that will give you a clue to help you solve the problem. For example, “not more than” and “at most” both mean a “less than or equal to” sign, while “at least” or “not less than” will indicate that you should use a “greater than or equal to” symbol. You may not always spot these clues on your own, but you can get a better sense of these after going for a maths tuition.
4. Maximize your study time
Sometimes you might get stuck on one topic and can’t seem to wrap your head around it. In a situation like this, you could potentially waste precious time on only a single area, to the detriment of everything else. A better strategy is to take note of the area you do not understand and move on to another topic. Later, review the topics you skipped to see if you understand them better or ask for extra help in that area during a maths tuition.
Whether studying on your own or attending a maths tuition, keep these tips in mind so that you can make the most of your study time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or go for a maths tuition. Most students who go for a maths tuition use similar strategies combined with directed exercises that increase the likelihood that they will score high marks on their maths exams.