If you’re like most students, you may find math exasperating and overwhelming as there are numerous concepts and topics to remember. Additionally, if you’re transitioning from lower to upper secondary math, there is even more to worry about as you have A-Math on top of E-Math.
One simple yet effective way to make math more manageable is to practise. Here are some ways you can practise and improve your math skills.
Go Through Past Year Papers
Past year exam papers are beneficial for several reasons.
Firstly, past year papers allow for exposure. When you go through several years’ worth of tests, you can familiarise yourself with the different types of questions and solutions. You will also be able to identify exam trends so you know what to expect. Thus, practice papers can help reduce your exam anxiety and stress.
Additionally, regular practice helps you determine the gaps in your knowledge. What kind of questions or topics do you have a difficult time with? Flag out these questions; when revising, look out for these pages and pay particular attention to how to answer them effectively.
Next, doing past year papers helps you get used to the presentation style necessary for exams. Instead of simply writing down your answer, you should also remember to present your process. Getting used to this will make exams much easier for you.
Another benefit of past year papers is time management practice. Time yourself as you go through them. If you cannot handle all questions before the time elapses, you should develop a suitable exam strategy. For example, you might find it more effective to complete questions of a certain topic first so that you have more time for complex problems later on.
Draw Connections to Real Life
Many students find math challenging because it seems too abstract. Hence, it can help to draw connections to real life situations.
For example, you might find a shirt that is $36 and on sale for 30% while shopping. Rather than immediately seeking the corrected price tag, you could try to calculate the discounted price on your own ($25.20).
It is always more difficult to memorise a formula you don’t understand. The best practice is thus to draw connections to real life so that math becomes meaningful and relevant.
Asking questions and seeking clarification are essential for you to do well in math.
Importantly, you should remember to ask specific questions and clarify your doubts early—waiting until the day before an exam to ask for help is unlikely to be effective as you may not have sufficient time to understand the concept or topic fully.
Study in a Conducive Environment
It is essential to create a conducive study environment that is tailored to your needs and requirements.
As with most subjects, practice makes (almost) perfect. By practising math effectively, such as by working on past year papers and sitting in a designated study workspace, you can overcome any challenges that come your way and improve your grades.