When preparing for a Math exam, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work that you need to do, or the amount of content that you need to cover. Moreover, anyone who’s not a natural mathematician will find it difficult to break down and practice particular problems, and will need to spend more time revising core parts of a course. There are a number of approaches, however, that can help you to improve your Math revision and get the most out of your exams.
Break Down the Exam
Look at the syllabus and what you need to cover in the exam, and check with your tutors or teachers over what sort of time you need to allocate to different parts of the test. Some questions in an exam are only worth one or two marks, so make sure you know how much time you need to work on them – doing practice tests can make it easier.
Practice Writing Out Your Calculations
To work through ideas, and to practice for the exam, write out your calculations and formulas, and draw graphs and equations.
Identify Key Areas
When looking at your syllabus, try to identify areas that you are particularly unsure about, and make sure that you spend more time on them than going over anything you’re already familiar with. You may want to speak to your tutor about extra resources if you’re struggling with a particular area.
Practice with Friends and Family
This is a particularly useful approach if there’s a mental Math part of a test – getting someone to ask you questions, or even just recite formulae, can help you to be more confident for an upcoming exam.
Update Your Equipment
While you should already have all the equipment you need from your lessons, it’s worth double checking that you have, and are comfortable with using your calculator, and any extra tools you might need on the day of the exam.
Use Revision Cards
Cue cards and notes can be particularly useful if you want to remember key points, and can be stuck up around your room to remind you. Diagrams and equations can also be added and stuck to noticeboards to go over.
Use Math Revision Apps
There are many different apps available for your Math revision, depending on what level you’re studying. Collins offer revision apps to go with their textbooks, while the BBC’s GCSE Bytesize series has its own series of apps. Math Card and other apps are also useful for producing virtual post it notes, and for taking practice tests.
Vary Your Revision
Perhaps the most important thing to focus on when doing your Math revision is to vary it to make sure you’re not overloading yourself in key areas. Don’t focus on one area all the time, and try not to get stuck on parts of an exam that you find too difficult – similarly, a long period of gradual revision is always better than rushing to get everything completed on time a few weeks before an exam is set to be held.
Lisa Jane is hardly what you’d call a polymath, but it’s hard to dispute the importance of strong math skills in many different walks of life. This article can help you to improve your Math revision and get the most out of your exams.