Study Effectively for VCE Maths Exams
When it comes to maths exams, no other motto is as relevant as “practice makes perfect.” In fact, this is the reason why teacher assigns so many tedious homework problems, so their students will spend a lot more time practicing the skills they have learned. Although a lot of people try to memorize equations and formulas the way they memorize dates and facts, this is not as effective as learning through practice.
It is also important however, to recognize the types of questions that are relevant to the problems you are practicing. It all well and good to know how to use Pythagoras theorem to find an unknown length in a right-angled triangle. What you really need to be able to do is recognize a complex worded application question requires use of this skill, and apply it effectively.
Using formulas and equations in solving mathematical problems is the key to retaining and understanding difficult math concepts. There are various ways you can do to effectively study for maths exams, and we will discuss them all in this post.
Different study techniques
Summarise class notes after school - To remember the lessons that you tackled for the day, it’s always wise to summarise your teachers notes in your own words. However, if you’re preparing for a test then you should create review for the entire chapter or unit. Check the example problems the teacher provided you in class, and remember how a given formula or procedure works, then try to replicate the process at least 4-5 times to see if you can also apply the procedure more effectively.
Create Mind Maps – This is an incredibly effective exam technique when completed with a lot of thought and precision. Mind maps include flow charts, tables and arrays. These tools help you to connect and group ideas. In turn, these concepts and ideas will take up less space in your own mind, and you will understand them more completely. Particularly when it comes to choosing the correct formula or strategy for each question.
Solve problems like those that were assigned on your homework – Weeks before your test; you should check all your previous homework especially those that you think will be covered in your exam. Make sure to practice and solve similar problems to those on your homework.
Join a study group – Each of us see math concepts differently, so something that you have difficulty understanding may easily be tackled by a study partner, so joining a study group can help you bridge the gap on concepts that you find difficult. However, if everyone in the group is confused about something, it’s always advisable to seek the help of your teacher.
Ask someone to make up practice problems for you – This can only be achieved if you’re in a study group or your parents have some spare time for you. Usually, you can exchange practice tests if you’re in a group or ask your parents to create a mock test for you. You can also check if your textbook has a website, try to download a practice test on their site. Most importantly, you should give yourself a time limit when taking a practice test, so you can realistically simulate the real thing. If you are currectly studying year 12 VCE Further Maths or Maths Methods, you can access past exams via the VCAA website. Another valuable resource is the checkpoints book for each subject, which groups exam questions in sections, so that you can begin studying for your exam early in the year, or focus on areas you struggle with.
Rest well before your test – After preparing for several months before your exam, you should not stress yourself. Get a good night’s sleep and have a full breakfast before your test. If the test is later in the day then always take a hearty lunch. This will help give your brain and body the fuel it needs before your exam.
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