Your maths exam is coming! On a scale of 1 to 10, how prepared do you think you are?
Are you worried about the outcome and not really sure how to prepare? Or do you feel like you’re fully understanding maths concepts in class and have this exam in the bag?
Even if maths is your strong subject and you confidently gave yourself a 10, take the time to read these tips. Overconfidence can be just as dangerous as a lack of confidence. Read on and you just might learn something invaluable to your success on the HSC exam.
1. Take Well-Organised Notes
But…we’re talking about maths here. It’s not like other subjects where you can write out notes about concepts and information. It’s just a bunch of formulas.
However, notes can still be tremendously helpful.
Think about the connection between different areas of a topic in maths and how different topics are connected. Jot down this type of stuff in your notes to help you make connections and remember how to solve different types of problems. Mind maps are a helpful exercise for this type of thing.
Plus, the simple act of organizing the lesson content into organized notes helps you learn and retain the information. We always recommend that students create and organize their own notes for this reason.
Don’t discount how helpful well-organized notes can be as you study for your maths exam.
2. Do Lots of Practice Questions
Doing practice questions as you prepare for the HSC exam is an excellent way to prepare. You’ll get a feel for how the test works and understand better what to expect.
Memorizing the formulas is great, but answering actual questions is far more helpful. Working on the questions is, by far, more interesting than simply memorizing formulas. This will help keep your attention. Plus, as you analyze and work on questions, you’ll be able to more easily wrap your mind around the concept.
Furthermore, you’ll get used to what you need to do on test day. Remember, how long it takes you to complete questions is just as important as getting the right answers. You might be able to get to the answer eventually, but if you eat up all your time on just a few questions, you won’t even be able to touch the other ones.
Use the practice questions as an opportunity to learn the best way to solve problems and develop efficient time-saving strategies that work for you.
Furthermore, watching yourself get faster on the practice question is a great confidence boost and will help alleviate test anxiety as the big day approaches.
3. Know the Right Approach to Questions
When should you start practicing for the HSC exam? Don’t leave it for the last minute or you’ll feel rushed and lower your chances of doing well.
But how early is early enough? We recommend preparing at least 6 months before the exam. This will give you plenty of time to cover the material without feeling rushed.
By beginning your study early, you may run across questions dealing with material that hasn’t been covered in class yet. That’s okay. Just skip over those questions but make a note to go back and work on them once the relevant material has been presented.
As time goes on, you should also go back and redo old questions. This helps you make more connections and consolidate the information in your memory. Plus, seeing how the question got easier to complete as you’ve improved is a great confidence boost.
4. Expose Yourself to Plenty of Questions from Different Sources
Where should you get your questions? There are lots of sources you can use. For example, look for questions in:
- Official past papers
- Trial papers from different schools
- Textbook questions
- Independent past papers
As you gather questions to work on, don’t stick with just one source. Tapping into a variety of different sources will expose you to different types of questions.
As you learn to answer all these different types, you’ll learn that there is more than one way to solve the same problem. Some ways will also be easier than others. Getting creative about solving questions and understanding the easiest way to do so will give you a huge advantage when you take your exam.
Remember, being able to complete the questions is only one piece of the HSC exam puzzle. You also need to be able to complete all the questions in the allotted time.
Getting Ready to Ace Your HSC Maths Exam
As with anything in life, you get out of it what you put in. If you want to excel at maths and do well on the HSC exam, you’re going to have to put in the studying hours. You need to get used to how the questions work and learn the easiest way to approach and solve them.
The good news is that it isn’t as hard as you might think. According to MWNS, a tutoring center in Sydney, the main thing is to keep well-organized notes and start working on practice questions months before the exam arrives. Get your practice questions from a variety of sources to further enrich your study.
Also, just stay on top of your maths study in general. Do your homework and keep pace with the class so you don’t get lost.
Remember, it doesn’t matter as much how much time you spend studying. What’s important is that you grasp the concept and can make connections with other concepts. This means you might spend more time studying some days and less on others. But, don’t worry, you will thank yourself for taking the extra time as you breeze through your HSC maths exam!