Prepare for success in the Mathematics Examinations
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. This statement highlights the importance of preparation for achieving success. When the examinations arrive, a pupil has to be ready. So how should pupils prepare for their Mathematics examinations?
Pupils should prepare for their Mathematics examinations way before the day of the examination. On top of listening attentively in the class, pupils should revise what they have learnt and complete their homework every day. They should ensure that they understand all new mathematics concepts taught and do simple practices to reinforce them. Spending just 10 minutes a day on revision will ensure that pupils will not forget what was taught easily. This goes a long way in preparing themselves for their examinations.
Cultivate good study habits
To excel in Mathematics, pupils must ensure that they understand basic concepts before moving on to more complex ones. This involves have sufficient practice in applying the concepts to a variety of questions, progressively from the easy to the difficult one. To achieve this, pupils must have self-discipline and devote a certain amount of time to practicing Mathematics questions, even on weekends. While weekends might be a good time for leisure, high achievers will allocate a portion of that time to improve their Mathematics. Besides, without having to go to school, pupils will not be as tired during weekends and will be able to focus on their revision.
Having a good study habit such as this would allow pupils to clear up any doubts or confusion they might have about mathematical concepts, preventing them from snowballing. Discipline to allocate enough time to revising, clarifying and practicing these concepts during weekends is therefore essential.
Practice makes perfect
One of the most effective tools to help pupils prepare for their Mathematics examinations is challenging model examination papers that are based on MOE’s latest Mathematics syllabus. As pupils attempt these practice papers, they become familiar with the format of their school examination papers. Pupils should always look for practice papers that provide worked examples designed to help them understand key concepts.
Pupils should time themselves to finish each paper within the allocated time. Many pupils lose marks in examinations due to poor time management. Hence, through timed practice, pupils should learn not to be too hung up on problems that they cannot solve. Instead, they should skip those questions, complete the paper and return to attempt them again.
Even when pupils cannot complete a paper in time, they should still attempt the more challenging questions. Through continued practice with questions of increasing level of difficulty, pupils will be equipped with the necessary skills and confidence to tackle such questions over time. Nevertheless, if questions prove too difficult, pupils can refer to the worked solutions provided at the end of the book to find out how the writer arrived at the answers and learn from them.
Challenging model examination papers will also expose pupils to a wide range of questions. This will allow them to solve a variety of questions and improve their problem-solving skills, which is vital when preparing for Mathematics examinations.
It is only natural for pupils to feel nervous as the end-of-year examinations approach for it shows how much they care about it. If they heed the advice given above, they will be well prepared to excel, and to quote Benjamin Franklin once again, they will not have to prepare for failure.