Preparing for Mathematics Examinations in Singapore
Going into any examination, preparation is key. Students must always be prepared to face questions that are tougher than what they have practiced for. ‘Tougher” questions – meaning questions that are have greater difficulty but still within the range of expectation. Nowadays, students face a greater threat – questions that are different from what they have practiced. In this article, I will touch on a few tips for students to create an effective study plan for themselves. Knowing how to study effectively is just as important as studying hard.
Practice a lot
Needless to say, the one tip that tops the list: practice a lot. There are many students out there and some are more mathematically inclined as compared to their peers. However, many of such students tend to take mathematics for granted. A certain concept might be easy to understand. However, at a higher level, applying that concept might not be as easy as one thinks it is. Students must remember that practice makes perfect. The more one practices, the better the student becomes. However, most students already know this.
Be Daring enough to question
There are many students who are accustomed to regurgitating math solutions without actually understanding, thinking memorization is the way to go. Students will not be able to tackle harder questions when they are used to regurgitation. Analyse and question. If this means less time for practice extra questions, so be it, it is always more important to understand a concept rather than just accepting a fact that you know nothing about.
Look through Past mistakes
Practicing is not enough if students do not learn from their mistakes. If practicing enables students to remember a certain concept, reviewing mistakes ensures that concept is fortified. Always invest some time into reviewing errors.
In a competitive society like Singapore, students tend to cramp as many questions as possible, just so that they get more ‘practice’ in. However, students have to understand that being patient is an essential value that students must have in order to do math properly. No one is able to solve every single question out there. When students face tough questions in examinations, many of them freeze up because in the sea of questions that they have practiced, they have never stopped and considered why is a certain concept applied in a specific manner, or what would lead them to thinking in that particular manner to solve difficult questions. Being patient, keeping a calm mind and slowly thinking about a question rationally and objectively will help students develop good mental habits that can be carried into the examination.
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