SA2 Mathematics Preparation
Exams are coming soon, and a subject that gets many students stumped is Mathematics. Mathematics can seem intimidating with all those numbers and formulas, but with some strategies in place for your child’s revision, you will be well prepared to help your child face these challenges with their best foot forward.
1. Accurately assess where your child is in terms of content mastery
This is a crucial step to assess and analyse your child’s strengths and weaknesses, so that you will be able to help them plan their revision better. This can be in the form of attempting a past year exam paper, or a mock exam paper.
Take note of your child’s strongest as well as weakest areas then plan their revision schedule accordingly. Naturally you would want to encourage your child to spend more time revising topics that they are weak in. Your child should also be asked to take a careful look at their past mistakes to ensure that they know how not to make those same mistakes in the future.
In today’s advanced world, this step is now automated. No longer do parents need to roll up their sleeves and manually assess their children’s academic progress - Geniebook uses Artificial Intelligence to identify academic strengths and weaknesses to optimise learning.
2. Plan your child’s revision alongside them
Once the initial assessment is done, you will have a clearer picture of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The next step will be for your child to revise the topics that they are the strongest in first. In this manner, not only will your child be revising for the exams, they will receive an initial confidence boost, which motivates them to work harder on their weaker areas when the time comes.
A principal aspect of excelling in Mathematics is to first work on the theoretical aspects, such as the formulae, the properties of triangles, square and cube numbers, and so on. A familiarity with multiplication and division, as well as decimals, is also important in ensuring success. A study plan will help keep learning goals in line. Parents can consider using features, such as Geniebook’s Study Plan, to help map out topics to cover for revision. Planning aside, there is a need to allocate time for the revision.
Sufficient time must also be set aside for weaker topics. When it comes to studying for Mathematics, the theory is important, yes, but the practice is paramount. The best way to study Mathematics is to actually do Mathematics, and so your child must be prepared to put in the time practising on their weaker areas. This will stand them in good stead when it comes to the exams, as they would have gained the confidence to approach their sums from all the practice they have done.
3. Strategise for the exam
Once your child has gained sufficient mastery over the necessary content, and is confident in their ability, the next step is for your child to attempt an exam paper under simulated exam conditions as close to that of a real one. This is important, as a Mathematics exam can be very challenging, with all the workings that your child will have to show when answering the questions. While you may not be able to perfectly replicate the exact exam conditions, do as much as possible to imitate conditions such as time limit, as well as the permitted stationery and calculators. This will enable your child to get used to the pressure of exam conditions, and get into a "flow state" on the day itself.
One way to enable your child does not panic during the exam, especially with the wordier questions, would be to teach your child to structure their thinking, and break down what the questions are asking for. This is especially relevant for problem sums. Your child could perhaps underline keywords (e.g. “more than”, “less than”), and circle the relevant numbers. Once done, these will help them identify what the question is asking for, and plan the next steps in solving the question.
One crucial strategy in time management is to move on from a question when stuck. There is no surer way to lose time and confidence than to keep working on a question that's causing a mind block. While of course your child needs to be encouraged to answer all questions to the best of their ability, the ability to let go of a question that they cannot seem to solve will enable them to move on to questions that they can solve instead. They can always return to the question(s) that stumped them once they have answered the rest of the questions in the exam paper.
Revising for Mathematics need not be daunting or scary. With the right plan and the right tools (like Geniebook), Mathematics can be conquered easily and efficiently.