July 10, 2020
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Introduction
'How to score good marks in maths?' The math exam may hold a special place of dread in your heart. The sheer number of possible questions, the large number of possible formulas to have on the tip of your tongue, and the 1000’s of calculations required to ace this one exam seems to take more effort than the rest of the subjects put together!
Sounds overwhelming, right? But is it? Cuemath asked some of its top students about their study habits and looked into them with a scientific lens. And we organized some of the relevant tips concluded based on the data we collected.
Ways to score more marks in math exams
Study Smart. Not Long: A common trend that one often notices in students is that they feel necessary to devote long hours to studying. However, there is an old English proverb that goes, “Quality over quantity.”
Knowing the topicwise marks breakdown is a huge advantage when it comes to giving the right amount of time to each topic to maximize output. Let’s take the 12th CBSE Board exam as a yardstick. This math exam is a 100 mark paper that is divided as per the following marks distribution:
Chapter 
Topic Name 
Marks Distributed 
1 
Relations and Functions 
10 
2 
Algebra 
13 
3 
Calculus 
44 
4 
Vectors and 3D Geometry 
17 
5 
Linear Programming 
6 
6 
Probability 
10 

Total 
100 
As you can see from the marks distribution, Calculus is the MOST important topic as per the CBSE Class 12th board exams. So ideally, that is the topic that ought to be getting your maximum attention, followed by vectors and 3D Geometry and then Algebra. While preparing your study schedule, if you allocate your time properly to reflect the marks distribution per topic, not only will you notice a marked improvement in your performance, but you may end up acing the exam altogether.
Focus On The ‘Why’ Before The ‘What’
Formula! Derivations! Steps! All these technicalities can prove to be overwhelming for a lot of students even after organizing your studytime as per the marks breakdown method.
Therefore, your secret to success not only hinges on your ability to study smart but also on your ability to allocate your brain real estate to the right concepts. Remember, there is only a finite amount of information that you can efficiently store in your brain, so don’t waste that precious space!
Focus on the fundamentals and concepts
Everything in mathematics flows from fundamentals. It’s, therefore, best that you devote most of your time to understanding and internalizing these fundamentals.
Let’s take the case of calculus once again. If you are a class 12th student preparing for your math board exams, you will be best served to spend time UNDERSTANDING the first principles like 'limit of sums' rather than spending time trying to memorize the cumbersome formulae that are often used in integrals.
You will find that most of these “formulae” are nothing to be feared as they flow quite naturally from basic algebraic or trigonometric relations once you apply the fundamentals of calculus to them.
At Cuemath, we not only teach our students how to do the math, but we also show them the best study techniques that allow them to succeed in both school and competitive exams!
Attempt The Paper In Chronological Order
Not only is it essential to prepare smartly for the exam, but it’s also equally important to apply those tips and tricks while writing the paper itself. Over the years of teaching mathematics to many school children, our experts have found that many students attempt the harder questions first, leaving the easiest for the end. DO NOT DO THAT!
Remember how at the start of every workout, trainers insist that you warmup? Well, that’s what the easy questions at the start of the paper are for – they help you get settled into the rhythm of answering questions and jog your memory to allow you to start accessing the relevant information faster. Always solve the question in a step by step manner so that the answer you are writing is presentable and neat.
"Easy questions help you to get into the rhythm and jog your memory to access the relevant information."
You can also go for the questions that require you to draw a graph or figure because they generally will fetch you easy marks if drawn and labeled neatly. If you begin answering your paper with the hard questions first, you will end up spending more time than necessary and then will have to rush through the “easier” questions due to a “lack of time.” It cannot be emphasized enough that this will increase your chances of making silly mistakes!
So, get into the habit of answering the question paper in order. This will help you finish the paper before time and reduce the likelihood of making silly mistakes. Also, read the problem carefully before you solve it and don't rush into answering the question; it will only increase the chances of making a mistake.
Double Check Your Work
It flows naturally from the previous point that if you have extra time at the end of your paper, you MUST REVISE!
Most toppers attribute their high marks to their time management skills during exams that allow them to review and revise their work. Get into this habit as soon as possible. You could have the best possible preparation, but it will all go to waste if you cannot finish your paper on time and with some time left to revise your work.
Revision is something that allows you to recheck your calculations, your steps, and methods with a finetoothed comb, letting you remove errors that would have otherwise gone unchecked and would have led to a loss of marks. Revising your work is the best way to eliminate silly mistakes and ensure high marks in all exams, especially maths. Maths is heavy on calculations, and small errors pop up in unexpected places!
You can do the revision in a twostep strategy. In the first revision, go through the paper and check if you have attempted all the questions. Also, check the subparts of the questions as they are easy to miss. You will regret a lot if you realize at the end of the exam that you forgot to solve a problem even when you knew the solution and had time to solve it.
In the second revision, check the answers carefully. Check if you are answering the same thing that the question is asking and not something else. Check whether you have mentioned all the required steps and drawn the figures and graphs. If you are doubtful about a question you have solved, try to solve it again and crosscheck it.
Practice Makes Perfect
Up until now, we have discussed four tips that work in conjunction to deliver proven results, and these are sufficient to provide answers to the question 'How to score good marks in maths?' However, none of them will work without this final piece of the puzzle, PRACTICE.
There are no shortcuts and no magic spells to success. Marks are earned, and so are the prizes that come with scoring well. The only thing that ensures that the above four tips work 100% of the time is practice. You must drill yourself to apply these techniques and tips.
"There are no shortcuts and no magic spells to success. Marks are earned, and so are the prizes that come with scoring well."
You have to get into the habit of picking up up a pen and paper and manually solve difficult problems rather than just reading the solutions. ACTIVE learning is the ONLY way to ensure consistent results and that is what we enshrine, practice, and preach here at Cuemath classes.
Summary
Scoring good marks in maths exams boils down to the knowledge of fundamentals, rigorous practice, smart study, and a concrete strategy to attempt the paper. If you can combine all these things, your preparation becomes complete and it is almost certain that you will perform well in your exams.
In the end, remember that your marks do not define your abilities, your efforts do.
Cuemath, a studentfriendly mathematics platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skilldevelopment and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a onestop solution for kids to develop multiple skills
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to prepare for the maths exam?
Math exam preparation should be a combination of smart study and good practice. Focus on the fundamentals instead of jumping from one concept to another. Practicing important questions and questions asked in previous year exams is quite essential.
How to attempt the question paper?
Try to attempt the easy questions first instead of the tougher questions. Solving easy questions will build a good flow ad make you feel confident. Move on to the tougher questions later and always keep an eye on the clock. Finish the paper a bit before the final bell to revise your answers.