Math Exams

5 simple tips to score higher marks in math exams

18th Dec '19124 views4 mins read

July 10, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

Exams are a daunting task, to begin with!

All that studying, revision and almost nauseating prep work comes down to just 2-3 hours! That’s all the time that is given to you to prove how well you know the subject. 'How to score good marks in the exam?'  is one of the most frequently asked questions to the teachers and experts. Well, we can’t speak for all subjects, but the Math experts at Cuemath can give you 5 awesome tips to ensure that you don’t fall prey to the “exam blues”.

Check out our other Blogs on Exams
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Tips to score higher in math exams

1. Read The Problems Carefully

One of the most common mistakes that students make is that they try to rush to finish the exam on time, and they tend to overlook certain key aspects of a question! DON’T DO THAT!

READ each problem carefully, at least twice. Incorporate this habit into your exam prep, and by the time D-Day rolls in, you will already be in the habit of meticulously scanning the question paper for the minutest of details in the first read-through itself!

Reading problems

2. Don’t Leave The Easy Questions Till The End

Over the years of teaching mathematics to school children, our expert teachers have noticed this very common tendency of students to attempt the harder questions right off the bat. It’s understandable to want to attempt the more complex questions at the beginning when you think you are having a fresh mind and want to dedicate the most time to these mammoth questions, but you shouldn’t!

Just like athletes' warm-up before the main event, the easier questions in the math paper are there to get you settled into the rhythm of the exam. DO NOT leave them till the end. Start with these, get warmed up and you will find that you can go through the question paper a lot more smoothly than before. Attempting the harder questions first is like trying to run before you learn how to walk!

 
important notes to remember
 
"Starting with easier questions is just like warming up before an intense exercise session, it helps to jog your memory and makes it easy to access the relevant information."
 

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. 

If you want to learn about the different types of assessments that can happen in your school year, read Definition and Different types of Assessment.

3. Manage Your Time Properly

We often hear students complain that a certain math paper was just too lengthy and therefore they couldn’t finish it on time. 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. However, there are a whole bunch of kids that end up acing the same paper! It’s not like they took some different exams, so what happened?

Well, they managed their time properly and in a structured manner. Here’s a handy little trick that we at Cuemath try to inculcate in our students when we help them prep for their exams. Say that their math paper is a 100 mark exam that lasts for 3 hours – that’s 180 minutes.

Now, the maximum amount of time that they can dedicate to a question is determined by finding out how much time they can give to one mark. So it boils down to 1.8 minutes per mark. If you can get into the habit of working with this quantum of time in mind, you will find that you don’t find ANY paper too lengthy.

Our students not only finish within this 1.8 minutes per mark deadline, they usually end up beating it by a good 0.3 minutes which means that they have ample time left towards the end of the exam.

On time

4. Revise, Revise, Revise

What do you do AFTER you have learned to manage your time properly and end your exam before the bell tolls? You REVISE of course! At Cuemath, we constantly reinforce the idea that revising is what ensures those extra 5-10 marks that set you apart from the rest of the pack!

It’s great that you get done with the paper before time, but DO NOT leave the exam hall just yet. Take a breather, relax, and start going through your answers, double-checking your calculations, making sure you haven’t committed any silly mistakes. Always remember that once you leave the exam hall, there is no way back.

Even if you remember some error that you have committed in hindsight, even as soon as stepping out of the hall, it would be too late! So don’t leave anything to fate, take matters into your own hands, and make sure you eliminate any chances of committing silly errors.

 
important notes to remember
 
"Always revise your answers before leaving the exam hall, it will help you limit your mistakes and improve your score by a significant margin."
 

You can do the revision in a two-step 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 cross-check it.

For more blogs on revision, please visit:

Also read: 

 

5. Over-preparation IS a Problem

 In our zeal to ace the math exam, we end up practicing, A LOT. This practice includes problems that have come up often in previous iterations of the exam.

We at Cuemath have noticed many times that students see similar questions that they may have subconsciously committed to memory and solve them without going through the problem statement!

DO NOT do this. Remember, exam setters are not novices. They know the tendencies of students and leave these subtle traps for you to fall into and lose marks. Treat every question as though it is a fresh one and proceed methodically.

There is no need to memorize math at all! It is one of the most logical subjects out there. Simply follow the logic trail and you will always arrive at the right answer.


Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed this post! Cuemath, a student-friendly mathematics platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills.


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