what are the best ways to study for your math exam in one night

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July 22, 2020

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First things first; DON’T DO IT! It is neither a good idea nor a good habit to leave preparation for an exam untill the eleventh hour. However, we all know that you will still most likely end up studying for the exam on the day before, like most of us. So, let’s get to the part which helps you get out of this bind and not only avoid failing, but also secure a respectable grade.

Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese philosopher said in his seminal work, The Art of War, “If you know your enemy, and know yourself, then the outcome of the next hundred battles is known.” This seems to be a very apt analogy for the situation you find yourself in, so let’s get started.

Maths Preparation Tips

Know Your Enemy

Your enemy is the math exam syllabus and that failing grade is the general that is marshalling the troops. Know that syllabus inside out. The one and only thing to keep in mind is the marks break-up per topic for the upcoming exam. Your goal is simple, know the subjects that will give you maximum output in terms of marks!

Know Yourself

From the topics identified as having the maximum weightage in terms of marks, which ones are you comfortable with? That is the most crucial question to answer before spending time preparing. Let’s be honest, it’s the day before the exam unless you have some idea about the topics, you will not be able to retain the necessary amount of information. So get to it. Now that you know what you are up against and what you are good at, it’s time for the battle plan!

Time to Prepare

Like any upcoming battle, you will have to prepare, and here’s how you do it. Go through ALL the solved examples in your textbook. Make sure to pay particular attention to the steps as in most exams, writing down steps carries marks. Remember, you are only going through the chapters which carry the most marks, so every single mark is precious, get them where and when you can!

After having gone through the solved examples, time to turn your attention to the previous year's question papers. Go back 5-7 years and look at the types of questions that have popped up from the topics you are trying to master in those years. If you’re lucky, a couple of questions may get repeated, otherwise, they will most likely be variants of what has come before. Either way, you will not be caught off guard and that is key!

The final step is the actual practice. From your textbook, solve the last 3-5 problems of every exercise in those chapters. Most textbooks follow a similar pattern of setting problems, the easier questions first and the harder ones last. Attempt and make sure you know how to solve these hard problems.

Alright, this should be able to get you through your exam. However, you may have won this battle, but you will definitely lose the war if you get into the habit of preparing for your exams last minute. Now GET OFF THE INTERNET, WE KNOW YOUR EXAM IS TOMORROW! GET STARTED ALREADY!

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