Are you in the habit of crossing your “t’s” and dotting your “I’s”? Well, if you want to ace those difficult to crack math exams, you should read on. This is a handy little list of things to keep in mind that will help you ace all your math exams for all time to come!
Read the questions carefully
Get into the habit of reading the questions carefully. A lot of silly mistakes arise because students miss out on the fine print that is usually hidden within questions, leading to an unnecessary loss of marks.
Time is a precious resource, use it wisely
A majority of the students, even though thoroughly prepared, can’t manage their time during exams, hence lose out on marks. Fix this shortcoming by incorporating solving previous years question papers while being timed into your preparation routine.
Revision is your best friend
No one is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. However, if you have mastered the ability to manage your time while writing exams, you will find that you are left with ample time at the end to go through your work at least once. DO IT. It serves as an excellent tool to spot mistakes that would have otherwise gone unnoticed in the rush to finish the first time over, which leads to you losing marks that you would otherwise take away with you.
Focus on the fundamentals
It’s easy to get overburdened by facts and formula while preparing for STEM subjects. There is no need. Just remember that most formulae follow from fundamental concepts. Spend your preparation time understanding these concepts and training yourself to think in a rational and iterative manner. You will find yourself being able to derive these formulae without breaking a sweat in no time!
Solve timed tests as preparation
It is a very good habit to incorporate solving previous years question papers within a set time limit that is less than the allocated time at least once a day after you complete your course. It not only gets you used to solving questions within a set time limit, but also sets you up to always have time enough for one revision, which is key!
Haste makes waste
Don’t rush! There is enough time. In your hurry to finish the paper, you will most certainly end up making silly mistakes that you would generally not make. So take a deep breath, calm down and then attempt the questions.
Don’t get stuck to a question, move on
We often notice that many students have this tendency to spend too much time on questions they aren’t able to solve during papers. Do not do this, only spend a little time trying to figure out a question if you don’t get it in the first go, or skip it altogether, solve the rest of the paper and then come back to it at the very end. Make sure that you secure the marks for the questions you know, before spending time with the unknown.
Skipping steps does more harm than good
Part marking aside, skipping steps while solving numerical or logic based questions is a very bad habit. It not only makes things harder to understand for the person evaluating your answers, but may even cause you trouble from time to time while revising, resulting in lost marks. Be patient, be systematic and be thorough.
Leaving preparation for the eleventh hour
“There’s 2 days off before THAT exam, I’ll prepare then.” This is a statement heard all to often from students that end up rueing the fact that they left their preparation for the last minute. Get into the habit of studying regularly, and using the prep leaves before exams to revise topics, practice tests and take it easy. Last minute cramming only increases anxiety!
Exiting the exam hall early
So all your hard work and preparation paid huge dividends and you ended up finishing the paper with 30 minutes or more to spare. Do not get up and leave. Once you leave the exam hall, that’s it. You can’t come back in and make corrections in case you end up remembering a mistake. Use that time to go through your work once again.