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.Well, we can’t speak for all subjects, but we are the Math experts here at Cuemath, and can give you 5 awesome tips to ensure that you don’t fall prey to the “exam blues”.
- Read The Problems Carefully: One of the most common mistakes that students make is that in their rush to finish the exam on time, they tend to overlook certain key aspects of a question! DON’T!
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!
- 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 at your freshest, 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 are able to 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!
- 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. However, there are a whole bunch of kids that end up acing the same paper! It’s not like they took two 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.
- Revise, Revise, Revise: What do you do AFTER you have learnt 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.
- 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 questions 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.