Are you a maths whiz? No? Maybe? Enthusiastically yes!?
Maths isn’t everyone’s favorite subject, but it is an important part of a well-rounded education. And your HSC maths exam is coming soon.
You could be like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, faithfully doing your homework and hoping you’ll do well on the exam with the time comes. Or you could put yourself in the driver’s seat and be proactive about doing very well on your next maths exam.
Check out our top tips for not only preparing for the HSC maths exam but also acing it!
1. Understand the Importance of Practice Questions
What’s the best trick to preparing for the HSC exam? We hear this question a lot. We also know that it is merely code for “what’s the easiest hack for acing my maths exam?”
There are no shortcuts to properly preparing for your maths exam. You’ve got to put in the time. The best way to study is simply to sit down and start working on practice questions. Get ahold of old papers and go through the questions to get a feel for the test and how it works.
Pay attention to how long each question takes. Remember, you’ll need to be aware of your time as you’re taking the HSC exam. Don’t let yourself get hung up on one or two questions and run out of time on the other ones.
Going through old papers will help you get used to both focusing on the question as well as keeping track of time.
One top score student made it her goal to complete all the previous HSC papers from 2000-2011, not once but twice before her own exam.
2. Start Studying Early
Don’t underestimate the power of being prepared — and starting that preparation early. Some students might think that if they start studying too early, they’ll just forget everything by the time the exam rolls around.
If you just studied the concepts a few times 6 months before the exam and then never looked at anything again until you take the test, this might be true. However, the point of studying early is to begin with plenty of time and keep preparing in the months leading up to the exam.
We recommend beginning to study at least 6 months before the exam. This will give you plenty of time to digest the information. You can also start making connections between different concepts in the lesson content.
When you start studying this early, you may run across questions that deal with concepts you haven’t learned yet. Don’t worry, just skip over them and come back after you’ve learned the material.
As you study, you should also go back and have another go at older questions. Pay particular attention to the more difficult ones This not only helps to further cement the material but also gives you a confidence boost when you see how much faster you can complete it this go around.
3. Take Notes
Another very helpful tool as you prepare for HSC maths exam is to take notes. It might not be your first thought to take notes in maths class. After all, isn’t it just a matter of memorising a few formulas? Maybe so, but notes can still be immensely helpful.
Taking notes in mathematics, particularly using mind maps, helps you draw connections between different bits of material.
Furthermore, the actual act of writing your own notes and figuring out how to organise the lesson content is advantageous. It helps solidify the information in the brain, making it easier to remember what you need to know.
4. Get Your Practice Questions From Different Sources
You never know what questions you’ll actually be presented with on the day of the test. All the secrecy around test questions is there for a reason.
However, the more you expose yourself to different types of questions, the better you will do on the day of the test. Not only are you more likely to have worked with similar questions, but also you’ll approach any question with more confidence because of the practice you’ve had.
Furthermore, this practice helps you see that there is often more than one way to solve a problem. The goal is to choose the quickest method on the day of the test. That’s what will get you through the exam with flying colors.
There are many sources where you can find exam questions. Look for old official papers, practice papers from different schools, or independent past papers. You can also collect textbook questions from various textbooks to give yourself a well-rounded approach.
Sailing Through Your Maths Exam
There you have it! It really isn’t too difficult to study for your HSC maths exam. It’s just a matter of understanding the material, knowing when to apply it, and not getting hung up on one or two questions.
Working on countless practice questions is the best way to prepare for the exam. It gives you a feel for the types of questions you’ll have to answer. Plus, you practice keeping your cool and making sure you leave time to work on all the questions.
According to mwns.com.au, a tutoring centre in Sydney, knowing that you can complete x-amount of questions in x-amount of time is a huge confidence boost. Test anxiety and being worried about the clock trip up many students because they get distracted. The key is to be able to focus on the questions, while still keeping track of time.
Good luck! By following these tips, you should do just fine when exam day finally arrives!