Tips for Students Preparing for Maths Exams from ACE Solutions
At this stage you have completed your mock examinations in maths. You may or may not be satisfied with your result but try not to be too hard on yourself in relation to them as you still have plenty of time to improve. Please keep in mind that you have had little exposure to exam style questions, have not completed the full course and have not attempted that length of exam paper up to now.
For those of you who may have Dyslexia or a learning difficulty, I would like you to view your exams as a challenge, not a threat. Thousands of students gone before you have achieved their wildest dreams so aim high and keep believing in yourself. I would advise you to put a plan in place now so that you can study efficiently and prepare properly for your exams. Here is my top twelve tips to ACE your Maths exams in June – both in preparation along the way and facing the paper on the day.
- Do out a lifestyle (study) timetable for your Easter holidays and beyond. Make sure each weekly timetable contains loads of variety, different ways of learning and plenty of breaks/rewards on it.
- Buy a small notes book and enter all the keynotes, new information you learn and formulae’s that are not in your log tables into it. Divide it into topics so that you can easily quick reference it.
- Make a note of all new words you learn in class each day. If you don’t fully understand the meaning of them, ask your teacher or google them. Write down their meaning in your own words when you find out.
- Practice as many past exams questions as you can to get used to the wording, layout, style and marking scheme of them.
- “Homework is study”, so approach all Maths homework as you would an exam paper question.
- Practice questions at home. Put the clock on each question to familiarise yourself with ‘exam hall pressure’. Stick to the timing for each question i.e. You have twenty five minutes to complete a fifty mark question (divide by two in Leaving Certificate Maths). For Junior Cycle Maths, the time for each full question is written on the paper.
- Get a “study buddy” that will complete past exam questions for you and with you. You can meet up and share your Information with them. This tactic can be used in all subjects.
- On the day of the exam, read the wordy questions three or four times and then re-read them line by line, underlining the key word(s) in each line.
- Prepare for all exams the night before by checking you have all the materials you need. Double check your timetable for the next day.
- Don’t be afraid to express yourself in simple English if you don’t know the Maths. This will help you arrive at the solution. Remember that the State Exams Commission (SEC) encourages creativity.
- Buy yourself an Exam Paper Solutions Book. You can use this book to check the work you are doing and to help you get started on tricky exam questions. One of the biggest issues with the wordy questions in Maths is finding a way to get them started. Practice really helps here.
- Start today.
Lastly the language of Maths is extremely important especially with the advent of Project Maths in 2008. The SEC now place more of an emphasis on students knowing and understanding what things mean instead of just been able to do numerical calculations. There are more words than ever on our Junior and Leaving Cert Maths exam papers and it is crucial that you start familiarising yourself with them. Start now by recording the key words that have appeared on exam papers over the last six years.
If you are not familiar with the words and phrases that appear on the paper, you may not be even able to get a question started. This would be an awful shame given the amount of time you have spent learning the mathematical side of things. You need to be aware that different words have a different meaning depending on the subject. For example, the word “Evaluate” in Maths is quite different to what it means in English. I believe that knowing the key words and phrases is now a key component of “ACE-ing” a Junior or Leaving Certificate Maths exam paper. Joe. J
More details about how to purchase ‘How to ACE the Leaving Certificate’ for all subjects and Joe’s ever popular ACE Maths Solution Books for the Junior and Leaving Certificate are on his Facebook page and website www.acesolutionbooks.com. Pick up your copy today!