Studying to achieve a band 6 in advanced maths seems exhausting and challenging, but, with these tips, you will be on your way to acing the subject.
Here are the most useful tips that will help you achieve the marks you need:
- Complete content
Ensure that you have completed and solidified all the content in the course. REMEMBER: HSC Mathematics courses test both Year 11 and Year 12 content.
- Formula Sheets
When you have completed the topic, it is best to summarise all the content and formulas into one sheet. This sheet makes revision easier because you can refer back to the formulas when studying, and it will make it easier to memorise them! However, when the exam period arrives, it’s a worrying sign if you’re still referring to the formula sheet. This means you have more room for practice. Remember practice makes perfect!
- Topic Tests
After completing each topic at school, it is customary for teachers to give students a topic test. These tests act as an indicator of whether you understood the content and where you should refocus your attention to ace the topic. If you do not score 100% on the test, re-do it until you do.
- DESMOS is your friend
A significant aspect of the Mathematics course is graphing. If you are unsure how to graph a specific equation, use the DESMOS graphing calculator to help obtain the accurate graph. The system will help you understand how other graphs look, which you can use in exam questions. You don’t have to know how to draw graphs or answer problems immediately.
- Past Papers
Past papers are ultimately the most crucial aspect of studying for the course. Past Papers from shool, HSC and trial companies will expose students to all types of questions. From my experience, examiners recycle many of the questions, where the only difference is the names and numbers. REMEMBER: it is not the number of past papers you do, but your ability to understand and ace each exam question.
- Mark Your Work!
There is no point in completing the past papers if you are not going to mark them and provide yourself with feedback effectively. Extensively and critically mark your answers according to the solutions and marking criteria. Use a red or different coloured pen to distinguish between the right, the wrong and the missing aspects of the answer. After doing this, re-attempt the question until you achieve full marks in it.
Moreover, if you come across a difficult problem you’re not sure how to answer, simply asterix it and ask your maths tutor or teacher for help.
- Time Management
When answering the past papers, place yourself under timed conditions. An Advanced Mathematics paper requires 3 hours and 10 minutes of reading time. Consistently make yourself aware of the time you answer the paper, whether it be your ACTUAL exam or a practice paper. With time and the more papers you do, you won’t need the full 3 hours to complete the exam, and you will have more time to review your answers.
- Check Your Work!
This sound rather obvious, but, the number of students that hand in their exam papers without checking over their work first is unbelievable. When you check over your work, DO NOT just take a glance at it. Work out each question AGAIN. Why? Answering the question again on paper ensures that you do not make silly mistakes, and if you do, you can rectify them immediately.
The most common mistake I have come across is simple calculator errors. Students have their calculators in the wrong mode (ALWAYS check if the calculator requires you to answer in radians or degrees).
- If you are struggling with a question, LEAVE IT!
In your exams, or even when you complete past papers if you come across a question that you are struggling with and spending way too much time on, skip it and come back to it after you have completed the rest of the exam. Coming back to the question later guarantees that you can maximise your marks in other questions and not impede your ability to achieve a band 6.
- Your teachers and tutors are there to help.
If you are struggling with a concept or a question, always refer back to your maths tutor or teacher to help solidify your content and answer questions in the most practical and efficient means possible. They have great experience in mathematics and will be more than happy to help.
If you are struggling with Mathematics or just need extra help and resources, contact The Thinking Cap Tutoring Centre for all your needs. We have Band 6 Maths tutors and teachers who can help you reach your full potential and achieve your desired marks!