Math can be a very scary subject for some students.
No matter how much they pay attention in class, they just can’t seem to grasp the concept and do well for exams.
Do you fall under this group of students?
Well, fear no more!
In this article, I’ll share some juicy tips on how you can score that sweet A1, guaranteed!
1) Knowing the Format & Syllabus
Before you even sit for the exam, it’s important that you know the exam format of Singapore O Level Maths Papers.
There will be 2 sections, Paper 1 and Paper 2 which you’ll have to sit for in a day, at different timings.
Paper 1: 50% of the total score which consists of 25 questions.
Paper 2: 50% of the total score which consists of 10 – 11 questions. Typically, the last question will be a real-world scenario question.
For O Level, every chapter from Secondary 1 to 4/5 will be tested.
So it’s important that you grasp and understand all the concepts before you sit for your math exams!
2) Read the Instructions
Most math questions will require the final answer to be in 3 significant figures (3sf).
There are cases where the questions require students to leave their final answer in X number of decimal points or round up to the nearest hundredth, etc.
Some questions regarding Ratio and Proportion, Geometry and Measurement may require to leave your answers in terms of pi (3.14 or 22/7).
There will be instructions given above or below the questions on how the final answer should be.
However, some students still miss out on such instructions which can cause them to lose precious marks.
Just like what your math teachers have said, read the instructions carefully!
3) Time Management
For paper 1, you’ll have to answer all 25 questions within 2 hours.
For paper 2, you’ll have the luxury of answering 10 – 11 questions within 2 hours 30 minutes.
Sounds like you’ll have ample time right?
Well, I’m afraid not.
Let’s do some simple math and break down on how long you should take for each question.
25 questions = 120 minutes
1 question = 4.8 minutes (4 minutes 48 seconds)
11 questions = 150 minutes
1 question = 13.6 minutes (13 minutes 36 seconds)
If you follow the calculated timing above, you wouldn’t have time to check your paper after finishing.
Hence, I recommend that you do the easy questions first and take as little time as possible.
Preferably under 3 minutes.
This way, you can at least guarantee those marks.
As compared to doing the difficult questions first which takes up more time and brain juice.
Sometimes when you tackle the difficult questions first, you might lose track of time and end up not being able to complete your paper and forsaking marks you can easily score.
Only after completing all the easier questions, should you spend more time on the difficult ones.
4) Pay Attention In Class
Just like any other subjects, you should always pay attention when your teacher is teaching.
Paying attention during lessons will help you to absorb the concepts better.
During your O Level preparation period, you’ll be given a lot of past year papers to do.
Upon completion, your teachers will go through all the papers that you’ve done and there are bound to be questions you don’t know how to do.
Use the time when your teacher is going through the papers to understand your mistakes.
Now that you’ve understood the importance of paying attention, I’ll move on to the next point.
Practice, practice, and practice!
You’ve probably been told this since primary school.
I can only tell you that it’s true when it comes to Math.
After grasping all the concepts, you must utilise them and put it to practice.
Typically, the questions that appear in your exam questions are the same as the one you have practiced from past year papers.
The only difference is the value of the numbers in the question.
Hence, by putting in the time and effort to practice using the formulas taught, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to answer 90% of the questions.
6) Voice Out For Help
Many students often feel shy or embarrassed to repeatedly ask the same questions.
But if you just can’t seem to understand the concept or working, just keep asking till you understand it fully.
If your teachers or friends are not available when you need help, you can always contact SmileTutor to request for their professional yet budget-friendly math tutors!
SmileTutor will be able to assign your preferred math tutor on the day itself after you contact them.
Our tutors travel to your place to teach. How convenient is that?
You don’t have to worry about traveling or venue factors, the tutors will come to your house!
That’s why SmileTutor is the #1 Trusted Home Tuition Agency in Singapore!
7) Eat Healthy
Now we’ll move on to non-academic factors.
How will you be able to study for an exam if you’re sick?
That’s why you should always take care of yourself.
Implement fruits and vegetables into your diet so you’ll be able to easily cleanse toxins from your body.
Eating oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, etc, are especially good for the brain due to the proteins they contain.
Eating peanut butter straight out from the jar is also good for your brain as it contains lots of protein and healthy fats.
But remember to eat it in moderation.
After eating all these good foods, you’re bound to feel thirsty right?
Drink some water!
Studies have shown that you should drink at least 2.5 litres of water everyday.
Drinking water also improves your memory, meaning you’ll be able to memorise more formulas easily.
Remember to drink up!
It’s not healthy to sit down all day and study.
You’ve to get some physical activity in order to be healthy, like exercising 3 times a week at least.
Go down to your park to some light jogging, or play your favourite sport.
Studies have shown that exercising helps to stimulate your brain, improve your mental health, and improve your sleep!
All these factors are very important when it comes to staying healthy and doing well for your exams.
Sleep is very essential when it comes to your memory.
Did you know that our brains use the time when we’re asleep to wire all the information that we have studied during the day?
If you’re constantly staying up late to do last-minute revisions, I have bad news for you.
It’s scientifically proven that our brains are not as effective at absorbing and storing information at night as compared to studying in the day.
Which is why it’s better to get that 8 hours of sleep than to burn the midnight oil before exam day.
But if you have to burn the midnight oil to study for your exams, read this article on how you can do so effectively.