10 things to note before a maths exam. The PSLEs are looming! Now’s the time to really get prepared to study effectively in the week coming up to the exams. Here are 10 tips that will help!
1. Plan ahead
Don’t leave it to the night before. Make sure you have all the tools you will need to take with you into the hall. The last thing you need is a broken pencil and no sharpener, or a pen that runs out of ink.
2. Create your revision timetable
Create a timetable that is realistic and that you can stick to. Cover the subjects you need the most revision for but don’t leave out the rest either. Spread out the study of each topic so you don’t get overwhelmed, and make sure you aren’t studying late into the night. You need to build in breaks and plenty of time to sleep too.
3. Block your time
This is a highly effective time management habit to master. Work in blocks of time and schedule topics in blocks so you are not switching frequently between topics and getting confused. Try 50 mins for one topic with a ten minute break before the next. Every 2 hours, get in some exercise to reinvigorate you.
4. Practise past questions
Redo questions that you have done before and focus on those that you have made mistakes on. Avoid doing new questions. You will get a better return on learning by learning from old mistakes than trying new questions.
5. Study to fill your knowledge gaps
Following on from the last point, focus on the points that you realise you still don’t know well enough. There’s no point studying what you already know! Get someone to quiz you to see where your gaps are.
6. Go back to your past mocks
Review the mock papers you took and see where you lost marks. Make part of your study routine brushing up on good exam techniques as well so you don’t lose marks you should be getting.
7. Know your paper
Using your mock papers again, make sure you are very familiar with the layout of the paper. What sections will there be? How many questions will there be in each section and what kind of questions will they be? Most importantly, how many do you have to answer in each section? The last thing you want to do is waste time in an exam trying to understand what to do, and worse, answering more questions than you have to!
8. Look after your body
Make sure you fuel your body well as you study. Don’t study hungry as your brain needs food to function well. Avoid sugar spikes too. Eat slow releasing carbs like cereals rather than sweets. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and get in some exercise during your breaks.
9. Study with friends
Schedule an occasional session as a group to test each other and benefit from peer learning. You’ll find you understand something much better once you’ve explained it to someone else.
10. Manage your stress
The PSLE period is likely to be one of the most stressful exam periods you will undergo. Your grades determine what secondary school you can get into, so it’s a biggy. But keep it in perspective. If you are feeling anxious, talk to someone you trust. Just remember, you can only do your best so don’t overly stress yourself.