How to prepare for Maths common test

Hi everyone,

The Chinese New Year is just over. Certainly hope you have received lots of gifts, plenty of blessings, many ang paos...

Well, I am certain amdist all these festive moods, many of you or perhaps just some are in fact using this holiday period to mug for your upcoming common tests, aren't you?

Today, I am going to share with you guys some tips on preparing for your Maths Common Test, Exams or Quizzes.

#1 : Review your previous assignments, tests, quizzes

Look at the things which you did not do correctly the previous time. Find out the reason for not doing it right. Could it be you have a mis-conception of that topic, you are not careful in your calculation, you mis-read the question? Whichever is your reason, find YOUR way to counter it.

For example,

CAUSE: I did not get the marks I deserve as I was not careful when I did mental calculations. MY COUNTER: I am going to write down my steps on paper instead of holding them in my mind. This will reduce my careless mistakes.

Reviewing previous assignments, tests, quizzes is something students do not usually do as they find no purpose in doing. However, if you were to think again, the intention of having tests is to find out on the amount things that you know and the things which you are not sure yet. To order to achieve a better result from each test, don't you think it is important for us to reflect on our previous assignments to find out the things we already know and the things we did not get it right yet. Those which we did not get it right, it is our responsiblity that we ensure that history does not repeat itself.

#2 : Add YOUR own notes to the learning materials

When doing revision for Math, it is important and definitely useful to go through (not just read through) the notes. However, if you were to add in your own little notes alongside, these will help you to learn and understand better as you are penning down your thoughts crucial for the topic. It is absolutely highly recommended that you create your PowerNotes or some prefer to refer them to CheatSheets. All these have one thing in common : they are summaries of important keyconcepts or formulaes for the topic. I usually keep my PowerNotes to one A4 sheet of paper for each topic.

#3: Apply to questions.

Maths is a subject that I always tell my student that they hardly have to study the textbook unlike other content based subjects. It is about understanding the fundamentals of each concepts and applying the knowledge to solving of questions. You may use questions from

  • Ten Year Series (Compilation of the past year examination questions from GCE O Level),
  • other schools papers (easily buy them outside; but one word of warning: some school papers are "lethal", handled with care else instead of boosting your confidence, they might lower your self-esteem with all those challenging level of questions)
  • textbook questions; good and fair

If you were to follow and apply the 3 tips, I am certain you will be able to conquer this monster whereas many students fall prey to it.

All the best! I'll hear from you on how you fare for your common test!

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12 Responses to How to prepare for Maths common test

  1. thanks mam,
    these three steps you have told are really impressive and effective. i have improved my grades than before.
    few days back i failed to get admission in a school just because of my maths test. but after reading these article i looked at my mistakes and tried to improve them. And today when i gave re-test, i got 100% marks and qualified admission test.

    Your tiny student


  2. I have a problem with Maths cuz i dont understand any thing what do i do


    alwaysLovely Reply:

    Juliana : What I suggest is that you get clear with each and every step you do. Mathematics isn't a subject you can memorize. Well, yes formula (some of them) requires slight memory work, others are provided in formula. But the most important component of Mathematics is the ability to apply the concepts learnt to problem solving, just like applying your skills-set you learnt in school in your work in future.

    "Ask and you will find"


  3. I'm so scared about maths exam....when i sit for preparing for this exam i'm not able to concentrate well...though i've done those calculation before but still before exam i get stuck...and during my exam m not able to finish all the answers on time and loose marks ......can anyone give me advice how to avoid and prevent this fear?


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