When preparing for a Maths exam, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work that you need to do, or the amount of content that you need to cover. Moreover, anyone who’s not a natural mathematician will find it difficult to break down and practice particular problems, and will need to spend more time revising core parts of a course. There are a number of approaches, however, that can help you to improve your child’s Maths revision and help them get the most out of their exams.
1. Break Down the Exam
Look at the syllabus and what your child needs to cover in the exam, and check with their tutors or teachers over what sort of time you need to allocate to different parts of the test. Some questions in an exam are only worth one or two marks, so make sure they know how much time they need to work on them – doing practice tests can make it easier.
2. Practice Writing Out Your Calculations
To work through ideas effectively, and to practice for the exam, encourage your teen to write out their calculations and formulas, and draw graphs and equations.
3. Identify Key Areas
When looking at the syllabus, try to identify areas that they are particularly unsure about, and make sure that they spend more time on them than going over anything they’re already familiar with. You may want to speak to their tutor about extra resources if they’re struggling with a particular area.
4. Practice with Friends and Family
This is a particularly useful approach if there’s a mental Maths part of a test – asking them questions, or even just getting them to recite formulae, can help your child to be more confident for an upcoming exam.
5. Update Your Child’s Equipment
While they should already have all the equipment they need from their lessons, it’s worth double checking that they have, and are comfortable with using their calculator, and any extra tools they might need on the day of the exam.
6. Use Revision Cards
Cue cards and notes can be particularly useful for remembering key points, and can be stuck up around their room to remind them. Diagrams and equations can also be added and stuck to noticeboards to go over.
7. Use Maths Revision Apps
There are many different apps available for Maths revision, depending on what level they’re studying. Collins offer revision apps to go with their textbooks, while the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize series has its own series of apps. Maths Card and other apps are also useful for producing virtual post it notes, and for taking practice tests.
8. Vary Their Revision
Perhaps the most important thing to focus on when doing Maths revision is to vary it to make sure they’re not overloading themselves in key areas. Don’t let them focus on one area all the time, and try not to allow them to get stuck on parts of an exam that they find too difficult – similarly, a long period of gradual revision is always better than rushing to get everything completed on time a few weeks before an exam is set to be held.