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8 Ways to Make Your Child’s School Maths Revision Add Up

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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.

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Improve Your Maths Marks

This article is written by  Deb Russell, http://math.about.com.

Here are some quick steps to help you get better at doing mathematics. Regardless of age, the tips here will help you learn and understand math concepts from primary school right on through to university math. Everyone can do math, be positive and follow the steps here and you’ll be on your way to seeing success in math.

Understanding Versus Memorizing

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All too often, we will try to memorize a procedure or sequence of steps instead of looking to understand why certain steps are required in a procedure. Always, always strive for understanding the why and not just the how. Take the algorithm for long division Typically, we say, “how many times does 3 go into 7” when the question is 73 divided by 3. After all, that 7 represents 70 or 7 tens. The understanding in this question really has little to do with how many times 3 goes into 7 but rather how many are in the group of three when you share the 73 into 3 groups. 3 going into 7 is merely a short cut. Putting 73 into 3 groups means understanding. The long division algorithm rarely makes sense unless the concrete method is fully understood.

Maths is Not a Spectator Sports, Get Active!

Getty ImagesUnlike some subjects, math is something that won’t let you be a passive learner. Math is the subject that will often put you out of the comfort zone, don’t worry as this is normal and part of the learning process. Try to make connections in math, many of the concepts in math are related and connected. The more connections you can make, the greater the understanding will be. Math concepts flow through levels of difficulty, start from where you are and move forward to the more difficult levels only when understanding is in place. The internet has a wealth of interactive math sites that let you engage, be sure use them.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Getty ImagesDo as many problems as is required to ensure you understand the concept. Some of us require more practice and some of us require less practice. You will want to practice a concept until it makes sense and until you are fluent at finding solutions to various problems within the concept readily. Strive for those ‘A Ha!’ moments. When you can get 7 varied questions in a row right, you’re probably to the point of understanding. Even more so if you re-visit the questions a few months later and are still capable of solving them. This too is key to understanding. Be sure to check out the worksheet section for lots of practice examples.

Additional Exercises

Getty ImagesThis is similar to practice. Think of math the way one thinks about a musical instrument. Most of us don’t just sit down and play an instrument. We take lessons, practice, practice some more and although we move on, we still take time to review. Go beyond what is asked for. Your instructor tells you to do questions 1-20, even numbers only. Well, that may work for some, but others may need to do each of the questions to reach the point of fluency with the concept. Doing the extra practice questions only helps you to grasp the concept more readily. And, as always, be sure to re-visit a few months later, do some practice questions to ensure that you still have a grasp of it.

Buddy Up!

Getty ImagesSome people like to work alone. However, when it comes to solving problems, it often helps to have a work buddy. You know the saying: two heads are better than one. Sometimes a work buddy can help clarify a concept for you by looking at it in a different way. Organize a study group or work in pairs or triads! In real life we often work through problems with others. Math is no different. A work buddy also provides you with the opportunity to discuss how you solved the math problem. And as you’ll see in this list of tips, conversing about math leads too permanent understanding and you know that understanding is key.

Explain and Question

Try to explain to somebody else how you solve math concepts. Teach a friend. Or, keep a journal. It’s often important to state either in writing or orally how you solved your math problems/exercises. Question problems, ask yourself, What would happen if…….I solved it this way because…..
Remember William Glasser’s findings:
  • 10% of what we READ
  • 20% of what we HEAR
  • 30% of what we SEE
  • 50% of what we SEE and HEAR
  • 70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS
  • 80% of what is EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY
  • 95% of what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE

Phone a Friend …. or Tutor!

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Seek help when it’s appropriate. Don’t let yourself get stuck and frustrated. Seek extra clarification when needed, be your own advocate! Whether you have a friend or need to hire a tutor, recognize the point at which you need help – then get it! Most of us need help some of the time, if you let it go too long, you’ll discover that the math will only become more frustrating for you.

Learn how your child can benefit at his most at MathsExCEL!facebook icon 2