For quite a few students, Math translates to disaster, and Math exams are nothing short of cold nightmares. But, to be fair, mastering the subject is not as hard as it is made out to be. ParentCircle gets a few tips from former Math teacher Vijaylakshmi Raman, to help your child crack that ‘difficult’ exam.
- Remember formulae: Let your child write down all important formulae on a piece of paper and try to memorise them.
- Solve papers from previous years: This will give him enough practice. While solving old papers let him time himself for each question as well as for the paper, as a whole. This will ensure he is able to allocate appropriate amount of time for relevant sections and complete the paper on time.
- Practise every day: Instead of waiting till the last moment and spending a never-ending stretch of time, solving problems, let your child take a break from studying other subjects and practise Math for a while in between, every day.
- Use online help: There are sites which have good practice and reference material for problems, put together by educators and experts. Encourage your child to go through these.
- No last-minute rushes: Make sure your child doesn’t go through everything on the last day. Let her only look at the formula sheet and go through previous years' question papers. If she has notes from the class, let her look through those too.
- Relax: It is only with a calm mind that one can solve Math problems correctly and with ease. If your child hurries through them, he is bound to make mistakes.
- Scan the question paper carefully: Many a time, questions themselves carry clues on how to solve the problem. Train your child to underline these clues.
- Write down all the steps and draw figures when possible: While solving riders, for example, let your child follow the 'statement and reason' style. Also, let her draw and mark the essentials. This, in itself, accounts for 60 per cent of the marks.
- Use alternative methods: There are a lot of easy tricks that one can use to solve problems faster. Teach your child to employ these. For example, to calculate 104 x 104, he should first multiply the last digits of both the numbers i.e. 4 x 4 = 16. That will be the end digits of the answer. Then he should add 104 + 4 = 108. The answer is 10816.
- Do rough work: Let your child not do the sums mentally in his head. Instead, let him write it all down.
- Write units: Often, students forget the importance of units i.e. cm, sq, km, etc. Make sure your child remembers to write them.
- Highlighting text: Let your child use a black pen to highlight formulae or underline them with a pencil. She will get marks for that too.
- Check the time: The test usually lasts about three hours. So, your child shouldn’t waste too much time on any given question. If he can’t solve something, let him proceed to the next question. The questions that come later may also give him an idea as to how to solve the 'problematic' problems! Also, usually the one-mark questions are slightly more twisted than the questions that carry more marks, which may be easier to understand. So, he could start with the long questions instead.
- Revisit the paper: Once she is done answering the exam paper, let your child take 15 minutes to go over the answer sheet. Let her double check to see if she has transferred everything correctly from the rough sheet to the fair side of the sheet.
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