Hi guys I’m Rob I’m one of the maths teachers here at the Dublin academy. My focus today will be a sort of post-mortem if you like of how you got on in your first term. Many of you are looking towards your upcoming mocks. If you are preparing for mocks and preparing to do 2 papers in maths, then there is no way you can get course finished in time. That’s not possible, and you shouldn’t target that.
The main problem I encounter with a lot of students every year is that they try to revise the entire course for the mocks, and many come out with low scores like 15%. My suggestion is this, pick two or three important topics on each paper and do them very well. Except the fact that you won’t get around to studying several topics even if you’d like to, it’s not possible. Yes, this does mean there will be questions you can’t answer on the mock paper, but I promise that will be the case regardless of whether you heed this advice or not.
You can choose which ever topics you want but I would recommend studying the following: algebra and calculus for paper one and trigonometry and statistics for paper 2.
That means you’ll have four topics to study in roughly eight weeks. This is very achievable, especially in comparison to trying to get the whole course done in that time frame. When you get your results from the mock don’t look at overall grade. I’ve seen students get 15% in February and get a H1 in June. Instead, focus in on those questions you answered in the topics you covered. If your happy with them then you’ve got four big topics done and they only need the odd revision session to keep your mind fresh on them.
If your still not in a stable study routine for maths then don’t worry, there’s still time. You must be realistic however, that’s the main piece of advice I’m trying to get across here. If you set yourself the task of trying to learn every topic in the eight-week timeframe like so many students do, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
The best way to study maths is to constantly be practicing questions. There is no more effective way to study in my view, reading notes doesn’t ingrain the information in your mind well enough. Don’t waste time doing the textbook questions either, do exam style questions as these will be more like actual leaving cert questions.
Find balance between working on stuff your good at and topics you’re not good at. The danger is a student doing two hours of study in one topic they already know. You must do stuff you struggle with as well. These are the areas you need to improve the most. Similarly, though don’t struggle for two hours straight to a couple of questions either, you need to find the right balance. Great students switch between topics one after the other as this better replicates exactly what the mock and leaving cert exam is like.
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