So I mentioned that students can consider putting aside 9H weekly to prepare for A-levels. I haven’t really discuss what if you’re a student who is totally lost and don’t know how to carry on.
For one, you should NEVER read solutions! I should say this very explicitly that there are heavy repercussions from studying solutions for H2 Mathematics. Its a written examination for a good reason. To be honest, many students can read solutions and nod their head alongside in agreement. But can you think of it during exams? And please don’t assume that because you saw it here in the solutions, you will be highly capable of reproducing in exams. There is something significant about writing things that aids our memory and understanding everything. Even to date, I prefer to write things.
Moreover, all my students know that I do not use solutions during lessons. And no, I don’t memorise the solutions and start regurgitating them on the whiteboard since I do make silly mistakes on the whiteboard too. haha. The essence of me attempting the questions alongside with them allows them to see how I solve it and also my thought process since I will be doing my workings there. Of course, I have better intuition than my students which is why I can absorb the questions faster. But from these, the students will be able to learn how I pick out tiny details in exams.
So for students that face problems, where do we go from here?
We should identify our struggles, do a timed 3H paper and observe your problems. Can you start the question promptly or you are just lost at the start? Or do you struggle with the “deduce” or “hence” parts of the questions? Both struggles here call for different solutions, and students should treat them differently.
The first struggle can be treated by clearly identifying your concepts. I always stress to students that Mathematics is a subject built on definitions and theorems. Know your definitions well and you can start your questions.
The second struggle can be treated by having more exposure. These students mostly are struggling to push their C or Ds to an A. They simply need to do beyond and be better exposed.
It should be noted that past few years, A-levels papers have included a few unusual questions that will throw you off your feet. A good understanding of concepts and healthy amount of exposure will get your by here.
For students that lack confidence, first stop using the pencil and start using pens. My top students will concur that through the June Holidays of mugging, they concur on one thing and I quote, “Math, Just do!”
This is really very important and I see that it lacks in many students. Some students who realized this in the September Holidays will share that they have more confidence for their Prelims.
All the best!