Set your GC in radian mode!

A student just asked me how come her GC gave a different answer from the solution provided.


The reason is because her GC is set in degree mode instead of radian. For h2 math students, it is advisable to set your GC in radian mode. Else, there might be error when trigo is involved in definite integrals, small angle approximation, parametric curve sketching and complex numbers.

I always set the GC in radian mode and use another calculator fx-96 SG for degree.

How to revise during the school holidays?

Go through the promotion paper and prioritise the topics according to the number of marks lost. Start by revising the topic with the most number of marks lost. For every mistake made in the promo, practice at least 3 more questions of similar or higher level of difficulty.

Focus on brushing up Calculus, Sequence and Series, Vectors and Complex Numbers. These four major modules account for more than 60% of marks in A level.

For students who failed their promotion paper and need to retake a supplementary paper, engage a good tutor to shorten the learning cycle.

Doing tutorials is not enough!

For the average JC H2 maths student, doing tutorials alone is not enough to pass mid year or promo exams. This is because many JCs set the exams at a much higher standard than tutorials. In some JCs, about half of the cohort can fail JC 1 promo.

To do well, other than doing tutorials, students need to practise intermediate or advanced questions. If they are unable to do intermediate questions, they should seek help early from a good tutor.

If students fail or barely pass their mid year or promo, don’t wait until JC 2 to brush up. Otherwise, they have to struggle to catch up and learn new challenging topics in year 2.

Preparing for exams

1. For students who have enough time, start by revising and practising questions by topic. Do basic level questions for all topics. Then do intermediate questions (slightly harder than alevel standard). If you are running out of time, go straight to doing yearly paper. Doing yearly paper and revise weak topics is the fastest way to improve.

2. For students preparing for their school internal exams, practise past year exam paper from their school, starting from the most recent. It is important to practice past year paper from your school as each school has its style of questions. For the first paper, you can refer to your notes and formulas. For any question you get incorrect, practise at least 2 more similar questions in that topic.

For subsequent paper, attempt only with the formula list MF 26 under timing. Keep practising until you can score 10% above your desired grade.

3. For students taking A level , do past 5 years alevel paper and prelim papers from  IJC, MI, JJC, PJC, CJC, TPJC. For alevel paper, practise yearly paper  3 hours in one sitting, only with the formula list  MF26 and work towards 78-83% if students are aiming for distinction.

Do paper 1 and paper 2 in 3 hours each, with only MF 26. Then revise weak topics (questions that you got wrong in the paper). Repeat the cycle

Following is a good guide


Why students should Meditate?

Meditation can benefit the students in the following ways:

  1. Better focus and concentration. Mediation can lead to better concentration. Students can absorb what the teacher is teaching in class, without being distracted. And when doing their own study or assignment, they can reach the ” flow state”, where they can accomplish much more. 3 hours of doing Math just pass by quickly. They can study everywhere, in the MRT or even noisy places, without being distracted.
  2. Less Anxiety. Meditation can help to reduce anxiety. Students can perform better in tests and exams when they have less anxiety.
  3. More creativity. Meditation has been found to improve creativity. Challenging questions in exam require creativity to solve. Students aiming for distinctions need to be prepared to meet questions containing new ideas. They need to be creative in coming up with their own solution to solve the problem.
  4. More patience: Students sometimes get frustrated when they cannot solve a Math problem. Meditation helps in cultivating patience. Challenging math problem require patience and persistence to solve.

Where to learn meditation?

If students don’t mind attending meditation in a Buddhism enviroment, they can attend this good course near Aljunied MRT.

The course is free

How to do well in maths

1. Achieve a deep understanding of the concepts. Understand the ‘how’ or ‘why’ the concept is such, instead of memorizing the steps.

2. Practise a few routine or basic questions to build foundation, speed and accuracy.

3. Attempt challenging or a variety of problems. Instead of doing all the questions in the practice paper, you can attempt only those that are challenging or different.

4. Compare your solution with the solution provided. Is it correct and as elegant as the provided solution? Can you think of alternative solutions?

5. Produce your own summary notes which can be used for quick revision. It is like producing your own secret manual after all the training and challenges.

6. Teach your peers. The more you teach others, the better you become.

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