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Paper Management for H2 Mathematics

December 02, 2019 | By Yi Kai

SEAB and Cambridge have recently decided to switch the format of the H2 mathematics paper to booklet form. This could be advantageous to those who usually miss out parts of the question. However, it also brings about the trouble of having to flip through pages which can often cause negligent students to make careless mistakes when transferring key steps. Not to worry though, we have a few tips that we teach our JC students in our A Level Math tuition classes that we would like to share with you today!

  1. Plan your presentation

Think of how and where you are going to write each key procedure. A Level Math questions often require you to work on smaller parts before combining everything together to get the final answer. Plan out where you would write each procedure and leave space between each procedure so that it would be clearer for the math examiners to read.

This would prevent you from being trapped in a situation where you are in the middle of an algebraic manipulation and have to go back and forth between the pages to copy your previous step. It also helps to eliminate the risk of making careless mistakes when transferring information.

  1. Make full use of rough paper given during the H2 math examination

As you would have guessed, H2 math questions are more advanced than O level math questions; they are not straightforward such that employing a single formula would be able to solve a question. More often than not, H2 math questions require heavy algebraic manipulation. As a result, unless you are confident that your answer doesn’t need any revisions, it is best to make use of rough paper.

Usually in the H2 mathematics exams, you would be provided with a piece of paper for rough workings. In the case where you do not receive paper, you can request for one. It is recommended to do the algebraic manipulations on rough paper first, and only when you have solved the math question, then do you transfer the answer over to the answer booklet. Not only would it make your answers look neater, but you would also be able to minimise careless mistakes when you transfer the answers over to the answer booklet.

  1. Scanning and analysing the questions

In the previous format where the entire question is presented nicely on the same page, you could easily read through the entire question. This would allow us to have a better sense of the answer and ensure that we do not have answers that overlap different parts. However, with the new format, it is harder to get a sense of the entire question especially since one question could span many pages. My advice would be to spend a little effort to scan through the whole question and get a general feel first. Don’t be lazy, this small effort would pay off by allowing you to better understand the question requirements.

  1. Graph sketching

When it comes to graph sketching, there are certain graphs that demonstrate symmetrical properties especially the even function graphs. Those who are not artistically inclined might be marked down on not demonstrating symmetry in their sketches (which is a pity). You might want to try folding the paper along the line of symmetry and draw one side of the curve first . This would cause an impression marking on the folded side of the paper and you could trace this marking to give a perfect mirror image.

The key to not being hindered by the new format of the paper is to practise and familiarize yourself with it. There are certain past year prelim H2 math questions and samples from SEAB that you could try. All in all, a few practices would go a long way in preparing you for the H2 Mathematics exams.

At New Dawn Learning Studio, our H2 math tuition classes are designed to shorten learning curves which will enable students to attain the desired grades in H2 Mathematics. Our experienced Math tutors will guide you along with common problems that JC student faced when taking A Levels.

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