Tag Archives: H2 math

Tips for final round of preparation (A level Exams)!

Prelim has ended and we are in the FINAL month before A level exam commences. You may be wondering: “What else can I do to boost my grades?”

Here are some humble suggestions from me based on my experience as a former JC lecturer and private tutor for A level.

1. YEARLY – TOPICAL – YEARLY (YTY) approach

In the final stage of the preparation you should be spending most of your available time doing revision. Yes breaks are important but you would prefer to study hard now and enjoy a true happy break after A levels knowing you have done well.

Step 1:

You probably need to set aside 3 + 3 + 3 hours a week on Mathematics. The two rounds of 3 hours is to try one year’s past year A level paper 1 and paper 2, each paper doing it without any breaks.

Step 2:

Mark your script, circle the questions that you could not do and spend the remaining 3 hours doing topical revision and do corrections for the questions answered wrongly. You may want to seek help from your teacher, your tutor or your friends.

Step 3:

Repeat this 3 + 3 + 3 cycle with another set of A level papers, hopefully you can apply the lessons learned from the mistakes and perform better in the next set of papers.

2. Study the trends of the exam papers (there is IMO)

In one of the past years’ examination markers’ report, it was mentioned that students may not do well if they try to predict questions based on past year papers.

There is some truth in this statement as every year there may be a couple of questions that are “unusual”, which serve as a benchmark to separate the A students from the rest.

However this doesn’t mean the entire paper is going to be different. In my opinion there is a core structure of how the paper is set according to the syllabus set by MOE or SEAB.

Join my October revision class and I will share with you what I think some of the trends worth to know.

3. Never give up!!

Remember A level is one sitting 100%. If you have performed badly for prelims and done well for A levels, your certificate will only reflect the A grade you obtained. Therefore there is always the chance that your grades will jump up significantly. However if you choose to give up then nothing can be done. I recalled one of my students who never scored more than 20 marks for all the test / exams since JC 1. However by following some tip I gave, he never give up and managed to pass the subject during A levels. This is already a very big improvement, to jump by at least 25 marks which is equivalent to 4 or 5 grades.

4. Never be too confident!

Scoring well for Mathematics requires consistent practice, you can get “rusty” if you stop practicing for a period of time. You would not want to waste all the efforts of scoring A in all school assessment only to not obtain it at the only important moment. I had a student who scored high As throughout the two years in JC yet scoring B in A level. Therefore if you have been scoring As, please maintain it.

Good luck to all students taking A levels!

Mr Ang

http://alevelmathtuition.sg

ang.alevelmath@gmail.com

94385929

Short Review: H2 Maths Guide Book by Zac Chen

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Today I will be reviewing another popular guide book for H2 Mathematics by EPH. This mini guide book is written by Zac Chen. This is a supplementary book to the main guide books written by another author Lois Chee (why not the same author?)

As the cover page suggests, this book’s main purpose is to provide a quick refresher session for students before the examination, and the book is around a men’s palm size makes it very easy to carry around.

As usual, I will just cover the main Pros and Cons of this book.

Pros

1. This book is very affordable, priced at $7.90. 2nd hand books can go as low as $2 or $3.

2. All topics from Pure Math and Statistics are covered and it is quite a bit of work to keep all the content into a small book.

3. Every chapter begins with the main concepts sumamrised in 1 or 2 pages and there are several examples covering the different types of popular / standard questions that may come out for examination. The examples contain detailed solutions.

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Cons

1) Notice that the author doesn’t have “PGDE” certification means that he is not a MOE trained teacher. Indeed, there are minor segments whereby the explanation is different from what is being taught in school. For example, on the topic of solving a system of linear equations, this book explains using inverse matrices which is no longer in the syllabus.

2) There are no instructions on GC usage, whether that is important or not depends on individual students.

3) The content follows the “route learning” style whereby they just highlight the main points to memorise without any explanation of the concepts. However this is fine as it is supposed to be used as last minute revision and not during the learning phase.

4) The section on statistics is pretty weak, I guess the author is not well versed enough to write a comprehensive summary for this section. For example, the topic of probability only contained 3 pages, whereby first page only lists certain formulas and then 1 example only. A level math teachers will know that this topic has many strategies such as tree diagram, Venn diagram, etc and mastery of this topic is not achievable by just memorising formula. The only example given was the method of using Permutation and Combination but in examination, questions on tree diagram are quite popular too.

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Verdict

I quite like this book, especially for the Pure Math section. The design of this book makes it very user friendly to refer and bring around and it is indeed a good way to have a quick refresh of content right before the exam. I actually bought a copy for each of my tuition student to act as a supplement to their school notes.

This book is also useful for students who are struggling to pass. Instead of getting confused by thick and complicated school lecture notes, these students can refer to this book for a “straight to the point” crash course. Once they know how to do basic questions through “route learning”, then they may be in a better position to refer to school materials again whereby there are more explanation behind the concepts.

If only they can strengthen the Statistics’ topics, then it will be a very good summary book. Hopefully the main textbooks by Lois Chee will be even better (to be reviewed soon).

Why you should invest in a professional tutor

I came across a student asking for help in EduSnap, a mobile app which let students have the chance to post their questions and kind souls answer.

This is the question on vectors (7iii)

Screenshot_2015-02-26-22-52-57

and one man named “h2mathtutor” provided a WRONG answer!

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There are 2 mistakes:

1) The labelling of vertices should be in order (anticlockwise or clockwise),

2) The working should use cross product instead of dot product. However using cross product is redundant because one already uses it in (ii). Hence a smart student should link (iii) with (ii). I.e. the perpendicular distance from C to AB is the perpendicular height of the parallelogram. Hence the answer is area of parallelogram in (ii) divide by the length AB (magnitude of vector AB).