Said No Teacher, Ever
Children are often under the impression that they cannot study for a maths test or exam because they do not know which “numbers” the teacher will ask.
However, the test will be based on work covered, so maths formulas need to be memorised and, in order to be prepared for any test or exam, always remember that practice does indeed makes perfect.
Here are some study tips that apply particularly to maths:
1. Review what was done in class on a daily basis
Maths is a sequential subject. Each concept builds on a previous concept. Once your child falls behind, it can create a snowball effect. It will become difficult to catch up and cramming before an exam can be overwhelming. Revision of daily work is more than just completing homework. It also requires doing additional practice and making notes of formulas and examples.
2. Summarise maths vocabulary and key concepts for each chapter and topic
Summaries of maths definitions and vocabulary should be made the same way summaries for any other content-based subject should be made. Encourage your child to make it fun by colour-coding vocabulary, definitions, formulas and examples.
3. Read the textbook like a story book
Textbooks are written to be age-appropriate. However, not all maths textbooks are created equally. Some have elaborate explanations and many examples and others provide the minimum information needed to avoid overwhelming and confusing students. It is a good idea to purchase a study guide with detailed explanations and step-by-step answers to supplement your child’s school textbook.
4. Previous exam papers
Completing previous years’ exam papers is one of the best ways of knowing whether your child understands concepts or not. These can be found online or are distributed by schools. Some study guides also contain typical exam papers.
5. Ask Dr Google
Do not underestimate the value of looking for additional resources or explanations of topics online. There are many YouTube channels and websites dedicated to maths. If your child cannot remember the teacher’s explanation and the textbook does not provide enough clarity, try to find a channel which explains the topic to your child if you are unable to assist.
Ultimately, no method or trick in the maths textbook will replace the importance of daily revision and repetition. In the words of the famous pianist Lang Lang, “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
Chrizelle Prinsloo is the owner of Kip McGrath Education Centres, Walmer. She has a background in psychology and has taught in mainstream and special-needs schools both locally and abroad. Chrizelle is passionate about helping children gain confidence in their own abilities and about finding different ways to help them learn. Contact Chrizelle on 081 707 9822 for a FREE assessment.