Friday, September 25, 2009

TIMES : SPM2009 Last Minute Tips - Mathematics


SPM Mathematics is made up of Paper 1 (40 objective questions) and Paper 2 (subjective questions). Two main factors that will determine students’ good grade in the examination are the Study Techniques used when preparing for the examinations and the Answering Questions Techniques applied during examinations.

1. Study Techniques
2. Answering Techniques
1. Study Techniques
Do lots of Mathematic exercises. Mathematics is different from other subjects and requires a healthy amount of mental exercises to succeed. The exercises will help you master formulae skills and also improve your problem-solving skills. You will also find doing exercises will make test and exam questions easier to tackle.
Attempt all the past years’ SPM questions. Sufficient time for repeated revisions will enable you to familiarise yourselves with the varied questioning patterns of the exams. Constant practice over a wide range of questions should be a routine before exam.
Equip yourselves with the lists of formulae usually provided in the SPM exams. You should make a list of and formulae and skills that are normally required to make answering tests or exams easier.
Learn the key concepts in every topic. Mathematics skills are like building blocks where the basics are critical. Revision and doing new exercises every day will help you review the basics and identify key concepts.
Learn to manage your time when answering questions. You should always try to answer the questions within the time limit so that you will not run out of time during the exam.
Studying in a group is also advisable. You can always exchange advice with members of the group when facing difficulties in answering questions.
Maximise the use of scientific calculators. This will help save time in calculation and checking answers.
Cover all the topics from Form 1 to Form 5 when practicing Paper 1 but focus only on certain topics when revising Paper 2. Analyse exam papers so that you can familiarise yourselves with the exam format and topics for both papers.
2. Answering Techniques
You should bring all the instruments needed to answer the exam such as:
blue or black ball point pens
2B pencils
a good eraser
a long ruler
a protractor & a pair of compasses
a flexible curve may be used
a scientific calculator. Bring the same model that you have been using when doing revision and practice so that you are familiar with the keys and functions.

Spend the time allocated wisely. Paper 1 is an objective paper consisting of 40 questions. Try to spend less than 1 and a half minutes for each question. Answer the easy ones first and come back later to the tougher ones if time permits. Shade the answer straight away on the answer sheet provided and move on to the next question.
Paper 2 requires students to answer all the questions in Part A and any two questions in Part B. Answer the questions that you are confident & strong in first before proceeding to the tougher ones. If time permits, you may answer all the questions.
Read the questions carefully before answering. Underline important instructions such as ‘give your answer in three significant figures’, ‘express your answer in standard form’. Provide the solutions to the questions as instructed.
Show all the important working steps in order to get full marks for every question.

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