Friday, September 25, 2009

TIMES : SPM2009 Last Minute Tips - Additional Mathematics

Additional Mathematics

SPM Additional Mathematics is made up of Paper 1 and Paper 2. The main ingredients required to ensure success in SPM Additional Mathematics are the Study Techniques used when preparing for the examinations and the Answering Techniques applied during examinations:

1. Study Techniques
2. Answering Techniques
1. Study Techniques
Study and master all concepts and applications in the syllabus. Do not leave out or put less effort in any particular topic perceived to be more difficult. Otherwise you will be placed in a difficult position when confronted with questions on unfamiliar topics, leading to loss of confidence.
Gain a good grasp of the basic mathematical skills. Master basic operations involving negative numbers, algebraic skills, solving simultaneous equations and solving quadratic equations. You should also pay full attention in class, always ask questions and discuss solutions with teachers and friends.
Practise mathematic exercises to develop your problem-solving skills. Master methods of finding equation of a straight line, changing non linear equations to linear relations, choosing suitable rule in solutions of triangles, or extracting information from statistical representations such as histogram, pie charts, bar chart or cumulative frequency table before the exam.
Attempt all the past years’ SPM questions. Sufficient time for repeated revisions will enable you to familiarise yourselves with the various questioning patterns of the exams. Constant practice over a wide range of questions should be a routine before the exam.
Maximise the use of scientific calculators in your calculations. Learn how to use the calculator to solve quadratic equations, linear simultaneous equations, differentiation at certain point, definite integration, probability for z-score, trigonometric ratio for angles in degrees or radians and others, so that checking answers will be easier.
Familiarise yourselves with the lists of formulae provided in the SPM exams. Make a list of the formulae and skills that are normally needed when answering the tests or exams for quick reference.
Familiarise yourselves with the exam format for Paper 1 and Paper 2. Knowledge of the distribution of topics will help you plan revision wisely before the exam.
2. Answering Techniques
Read every question carefully and completely before attempting to answer it. Understand the question by identifying the task given. Instructions such as ‘give your answer correct to three decimal places’ and ‘use your graph to find…’ must be followed in order to get full marks.
Write down the formulae before substituting the values into the formulae. Writing basic concept such as m1m2 = -1 for perpendicular line is also advisable.
Quote the final answers to at least two decimal places and at least four decimal places for probability. Avoid approximation at an earlier stage of the solutions. Answers must be given in the simplified form.
Always try to sketch diagrams so as to understand the questions better. This is especially helpful in Coordinate Geometry, Circular Measures or Solutions of Triangles.
Draw a table before plotting graphs. Answer according to the requirements in the questions, for example, complying with the given scales.
Show all important workings clearly. For example, in solving quadratic equation, you must show the factorisation, using of formula or completing the square.
During the exam, remain calm and answer the easier questions first. Divide your time wisely. Check your answers and make sure all parts of the question have been answered.
Use pen to write. Use pencil only for drawing or sketching graphs. Your handwriting should be clear and big. A long ruler must be used when drawing lines of best fit.
You should not divide your pages into two columns to avoid cramp.

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