10 May 2016

How to Revise for Maths AS Exams

My AS Level exams (eek):

At the end of May and during June, I have three AS level exams in Maths on Core 1, Core 2 and Statistics. This has meant that my other A levels have had to take a backseat while I revise for these exams as they will count towards my grade at the end of the two years.

I am not one of those people who slacks on revision or forgets to do it, but that has meant I occasionally got worried that I would run out of resources to use for revision, as there are only a limited amount of Maths past papers for my specifications.

Revision techniques and why they help:

I do quite like revising for Maths though, I find that there is a variety of small tasks you can set yourself that are easily achievable and don't feel like they take forever. I used colmanweb to find end of chapter questions and past papers to use. This is a really useful resource as it splits up the questions into different topics so you can easily focus on the stuff you struggle with. I also did questions from the textbooks and wrote notes on the key points and formulas which I knew I needed to remember most.

Always making sure I go back through anything that I have got wrong or that I don't understand means that I know that I have got those bits clear in my mind and definitely understand how to do them. Using lots of different colour pens and highlighters helps to point out the topics or the part I have got wrong so I can easily spot them when I go back to that piece of work.

Something teachers and websites are always on about is working with someone else to revise. I really don't like doing this because I find that it means when I get to the exam and don't have someone there then I find it much harder to answer the question properly. Despite this, teaching someone else what you have learnt, showing them how you got to your answer or explaining what the question means does help me a lot.

Normally, me and my friend will do the same set of questions or past paper alone, but then come together when we have finished to help each other with the part we got wrong and figure it out together. This helps the other person understand how to answer the question, but will also make sure you understand exactly what you've done and why you've done it because you have to explain it to someone else.

Remember to never dwell on bad grades, just try to improve:

At my school we had a set of mock AS level exams in all of our subjects just before the Easter holiday. The majority of people didn't do very well on these and got a lot of grades they were very disappointed with. I am the type of person who will get those results and know they aren't good enough, but I won't dwell on them. I'll move forward and try and improve them, working hard to make sure that those grades do improve. This is advice I've had to give a lot of people recently because of these mock exams and it is definitely something I would encourage you to do too.

This post doesn't involve your average type of revision help but I think that sharing how I go about my revision and why I do the tasks I do means that you'll see exactly how important some of the tips and tricks other websites will give you are.

So here is what we've learnt:

  • Colman Web: useful Maths A level revision website (couldn't live without this).
  • Explaining/ teaching your friend (or accquaintance) can reinforce your knowledge.
  • Past papers, end of chapter questions and formulas.
  • Different colours and highlighters.
  • Knowing where you're going wrong and working on it.
  • Realise why you're doing the revision you're doing and how it is going to make you pass.

Don't dwell on the grades you have got in the past, the grades you want in the end or how it's all going to affect your entire life and will be the end of the world. This isn't a good use of time, I promise you (and it definitely isn't the end of the world whatever happens). So stay positive and work hard!

Tell me in the comments about the exams you have coming up soon and whether you're revising or stressing or both. What other useful revision techniques do you have?

August 2016:
A little update to tell you that I received my AS results and I got an A (88) in Core 1, an A (81) in Core 2, and an A (80) in Statistics, which I am so so pleased with and will hopefully make it slightly easier for me to get a great grade for my A level in maths.

images from death to stock