With matric “prelims” looming, and finals on the horizon, maths is one of the subjects causing matrics the most stress. During the revision cycle The Answer Series study guides offer phenomenal support, as educators and past matrics will attest. But how should learners be using the time remaining to prepare?
The Answer Series has a very engaged WhatsApp network of approximately 250 maths educators. Members are from around the country and include teachers, lecturers, course developers and even maths-science students working as tutors.
“They give each other such valuable support,” says CEO of The Answer Series, George Eadie. “I felt we should share some of their tips to assist, inspire and most importantly instill confidence in the nation’s matrics, at a time when they need it the most.”
10 Tips For Matrics To Make Your Revision Count
- The final National Senior Certificate exam covers the work done through the whole FET phase; Grades 10, 11 and 12. Always go back to your textbooks from previous grades and master concepts such as Algebra, Exponents, Graphs, Equations and Inequalities, etc.
- Find a study buddy and work together.
- Buy a cheap A4 notebook you can use for maths revision notes. On the left-hand side of the first few pages, copy out the topics listed in the contents of your Grade 10-12 textbooks. Using 3 different highlighters, mark which topics you are “excellent”, “good” and “not good” at.
- To work out how important a section is, look at the number of marks allocated to the topic in past papers. Prioritise according to this. Algebra, for example, is a very important topic to be better at.
- Using a calendar, work back from the exam date and plan what sections you need to revise when, in order to cover all the work before trials. Allocate enough time to study and practise what you are not good at to improve and gain confidence in these areas but don’t neglect the sections that come easily to you. Remember, you will be able to work more quickly through these questions and potentially gain maximum marks, so assign time to practise these sections too.
- Never let a day go by without completing at least one maths problem. Tick off everything you attempt on the list in your revision book, and on your calendar, to monitor your progress.
- For each maths topic, divide a page in your revision book into four blocks. Number each block 1 – 4. Assign one page per concept, e.g., “hyperbola” or “parallelogram” or “function”. In the blocks, put:
- the definition or explanation of the concept and any other information,
- a drawing or sketch or any visual representation in diagrammatic form, and
- a mathematical example.
The day before the exam, you can use these summaries to study from, so the more information you can put on the page, the better.
- Know which topics will be examined in paper 1 and 2. Remember, the format of the question papers won’t change – only questions change.
- Get hold of at least ten previous Paper 1 and Paper 2 question papers, with their answer sheets/memorandums. (Some of the supplementary papers, e.g., June 2019 and March 2018, are excellent practice papers.) These can be found on the Department of Basic Education’s website. The Answer Series also offers past papers toolkits.
Every week, sit quietly and answer a whole paper. Time yourself so you get comfortable working under pressure.
- Once done, mark your answers and ask your study buddy, peers or your teacher for assistance should you need clarification.
- Each time you encounter an unfamiliar question, update your notes under that topic.
- Never be too shy to ask your teacher for help – this is your future.
“My top tip, when it comes to writing exams, or practising past papers, is to answer all the routine questions first, then come back for the more challenging ones that take more time,” Eadie advises.
Did You Know?
In conjunction with their famous study guides, The Answer Series also offers teaching videos in various subjects. Discover their comprehensive, high-impact, 24-hour tour of the full Grade 12 core maths curriculum on their website. There is also a series of videos focusing on maths literacy finance topics (interest, tax, inflation etc). Some of the shorter Answer Series video courses are offered free of charge.
About The Answer Series
In 1975, Anne Eadie, a brilliant young maths teacher, poured all of her knowledge into the very first Answer Series study guide.
Since then, The Answer Series has continued to create up-to-date, comprehensive study guides and now covers all major subjects from Grade 8 to 12. They are written and frequently updated by teachers, examiners and subject specialists. Each of The Answer Series study guides includes stimulating exercises and easy-to-understand explanatory notes and can be used either independently by learners, or by teachers in the classroom.
The Answer Series is still a family-owned company, and each book shows the same love and dedication, but more importantly, logic and reasoning, as the first.