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Top 5 tips to ace your HSC Maths Exam

22 Sep

Top 5 tips to ace your HSC Maths Exam

Looking to ace your upcoming HSC Maths paper? Well, with HSC Maths exams kick-starting in a little over a month, you’ve come to the right place! 

Whether it’s Mathematics Standard 1 or 2, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1 or 2, we’ve got just the tips for you.

1     Familiarise yourself and be aware of changes

Last year, the first cohort of students undertook the new Mathematics Standard exam, previously this course was called ‘Mathematics General’. Luckily for you, if you’re completing the Mathematics Standard exam this year, you will have access to the Mathematics Standard 2019 HSC exam pack. This can be found through following this link, and scrolling down to ‘Mathematics Standard’, as shown below:

And secondly, this year’s Mathematics Advanced exam follows a new format where working out space is provided after each question instead of a separate writing booklet. To help familiarise yourself for the actual exam, we recommend students to practise completing past papers using this new format. 

2     Practice makes perfect!

This might be an obvious one, but that’s because it works – a great place to start is with the NESA HSC Past Papers. To access Mathematics Advanced papers click here and scroll down to ‘Mathematics’ which is the old course name. This is shown below: 

Mathematics Extension 1 and Extension 2  go by their usual name. 

To help give students a better idea of what structure to expect for the HSC exam, NESA has also provided ONE HSC 2020 SAMPLE paper for each course. The sample and marking guideline can be found through clicking on the course name Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2.

To get the most out of your practice sessions, try to complete your past papers in exam conditions. This means:

  • Timed – 3hrs or break it up into smaller chunks
  • Quiet environment – No music
  • Clear desk – clear desk = clear mind
  • No consultation  – Do not look at notes, answers or ask your family/friends

3     Create a Schedule

Schedules are a great way to plan out your study sessions and allocate time for when you will complete the past papers. 

You can also use it to track your progress which allows you to measure how comfortable you are with specific questions.

Don’t forget to schedule in break times – as important as it is to study, blocking out time to relax allows us to recharge and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the next paper!

4     Review

After you complete each past paper, go through them using the Marking Guideline provided by NESA.

If possible try and swap with a friend or ask a family member to mark your exam.

Why? Well, have you ever gotten an exam back and wondered why you didn’t receive the marks for a question, only to go up and ask the teacher and have them say ‘well you didn’t show me the working out?’ When we mark our own exams, we tend to be more lenient and tell ourselves ‘yeah I would’ve done that’ when we see the correct answer. The reality is that if we don’t show full working out, then how will markers know what we are trying to communicate? They’re NOT MIND READERS!

So, when we get someone else to mark our paper, then we eliminate any bias. 

Going through the marking process also allows us to analyse errors to help guide our revision sessions and identify areas that we need to spend more time on.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out if you need help. Your tutor at PEAK Tuition is more than happy to answer any burning questions – there is no such thing as a silly question!

5     You’ve put in the hard work, now it’s time to reward yourself – you deserve it!

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