Revising for maths at any level is no easy task. In Year 8, you face your second year of HSC, and the topics keep piling up. You need a rigorous revision program to keep up with all the new concepts and solidify your understanding of the old ones. But how do you keep up with it all? Here are a few tips to help you make your Year 8 maths revision effective and efficient.
Do an initial assessment
Before you can start making any preparations, you need to know how much you need to focus. You can use a past paper or mock exams to give you essential insight into areas you do well on and others that require more attention.
Once you know your strongest and weakest topics in maths, you can now start planning out what you want to revise and how to go about it. If your test score is low, don’t lose confidence, it’s a great starting point and will give you a greater sense of satisfaction once you start improving on the topic.
Set a timetable for revision
Now that you have a clear idea of the work cut out for you, the next step is setting a timetable for revision. When planning your time, be strict with yourself. You can enforce self-discipline by making a revision timetable and sticking to it.
Your timetable should have a structured day that includes breaks and blocks of revision time. Having a good balance of both will increase the efficiency of your revision. It also ensures that all the material is covered before it’s time for any exams or tests.
Focus on creating a timetable that suits you. If you’re not a morning person, you can have a timetable that sets the revision when you work best to enhance the results of the revision.
Most subjects in Year 8 will have thick textbooks. You have to go through the books to understand and learn the theories. With maths, it’s different. Although there’s a lot you can learn from a textbook, the best way to learn maths is by doing maths.
You will find that doing 30 minutes of maths has more impact than two hours of going through textbooks you are learning while doing the questions.
Give weaker topics more attention
No exam will comprise only one type of question. Therefore, you need to ensure your revision addresses areas you’re good at and those not good at.
During revision, it’s better to start by tackling topics and questions that you struggle with the most. By beginning with the areas you’re weak at, you have more time to work on the topics, and your attention is better, giving you better results. You can then have fresher sessions on the topics you’re good at.
Practice exam questions
Textbook math questions often focus on helping students understand the concept at hand. They are not as challenging as exam questions, which sometimes require students to draw knowledge from different topics to solve the problem.
There are two reasons you should use exam questions when revising for Year 8 maths. The first is that you get to tackle more challenging problems that test your revision mechanism and determine if it’s yielding positive results.
Using exam questions also gives you an idea of what to expect when the exams come knocking. You can turn up the pressure once in a while by timing yourself to put yourself in an actual exam situation. This is critical in ensuring you have the right experience and get used to complete the papers within the allocated time.
There are some topics in maths you may never get your head around no matter how hard you revise. Acknowledging this and getting additional help and support is critical in helping you crack the topics. If you relentlessly try to understand the concepts yourself, you will only stress yourself and take up too much unnecessary time.
You can ask friends and family for help. If that doesn’t work, you can try engaging your teacher outside of lessons or even consider more focused one-on-one support from a qualified maths tutor.
Resting is just as important as revising. Without adequate rest, the topics you’re trying to master become jumbled, and the revision process becomes a nightmare because the brain can’t absorb any more information.
You should take breaks between each new topic, try and reflect on what you have just worked on and let it soak naturally. You should also get enough rest to avoid stress and maintain a laser-sharp focus on your next revision session.