Taking a Maths exam? Feeling worried or stressed? Not to worry – we’ve put together our Top Tips for taking a Maths exam to make sure you are best prepared for the day. These tips can help you get the most out of your maths exam, to put you in the best position to pass – take a look!
- Read and re-read the question
Make sure you read the question and the instructions for the task more than once so that you understand the question and what it is asking you to do. If it helps, write the question down in your own words so that you fully understand what the task is, and list the key information from the question so you always have it in front of you when you are working out your answer.
- There are different ways to work out the answer
Sometimes there is more than one way to answer a question. Be confident that your method is correct and follow it through to find your answer.
- IMPORTANT: Show your working!
This could be the most important tip, so make sure to ALWAYS write down how you came to your answer. There are extra marks for showing the correct method of a question, even if you get the answer wrong. Not showing your working out can lose valuable marks so it is key that you ALWAYS show your working.
- Don’t forget units
When you write your final answer, check if it requires units. Always put units in, it’s an easy way to gain an extra mark, so make sure that you note down if the answer is in cm, kg or £.
- Always 2 decimal places
You are expected to always work to 2 decimal places, unless the question says otherwise. For example, if you have an answer which is 18.247614 – you would write your answer as 18.25. This is especially important when working with answers with money, so you would write £1.80 rather than £1.8.As well as decimal places, pay attention to rounding numbers. When you are rounding, make sure to write down the original number that you have rounded from. This is a safe way to make sure that, even if you get the wrong answer, you might get a mark for accurate rounding! For example, if you have rounded to 15, make sure that you write the original number was 15.2.
- CHECK YOUR WORK
You will sometimes be asked for reverse calculations to prove that your answer is correct. For example, if you got to your answer by doing 80/8 = 10, you would check your answer with 10 x 8 = 80.Even if the question doesn’t ask you for a reverse calculation, it is always worth doing one to make sure that your answer is correct – particularly on questions that have long processes of working out.
- Attempt every question
Even if you are unsure of the answer, always have a go. There are often marks available for simple parts of the question such as converting from cm into m, and doing these calculations can gain valuable extra marks, even if you are unsure of how to complete the question. It’s always better to get something down than nothing!
Finally, always do some practice questions or papers before you take the exam! Getting an idea of what the exam is like can make a massive difference when you take it for real. As well as getting a feel for the structure of the exams, doing practice exams and questions can also identify areas that you are weaker at which might need to be worked on before the real thing.