July 06, 2009

I Just Want to Pass My Mathematics Paper and Nothing Else. ( Only For Those Who are Appearing in any Competitive Exam for the Second Time)

Effectiveness is often more important than efficiency. If a person can pass an examination by "working smartly" why should he/she go through the entire book and solve every question.
Even though such a person who always studies selectively can never be equal to a person who studies thoroughly but if your sole intention is to pass the examinations and nothing else here are a few points that might be helpful for you. Note that these points are only helpful for those that are appearing in any competitive exam for the second time after not being able to pass it in the first go.

1. Past Papers

Start from the past papers. You will realized there is a pattern of repetition in any type of mathematics papers. Identify those topics that are being tested consistently and try to attempt the past papers questions. Here past papers are more important that other books because you can understand the level of difficult of the questions that will be tested from you.

2. Were you guilty of inappropriate allocation of time in the previous attempt?

Identify what went wrong in the last attempt. Were you allocated more time to a particular question and thus sacrificing the time of the other questions. If this is the case here is a small tip for you.
For example, lets say your papers is of 100 marks and it is a 3 hours long paper. Here is how you should allocate the time for each question.
3 hours = 180 minutes for 100 marks.
This means 1.8 minutes for 1 mark.

Now if a question carries 5 marks you should allocated 5 x 1.8 = 9 minutes for that question.
You should try to solve that question in 9 minutes. If you cant, just move forward to the other question.
Remember in a mathematics question every step carries separate marks. So even if you cannot complete a question in its allocated time you can still gain a few marks for the number of steps that you have done. But you will at least give appropriate time to the other question.

3.Start with your favorite question

Begin with the question that you are most familiar with. First impression is the last impression in any scenario, even if it is a mathematical solution sheet.

4. Be familiar with your calculator

Make sure that you are well knowledgeable about your calculator's functionality.

Note: You can see that point numbers 2, 3 and 4 above requires no work at all. It just requires smartness.

5. What question to choose in case there is a choice available to you

You should always select a question which can yield you the most marks.
  1. If you are indifferent about a theorem and a numerical question, choose the numerical question. Theorems might score you less marks if your writing is not that good.
  2. If you are indifferent about a formula proving question and a numerical question, choose the former because it will give you the opportunity to make a separate heading to write down the formulas based on which you are proving the formula required in the question. Separate headings are unconscious alarms that you know your stuff.