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Thread: failed prelim ext1 maths exam?

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    failed prelim ext1 maths exam?

    a couple of days ago, we had our prelim ext1 maths exam
    the test was easier than what i expected but i ended up running out of time (bc the teachers made it longer than usual)
    I've already lost quite a few marks which i'm quite bummed about, considering i did start doing past papers ~1 month in advance + the questions i lost marks on were all do-able

    our next math assessments are next term - but how should i bounce back from this setback? i felt really upset about this, since the test was relatively easy and hence, i should've done well

    also, i find that my mental maths (eg. for basic arithmetic/fractions) is quite slow - how should i improve my speed for this? I've become quite self-conscious about losing marks on silly mistakes so i always end up double-checking my answers, which costs me quite a bit of time tbh

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    Re: failed prelim ext1 maths exam?

    I was in the same position as you at for my first prelim 3u task, I was sick at the time and completely stuffed up and lost ~10% that I shouldn't have. It was super frustrating and annoying at the time, but I tried to identify what went wrong so as I could improve for next time (this also happened for my first HSC 3u exam because I freaked myself out lol). So maybe try and figure out what went wrong to try to improve that next time. Was it test anxiety? Then do more past papers in exam conditions as much as possible. Was it application qs or conceptual knowledge? Then go back and make sure that you really understand the concepts, because this is super important particularly in 3u. You could also talk to your teacher about what may have gone wrong and therefore how you can do next time. Try to think of this as a motivation to do heaps better next time rather than a failure, even though I know this is hard. I tried to do this when I did badly on my first prelim 3u exam and ended up getting 90% in task 2. Maths is a skills subject and therefore is about consistent practice over a long period of time. So, even though it seems really hard, figure out what specifically went wrong and therefore what can be changed for task 2.

    As for mental maths, I suck as well (I do things like 5+7 on a calculator ahaha). As for saving time in exams, try just to slow down and go with your gut feeling to avoid going over it and therefore wasting times. Rushing always results in dumb mistakes (this always happens with me, particularly in 2u and it can be the difference here between high band 5 and band 6). There is also the 'hard start jump to easy method' where you can start with the harder questions and quickly move to the easier ones (after about 30 secs of trying the harder ones) to allow your brain to use its 'diffuse mode.' I also like to read the paper back to front because the harder qs are at the back so my mind can think about them while I do the easier ones. Also for 2u if you finish with enough time (however don't rush) another method is to redo qs without looking at your working (ask for extra booklets) and then compare solutions after this to see if they are the same (and usually right).

    Hope this helps
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    Re: failed prelim ext1 maths exam?

    Quote Originally Posted by horse9996 View Post
    I was in the same position as you at for my first prelim 3u task, I was sick at the time and completely stuffed up and lost ~10% that I shouldn't have. It was super frustrating and annoying at the time, but I tried to identify what went wrong so as I could improve for next time (this also happened for my first HSC 3u exam because I freaked myself out lol). So maybe try and figure out what went wrong to try to improve that next time. Was it test anxiety? Then do more past papers in exam conditions as much as possible. Was it application qs or conceptual knowledge? Then go back and make sure that you really understand the concepts, because this is super important particularly in 3u. You could also talk to your teacher about what may have gone wrong and therefore how you can do next time. Try to think of this as a motivation to do heaps better next time rather than a failure, even though I know this is hard. I tried to do this when I did badly on my first prelim 3u exam and ended up getting 90% in task 2. Maths is a skills subject and therefore is about consistent practice over a long period of time. So, even though it seems really hard, figure out what specifically went wrong and therefore what can be changed for task 2.

    As for mental maths, I suck as well (I do things like 5+7 on a calculator ahaha). As for saving time in exams, try just to slow down and go with your gut feeling to avoid going over it and therefore wasting times. Rushing always results in dumb mistakes (this always happens with me, particularly in 2u and it can be the difference here between high band 5 and band 6). There is also the 'hard start jump to easy method' where you can start with the harder questions and quickly move to the easier ones (after about 30 secs of trying the harder ones) to allow your brain to use its 'diffuse mode.' I also like to read the paper back to front because the harder qs are at the back so my mind can think about them while I do the easier ones. Also for 2u if you finish with enough time (however don't rush) another method is to redo qs without looking at your working (ask for extra booklets) and then compare solutions after this to see if they are the same (and usually right).

    Hope this helps
    thanks so much!!
    yeah, i definitely struggle with test anxiety, although i don't think it was as bad for this ext1 exam
    i did end up panicking when i realised that i had less time to finish, compared to my practice past papers.
    i'll definitely try out your tip of reading the exam first! i think my main issue w/ this one is that i didn't skim through the paper first - time was never an issue for me until this exam

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    Re: failed prelim ext1 maths exam?

    Considering you are in your preliminary year of the HSC, "failing" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Failure is the best teacher, success normally just results in you performing the same thing over because it worked last time, but there is no guarantee that it always win.

    In regards specifically to mathematics, you need to focus on both the content and the exam technique. Topics can be combined in questions, so it is best to recognise what skills are required for each question that you encounter.

    Pay attention in class, and jot down any important notes and details.
    Work through the exercises and homework tasks given, paying attention intentionally to the skills and the methods necessary.
    Studying, which should occur regularly, should occur primarily of practice questions. These can be sourced from the HSC exams, your school exam and other school exams https://thsconline.github.io/s/yr11/

    In the exam, make sure you use the reading time effectively. If the school doesn't provide any, then still take the time to read through the exam. Identify questions that may take you longer, but don't scare yourself about this. Exams are about maximising marks, not getting every questions 100% correct, so focus on getting as many marks as you can --> This means working is key. Tick or circle questions you have done. Personally, I circle the question the first time I have done it, and then tick it after I have checked it

    BoL
    dontbeasavage likes this.
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