Now that JC2 prelim is over, there will be about a month leading to their Cambridge A Level H2 Math papers. This is a critical period for all students to brush up their H2 Math knowledge and exam skills one last time, so here’s our suggestion to our JC2 tuition students regarding their final preparation for their H2 Math exams:

Continue to practice school prelim papers. We should not stop and focus on just the Cambridge Ten-Year Series papers as we need to persist to find ways to stretch ourselves in terms of H2 Math knowledge and applications in order to rise above the cohort. And school’s prelim papers are the kind of practice that will give us this push because they actually contain the accumulated experiences your school teachers acquired looking at all the more difficult problems that have appeared in A Level over the years. So in a sense they are like Ten-Year Series but a filtered version of the more challenging problems.

Do your Ten-Year Series A Level H2 Math Papers, not just as a practice, but with every single one done as a timed trial. This will provide you with the closest opportunities to simulate what you will ultimately experience during A Level. So do them under timed condition, mark and grade them every time you have finished and review your mistakes seriously. And ask yourself what you can do to make improvements and be determined to score higher for your next paper you will attempt.

If you feel you really need an additional boost in terms of H2 Math knowledge, check out Achevas Crash Courses for both Pure Math and Statistics here.

In this second semester of the academic year, our JC2s will be sitting for their A Level exams while the JC1s will sit for their Promotional Exams. Both are important exams that gauge and determine if a student meets the criteria to move on to the next phase of their education. Thus for our A Level JC H2 Math tuition classes, we have been ramping up in exam preparations since June holiday during our tuition classes – we have increase the frequency of practices and getting more in-depth exam paper analysis.

Preparation to sit for an A Level JC H2 Math exam requires additional skills on top of head knowledge that could be acquired through resources from schools’ notes and Achevas TV. This is why during our H2 Math tuition classes, Jack has been working with the students develop skills on how to strategize and improvise in solving more complex problems often encountered in A Level H2 Math exams, and manage their time well so that while doing solving questions with urgency precision will not be compromised.

Here are some A Level JC H2 Math related videos to help you practice school exam papers and analyze them. Hope they help in getting you even more prepared for the upcoming H2 Math exams!

For even more videos to review exam papers with Jack, visit our webpage here. And also hope to see you at our H2 Math Tuition classes!

This week, let’s revisit one of the H2 Math tips I touched on in my last post. Let me share an analogy that I find really useful in explaining my approach to time management during an H2 Math exam.

Doing an A Level H2 Math exam paper is more like competing in a Formula 1 race than a 100-metre dash. How so? Well, it is no longer going to be as straightforward as running at top speed in a straight line. Rather, we should expect to be met with sudden twists and sharp turns along the way.

It goes without saying then, that maintaining the exact same pace will not be the best for us, strategy-wise. After all, no race car driver would drive at the same speed along the straight portion of the circuit and the hairpin turns, unless they want to crash! Similarly, what we need to do is to adjust our pace as needed, speeding up along the straight parts, and slowing down to navigate the sharp turns. It is therefore critical that we learn how to identify when to accelerate, and when to downshift.

Before we jump in: there are a couple of pre-requisites. Firstly, we need to be very well-acquainted with the H2 Math syllabus. Secondly, we must have been practising questions diligently. So if you are ready, then let’s start! “Straight parts” are generally what students know as “direct questions” and “sharp turns” are the more indirect questions.

Direct H2 Math Questions vs Indirect H2 Math Questions

As a rule of thumb, direct H2 Math questions have more instructional components built into the question itself. On the other hand, indirect H2 Math questions will have fewer instructions. Instead, we must extract the information ourselves and utilise it to make logical deductions. When facing questions like these, slow down in the exam and give yourself time to think. Now, this takes a certain level of confidence in order to do so, something which only familiarity and experience can give us.

Slowing Down vs Going Slowly

I want to make it clear that slowing down is not the same thing as going slowly. Take the time to parse through the question analytically. Think about all its aspects critically. By doing so, you will increase your chances of getting the right answer. On the other hand, if you speed through it, you are likely to miss important clues. Going fast may even prove counterproductive if you lose precious time going in the wrong direction.

That being said, it would be impractical to perform microcalculations for each question during the exam. My recommendation would therefore be to go at a good pace for questions you find to be manageable. Conversely, slow down if you aren’t able to immediately get a clear idea of the strategy you should use. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in reality, we naturally relax and slow down when a question seems easy. To counteract this, we need to remind ourselves that if we don’t pick up the pace when we can, we won’t have the luxury of time to think when the need presents itself.

Critical time management skills with my JC2 students

In our recent A Level JC H2 Math tuition classes, my JC2s and I have been focusing on time management. Newsflash: it’s bad practice to base our time allocation for an exam question solely on its mark allocation. What do I mean by this? Say we average out 100 marks across the standard 3 hour exam duration. This works out to be about a minute and 45 seconds we will spend per mark.

Contrary to popular belief, adhering strictly to a cut and dried mark-proportionate time is not good exam strategy. Instead, let’s work on developing critical insight. This is because the key to success is the discretion to quicken our pace or slow down, based on the type of questions we encounter.

During our onsite and online tuition classes, we explored a wide range of exam question types. In the process, we learnt to distinguish between questions we should blaze through with the quickness, and questions we should spend a bit of extra time on.

This is not an easy thing to do but all our JC2 H2 Math classes have done well and I can see that everyone has been applying what you took away from class to your personal revision. A most commendable effort, you guys!

H2 Math Topical Recaps with my JC1 classes

We have officially kicked off our recaps of Semester 1 topics. From my personal observation of the past few years, most Junior Colleges should still be teaching new topics during this time. Unfortunately, this leaves students with considerably less time to revise for the coming Promotional Exams.

With promos inching closer by the day, we need to make the best use of time. As with previous years, I have optimised our H2 Math curriculum accordingly. I will be teaching all new topics covered by the end of year exam at an accelerated pace without compromising quality. This way, we can maximise the time we have for thorough revision.

Most JC1s only manage to squeeze in a cursory round of revision before sitting for their Promotional Exams. My take as an experienced H2 Math tutor? The most effective exam prep involves a few rounds of revision.

Semester 2 is gruelling for JC1 students due to the additional demands of Project Work. It will definitely be a challenge to work in at least two rounds of H2 Math revision. Fortunately, our JC1s are absolute troopers, and it heartens me to see how motivated our they are. I have to give them major props for putting in extra effort. Press on and get in some good and intense H2 Math revision, guys! All while keeping up with lectures and tutorials! Let’s do this thing!

Keep up with our H2 Math tuition classes on YouTube or beef up your revision with our Crash Courses!

In this week’s H2 Math tuition class, we had a go at this particular Rate of Change question from Victoria Junior College. JC students widely consider this to be a very difficult Rate of Change question, but I want to talk about a very interesting observation. Look at the solution independently from the original H2 Math question. It is surprisingly similar to that of an O Level question, isn’t it?

Given that both solutions are virtually identical, why is H2 Math so much harder than O Level Additional Math then? Two words: Instructional components (or rather, the lack thereof).

To explain, when it comes to doing Additional Math questions in secondary school, it is very much a guided process. Questions at this level are usually very instructional, relatively speaking. All the information you need to solve a question will be laid out in front of you. You will be clued in step-by-step. It is a rather straightforward affair of getting from point A to point B.

This is the simple reason why it feels like the rug is pulled out from beneath your feet when it comes to H2 Math. A Level questions have missing instructions. The critical bits are there of course, just not in plain view. It is now up to you to parse the question and glean all necessary bits of data you need. This is the only way to make logical leaps across the yawning chasms. It is a bit like assembling Ikea furniture without any instructions!

So, my advice is: prepare to do a lot of head-scratching as you attack JC Math questions with a fine-tooth comb. The good thing is that building bridges that lead you to the solution is truly rewarding. As they say, there’s nothing as satisfying as scratching an itch.