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May 19, 2021, 03:21:53 am

Author Topic: I'm 16 exercises behind and feeling hopeless for my Unit 3 exam in 2 weeks  (Read 1150 times)

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youcandothis

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Hi all,

My aim for year 12 math methods exams is to get a B/B+. I don't consider myself good at maths - I'm pretty slow, make stupid mistakes and struggle with complex questions and sometimes even simple questions. For my year 11 exam I was behind for a lot for most of the term and even during revision, and caught up very late and crammed a bit, and I ended up scraping a B- which was a combination of stupid mistakes, and not being able to answer the complex questions. My procrastinating was rooted in my fear and hatred of math.

I told myself that I wouldn't get behind again, but here we are in year 12, and the Unit 3 exam is 15 days away. I still have 16 exercises from the Cambridge textbook to cover (so I'm a little over halfway unit 3). I just started an exercise and an hour later and I'm not even halfway through.

My teacher said people in my class who are behind need to catch up by the end of this week but I don't know if this is even feasible for me. I didn't tell my teacher that I was still severely behind because I had already promised that I'd catch up in the term holidays. I'm thinking of coming clean and asking for a lunchbreak to ask questions. But for that to happen I actually have to do the work. And I don't want to, the only thing moving me is the sheer anxiety and stress of failing. To catch up by the end of this week, my plan is to do 3 exercises a day - but getting even one in a day is long. I'm already behind in my plan in that it's 9pm and I haven't even finished the first exercise. I don't know what to do.

PhoenixxFire

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Hey, assuming each exercise consists of multiple parts, could you try just doing part of each one so that you cover the content without it taking so long?
2019: B. Environment and Sustainability/B. Science @ ANU
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youcandothis

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We're given recommended questions in that exercise which consist of SF and CF questions. I've been skipping CF questions so I can move through faster, but the exercises I'm doing now are 8H-L and are mainly CF questions.

Stormbreaker-X

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Hi all,

My aim for year 12 math methods exams is to get a B/B+. I don't consider myself good at maths - I'm pretty slow, make stupid mistakes and struggle with complex questions and sometimes even simple questions. For my year 11 exam I was behind for a lot for most of the term and even during revision, and caught up very late and crammed a bit, and I ended up scraping a B- which was a combination of stupid mistakes, and not being able to answer the complex questions. My procrastinating was rooted in my fear and hatred of math.

I told myself that I wouldn't get behind again, but here we are in year 12, and the Unit 3 exam is 15 days away. I still have 16 exercises from the Cambridge textbook to cover (so I'm a little over halfway unit 3). I just started an exercise and an hour later and I'm not even halfway through.

My teacher said people in my class who are behind need to catch up by the end of this week but I don't know if this is even feasible for me. I didn't tell my teacher that I was still severely behind because I had already promised that I'd catch up in the term holidays. I'm thinking of coming clean and asking for a lunchbreak to ask questions. But for that to happen I actually have to do the work. And I don't want to, the only thing moving me is the sheer anxiety and stress of failing. To catch up by the end of this week, my plan is to do 3 exercises a day - but getting even one in a day is long. I'm already behind in my plan in that it's 9pm and I haven't even finished the first exercise. I don't know what to do.
Have you tried doing bits and pieces instead of the whole chunk of questions. I think coming clean and telling you teacher you need help is the best way to approach this.

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I'm already behind in my plan in that it's 9pm and I haven't even finished the first exercise. I don't know what to do.

Why?

Knowing the reason may help find a suitable way of addressing it e.g. procrastination/distraction vs sheer amount of work or difficulty

juicebox_441

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    the only thing moving me is the sheer anxiety and stress of failing.

    Stressing and fearing will not help you move forward, nor will it keep you at the same spot. It will just take you back even more. When you're stressing, you'll realise that every time you revise a topic and move forward, you'll forget about the other topics.

    Firstly, work on your mentality before your maths skills. Don't ever think that you can never learn, cuz when you think about it, maths is just a bunch of rules that a human being came up with (well, discovered, cuz they were always there) So think of it this way, if a human being understood the maths concept, why can't you? I guarantee you that you are more than capable of acing maths :) you just need to put in the effort. One thing all of the "class toppers" students share is that they know how much effort they put to get them to where they are now.
    Now lemme tell you how I studied for my unit 3 exam in just a week (from last Wednesday till today :P)

    1- Snap out of regret, anxiety, fear, depression, hatred and all these negative feelings. Your brain should now be occupied with numbers and only numbers, so you don't have time to waste on negativity!

    2- Tell yourself that you can do it. Because you can! I realised that the only way for me to solve a complex unfamiliar level question is if I believed in myself and said "This can't be as bad as it looks...I think I can do it" and don't be scared of numbers!

    3- If you feel tired, go to sleep. Your brain will not handle calculating numbers when you haven't given it the rest it needs. It's like a phone, charge it first, and then use it :)

    Now that we finished with the psychological side of maths, let's move to the physical side of it (man, maths really is a big deal when you think about it ???)
    1- Write down a list of all the topics of unit three. Highlight the things you feel ok with, and the things you think will take you long in different colours. Then work yourself from there step by step  :)

    2- Based on the amount of days you have, make a timetable!!! I cannot stress how important it is to organise your time! You have 15 days (which seems pretty efficient to me) to cover the amount of topics you need, so create a time table and stick to it. Your time table could be that you spend one day for each chapter (assuming that you are revising and not learning the content for the first time). Each day, divide your time into firstly getting familiar with the rules (For example, familiarise your self with the integration laws and make sure to understand them). After that, start with the simple stuff, and then gradually build on if you are aiming to reach the complex levels. "He who wishes to climb a ladder, must do so starting from the bottom step"

    3- When you do questions, make sure you have a little note book where you record down formulas, examples and any mistakes you make. It doesn't need to be a fully worked notebook, just write down steps when tackling a question. Also, every time you make a big mistake which you think you might also make on the exam, write it down. Make sure the notes make sense when you want to read over them again.

    4-Break down the question before you jump into solving it. First, identify what the question is asking. Then, decide which formula fits. After that, decide where the numbers go. Then you calculate the answer and make sure your it is in simplest form and rationalised, and if needed, add a concluding sentence to your answer (it's a good habit to get into which will help you lots on the external).

    5- Practice the same question more than once. Even tho you just finished doing it, go through it again. Make sure you get the answer correct this time as well. If you didn't get the right answer again, go over the same question over and over until you feel ok with it

    6- Remember, YouTube is there for you. You also got atar notes, just post you questions clearly in here and get the help you need. There are so many helpful YouTube videos out there if you know what you are struggling with. If you need, https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-3WfCmSdHBtiKaQdZYO1uzXuLfNCtpMt this is a link to a google drive folder that contains practice exams and unit 3 materials (QCAA style tho, but the questions are still the same I think?

    7- Make sure the area you study at is organised and clean. Seeing how tidy you room or study area is will send chill signals to your brain and make you feel relaxed !

    Stick to your timetable, get some breaks when you need to and make sure you don't burn yourself out. Remember, there is only one answer to a question but the steps to get to that answer may vary :)

    On exam night, try to take things easy, however don't distract yourself with anything other than maths! Keep your brain in the "maths and numbers" zone. Do one question from each chapter only. If there a question bothering you, try to see how they got the answer even if you don't get it. Familiarising your eyes with numbers can help you lots in the future. Get enough sleep (aim for at least 6 hours, though 8 hours are preferred)
    On exam day, do not do any practicing in the morning. You should feel pretty confident by now (but also nervous, cuz we're all humans and we all get nervous) but keep reminding yourself that as long as you put into the effort, your hard work will pay off at the end. Instead, read over the notes you took when you were revising. Skim through the notes, see the mistakes you made and make sure to avoid them. Have a light meal, drink water (not too much tho, you won't wanna regret it during the exam) and up you go! The happier you feel about the exam, surprisingly the better you will perform at it !! So play things cool  8)

    Hope you exam goes well! I did mine today and let me say, the feeling of finally stepping out of the exam room after all the effort you put in feels ~ a m a z i n g ~

    Best of luck![/list][/list]
    « Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 09:00:01 pm by juicebox_441 »

    youcandothis

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    Have you tried doing bits and pieces instead of the whole chunk of questions. I think coming clean and telling you teacher you need help is the best way to approach this.

    I've told my teacher - she's given me a deadline for the latest friday next week to catch up, which is reasonable. Then that's 6 days to revise. If I am not making mistakes in the repetitive questions I'll skip a few, but I tend to make stupid mistakes

    youcandothis

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    Why?

    Knowing the reason may help find a suitable way of addressing it e.g. procrastination/distraction vs sheer amount of work or difficulty

    It's a combination of procrastination, sheer amount of work and difficulty haha - there's so much to do which intimidates which has led me to put it off, and I get stuck on questions pretty easily or make stupid mistakes and spend time backtracking and trying to see what I did wrong

    Bri MT

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    It's a combination of procrastination, sheer amount of work and difficulty haha - there's so much to do which intimidates which has led me to put it off, and I get stuck on questions pretty easily or make stupid mistakes and spend time backtracking and trying to see what I did wrong

    Ok here are some thoughts:

    - sleep deprivation is likely to make all of those worse so really try to make sure you have a healthy sleep schedule!
    - try to get a few done as soon as you get home. Doesn't have to be heaps but getting something small done initially can really help break the cycle of procrastination. Maybe like, 5 questions before you do anything else
    - keep your phone out of sight and notifications off while you work. Same for laptop notifications.
    - if you're finding the basic content difficult look up online videos etc.
    - focus more on getting some done rather than on getting everything done. Often after you do some it's easier to do more, but start off focusing on getting something done rather than everything done.
    - if you're getting stuck easily and making lots of mistakes you might not have great understanding. Make sure you ask for help & clarification (peers, teacher, on the forums, tutoring... wherever just get support for things you don't understand)


    I hope this helps :)

    youcandothis

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        Stressing and fearing will not help you move forward, nor will it keep you at the same spot. It will just take you back even more. When you're stressing, you'll realise that every time you revise a topic and move forward, you'll forget about the other topics.

        Firstly, work on your mentality before your maths skills. Don't ever think that you can never learn, cuz when you think about it, maths is just a bunch of rules that a human being came up with (well, discovered, cuz they were always there) So think of it this way, if a human being understood the maths concept, why can't you? I guarantee you that you are more than capable of acing maths :) you just need to put in the effort. One thing all of the "class toppers" students share is that they know how much effort they put to get them to where they are now.
        Now lemme tell you how I studied for my unit 3 exam in
    just a week (from last Wednesday till today :P)

    1- Snap out of regret, anxiety, fear, depression, hatred and all these negative feelings. Your brain should now be occupied with numbers and only numbers, so you don't have time to waste on negativity!

    2- Tell yourself that you can do it. Because you can! I realised that the only way for me to solve a complex unfamiliar level question is if I believed in myself and said "This can't be as bad as it looks...I think I can do it" and don't be scared of numbers!

    3- If you feel tired, go to sleep. Your brain will not handle calculating numbers when you haven't given it the rest it needs. It's like a phone, charge it first, and then use it :)

    Now that we finished with the psychological side of maths, let's move to the physical side of it (man, maths really is a big deal when you think about it ???)
    1- Write down a list of all the topics of unit three. Highlight the things you feel ok with, and the things you think will take you long in different colours. Then work yourself from there step by step  :)

    2- Based on the amount of days you have, make a timetable!!! I cannot stress how important it is to organise your time! You have 15 days (which seems pretty efficient to me) to cover the amount of topics you need, so create a time table and stick to it. Your time table could be that you spend one day for each chapter (assuming that you are revising and not learning the content for the first time). Each day, divide your time into firstly getting familiar with the rules (For example, familiarise your self with the integration laws and make sure to understand them). After that, start with the simple stuff, and then gradually build on if you are aiming to reach the complex levels. "He who wishes to climb a ladder, must do so starting from the bottom step"

    3- When you do questions, make sure you have a little note book where you record down formulas, examples and any mistakes you make. It doesn't need to be a fully worked notebook, just write down steps when tackling a question. Also, every time you make a big mistake which you think you might also make on the exam, write it down. Make sure the notes make sense when you want to read over them again.

    4-Break down the question before you jump into solving it. First, identify what the question is asking. Then, decide which formula fits. After that, decide where the numbers go. Then you calculate the answer and make sure your it is in simplest form and rationalised, and if needed, add a concluding sentence to your answer (it's a good habit to get into which will help you lots on the external).

    5- Practice the same question more than once. Even tho you just finished doing it, go through it again. Make sure you get the answer correct this time as well. If you didn't get the right answer again, go over the same question over and over until you feel ok with it

    6- Remember, YouTube is there for you. You also got atar notes, just post you questions clearly in here and get the help you need. There are so many helpful YouTube videos out there if you know what you are struggling with. If you need, https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-3WfCmSdHBtiKaQdZYO1uzXuLfNCtpMt this is a link to a google drive folder that contains practice exams and unit 3 materials (QCAA style tho, but the questions are still the same I think?

    7- Make sure the area you study at is organised and clean. Seeing how tidy you room or study area is will send chill signals to your brain and make you feel relaxed !

    Stick to your timetable, get some breaks when you need to and make sure you don't burn yourself out. Remember, there is only one answer to a question but the steps to get to that answer may vary :)

    On exam night, try to take things easy, however don't distract yourself with anything other than maths! Keep your brain in the "maths and numbers" zone. Do one question from each chapter only. If there a question bothering you, try to see how they got the answer even if you don't get it. Familiarising your eyes with numbers can help you lots in the future. Get enough sleep (aim for at least 6 hours, though 8 hours are preferred)
    On exam day, do not do any practicing in the morning. You should feel pretty confident by now (but also nervous, cuz we're all humans and we all get nervous) but keep reminding yourself that as long as you put into the effort, your hard work will pay off at the end. Instead, read over the notes you took when you were revising. Skim through the notes, see the mistakes you made and make sure to avoid them. Have a light meal, drink water (not too much tho, you won't wanna regret it during the exam) and up you go! The happier you feel about the exam, surprisingly the better you will perform at it !! So play things cool  8)

    Hope you exam goes well! I did mine today and let me say, the feeling of finally stepping out of the exam room after all the effort you put in feels ~ a m a z i n g ~

    Best of luck![/list][/list]

    Thank you for all this!  ;D I've made a catchup timetable, although I heavily overestimate how much I can do in a given time haha. My aim is to finish catching up by next wednesday, which leaves me a week to revise, which for me consists of looking through the examples of each exercises and potentially doing them again, redoing hard questions and then doing practise exams in this order. (To clarify, when I refer to chapters, they have sub exercises. I have 4 chapters and in each chapter is 7-12 exercises). Do you have any tips for a revising plan? Do a day for an indepth revision of each chapter like you suggested (I like this but that leaves only 3 days for practise exams as I have 4 chapters to cover in 4 days), or a mainly broad revision of everything (skimming through examples), before moving on to practise exams faster? However, since I am covering/cramming around half of the unit's content so close to the exam, perhaps a lot of this already counts as revision as it will be fresh in my mind.

    For me, I don't think a week to revise is enough for me to be confident (although it worked for you, so good on you!) but catching up is taking a long time so this will probably the reality. I've got an Excel spreadsheet where I rank exercises by difficulty and note which questions I got wrong and should redo (a lot) but I have a notebook for it too.

    I feel that my messy setting out makes it easier for me to make stupid errors (or just not recognising things), but I already take enough time as is working through questions (by this I mean understanding what it means and finding a solution). Any tips on reducing stupid errors in an exam, and understanding and coming up with solutions to worded complex questions? I've found that once I understand what the question is asking, I have a general idea of where to go, but then the worked solutions show a logical something that I would never think of for myself.

    And I just saw your reply BriMT, thank you! I'll definitely try my best to implement this. I've recently been sleeping 11pm-2am to get things done as I am more motivated/focused at night, but I could push this back to 11pm-12am.

    Bri MT

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    For tackling silly errors:
    - Having an "end of question checklist" (e.g. check units, check you answered the question)
    - Redoing questions

    For complex questions:
    - Strong understanding of the topic
    - Drawing simple diagrams
    - Practice picking out how information can be represented using equations

    For both:
    - Clear working
    - Having a log of mistakes where you right down what you've previously gotten wrong
    - Rereading questions
    - Highlighting key words/terms
    - Getting enough sleep so you can focus, problem solve & access your memory more easily


    3 hours sleep is scary. You won't be getting much REM sleep which is important for memory and learning. Plus your concentration is likely to be much worse.

    youcandothis

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    For tackling silly errors:
    - Having an "end of question checklist" (e.g. check units, check you answered the question)
    - Redoing questions

    For complex questions:
    - Strong understanding of the topic
    - Drawing simple diagrams
    - Practice picking out how information can be represented using equations

    For both:
    - Clear working
    - Having a log of mistakes where you right down what you've previously gotten wrong
    - Rereading questions
    - Highlighting key words/terms
    - Getting enough sleep so you can focus, problem solve & access your memory more easily


    3 hours sleep is scary. You won't be getting much REM sleep which is important for memory and learning. Plus your concentration is likely to be much worse.

    I normally get at least 6 hours of sleep. By log of mistakes, do you mean describing what I got wrong, or doing the question again the way I did it that is wrong? Currently I just note the questions I get wrong down on Excel to redo later (there's a LOT). If I make a mistake I star the question and write a descriptive note next to it about what to do to get it right.

    Bri MT

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    I normally get at least 6 hours of sleep. By log of mistakes, do you mean describing what I got wrong, or doing the question again the way I did it that is wrong? Currently I just note the questions I get wrong down on Excel to redo later (there's a LOT). If I make a mistake I star the question and write a descriptive note next to it about what to do to get it right.

    oh lol I read 11-2 and rather than interpreting it as when you fell asleep I thought that was your total sleep time. 6 is still not ideal for a teenager but it's definitely better.

    People set up logs of mistakes in different ways but generally they include the question you got wrong, where it was from, what you specifically did that was incorrect, what you should've done & the topic. It's great that you've already been keeping track of your missed questions to redo them :)

    youcandothis

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    oh lol I read 11-2 and rather than interpreting it as when you fell asleep I thought that was your total sleep time. 6 is still not ideal for a teenager but it's definitely better.

    People set up logs of mistakes in different ways but generally they include the question you got wrong, where it was from, what you specifically did that was incorrect, what you should've done & the topic. It's great that you've already been keeping track of your missed questions to redo them :)

    Haha I wouldn't be able to function with that little sleep, thanks for the tips! Did you have any advice for a revision structure/plan? Once I finish catching up, I'll have around a week left - I know I have to go through the content again (redoing questions, examples, rewriting formulas) before I do practise exams but am not sure how to ration out the time.

    Bri MT

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    Haha I wouldn't be able to function with that little sleep, thanks for the tips! Did you have any advice for a revision structure/plan? Once I finish catching up, I'll have around a week left - I know I have to go through the content again (redoing questions, examples, rewriting formulas) before I do practise exams but am not sure how to ration out the time.

    No worries!

    Given you'll have just done the questions you'll probably have a decent idea of what you need to work on more & hence what you should be prioritising. At that stage you may not find redoing examples to be a good use of time? I had a very "do what should be done" style and didn't really do strict timetabling but imo leave at least 2/3 days for exams if you can even if that means not getting everything you'd like to done.

    On that note, part of your assessment prep is helping yourself be wakeful and alert & in a good mindset at the time of your assessment - which probably means not just pushing everything aside in favour of maths all week :)

    Not sure if this helps clarify things but hopefully it does :)