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August 02, 2021, 12:33:09 pm

Author Topic: How to craft the BEST Maths Methods Bound Reference! [Advice from a 50er]  (Read 950 times)  Share 

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Every year, in every Maths Methods cohort, there are mixed opinions about the effectiveness of the bound reference. Some people view it as a literal bible Ė others think itís a total waste of time. So which one is it? How to make Bound Reference? In this post Iím going to try clearing this up for you and give some advice on how to make the BEST bound reference one you can.

The Bound Reference Ė Why itís more important than you think
When youíre sitting around students who have brought an entire library in, trust me when I say itís best to have one regardless of how confident you are of your maths knowledge. Itís indeed quite terrifying otherwise Ė just think of it as a safety net, essentially. Personally, I only used it 3 times in the exam, but those are potentially three saved marks, and in the exam every mark counts.

Making a Bound Reference is great revision for consolidating your knowledge, and itís something you should be steadily adding to throughout the year. But how to make Bound Reference? The reality is, thereís no single ďperfectĒ way of creating one, but after speaking to fellow high achievers and using my own experiences, here is some advice. 

Before we start, what actually is a bound reference?
Itís exactly what it sounds like! There really are just two requirements. First, as the name suggests, it has to be bound. Meaning that, as if examiners walk by your table, they should be able to shake your reference as hard as possible and it cannot fall apart (you can check out the official VCAA rules here).

Second, it needs to be a reference. Whatever material you think will help you ace the exam and is something that you want to be able to refer to, put it in. This can include notes, summary sheets, example exam questions, and even textbooks if youíre really desperate. Yes, you can technically just bring in textbooks duct-taped together. But we donít necessarily endorse this. 😅

How to make Bound Reference Structure
1. Title Page
Make it unique and something you actually want to work on! During a study break, or when you want to relax productively, you can design one, hopefully itís something you can hold up proudly

2. Table of contents
The most important part of the bound reference is to make sure you can find the information youíre looking for as quickly as possible. And the best way to do that is to have a table of contents. Side benefit is that it makes your reference look very very professional 😎

3. Notes & Examples
Here is where you put in the notes for the most important information in the course. Typed, handwritten, scanned, it doesnít matter, as long as itís readable, and means something to you. 

4. Mistake Bank
Nearing exam time, hopefully you will have a mistake bank of errors youíve made throughout the year. Reflecting on your past mistakes is the best way to learn! Summarise all preventable mistakes, and lay it open next to you as you do the exam (great confidence boost too since youíll see all the difficulties you have overcome in your journey) You can check this out for some images and examples

5. Seperator Questions (45+)
If you are aiming for a 45+ raw study score, it will be good to have a seperator section on the Maths Methods bound reference. Seperator questions typically refer to questions that are below 10% on the examiners report, and there is a good chance of the same type of seperator question appearing on the exam for two different years, sometimes even for several years, there is a pattern! Therefore, having solutions of these seperators will ease your life a lot if encountering the same type of question style on the exam day.

6. Blank Pages
This part is completely optional, but one of the weird things about the exam is that they donít actually provide working out paper. So, if youíre someone like me whoís dependent on a stack of blank paper to be able to do maths, make sure you have plenty of room at the end of your reference!

Top 3 How to Make Bound Reference Tips:
1. Start Early!
This isnít something that you want to leave till the last moment. Although the process of making it is certainly great revision, it is not the most effective thing you can be doing come exam time. You also want to do lots practice exams and SACs with it.  So, if you havenít started yet, make sure to start now! 

2. Size doesnít matter 😉
Thatís right, you heard it here first. Donít get intimidated by the sort of students who duct tape together the entirety of their locker and lug it to the exam room. Itís all about how well you know where everything is, which brings us to the third pointÖ

3. Make it YOURS
Looking at the other peopleís references for ideas is great, but make sure you take your own into the exam room. Thereís nothing worse than needing to look up something youíve forgotten in the middle of an exam, but having to read through 30 pages of foreign notes to find it. Make sure you know your reference inside out!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 09:03:30 pm by Larryy »
2020 - Maths Methods: [50 ~ 50.35]

Free VCE Maths Methods Online Course!


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Thank you so much for this advice!  :)


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Hey guys!

Following my guide above I have received a lot of requests to see my personal bound reference as well as sample references from other high achieving students. So, here they are!

Due to the file upload limit on ATARNotes, I can't attach it here, so if you want a copy you can just fill out this form and I'll send it to you via email. It includes mine, as well as one made by my friend (who achieved 49 raw last year)

However, making your own bound reference is a crucial step to consolidating your knowledge. By all means, have a look at the structure & format of ours, but please make sure to have your own for the exam!

If anyone has further questions feel free to ask them here  :D
2020 - Maths Methods: [50 ~ 50.35]

Free VCE Maths Methods Online Course!