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May 25, 2019, 02:53:42 am

Author Topic: I was told 4U is going to drag me down  (Read 595 times)  Share 

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clovvy

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I was told 4U is going to drag me down
« on: January 30, 2018, 08:20:26 pm »
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Hi, judging from the list of my subjects and first impressions from my subject selections, most would think that I am decent and really good at maths when the total opposite is true... I  have a very weak foundation in many areas (though they are getting covered) mainly geometry (I never manage to cover that one and I find geometry the hardest, even simple once are harder than X2 type inductions).... Today my 4U tutor decided to do harder circle geo and start us off with yr 10 questions where I could only do the very simple.... then I find myself lost and couldn't do the rest.... she then concluded I will not be able to cope with X2 unless I 'miraculously learned all of the basics'.... tbh I never pass any of my 3U assessments in yr 11 (term 4 of last year was the very first time I actually did decent) which is a clear indication of not taking the course but I decided to take it anyway to have a feel of it (though I keep another subject just in case I decided to drop).... but then I drop that other subject out of anger (not gonna tell why)... now I am stuck with 10 units and most people have urged me to drop it (though my teacher decided to take me because I work hard and still believed I can manage to cope with the course... and I am one of the only 2 people who did the course and the only 3 who did X1 at the end)... I do not hate 4U at all and I am actually interested with the harder 3U and mechanics mainly which is odd given that I have weak foundation of yr 10 maths..... I want to know what you guys think given the circumstances and are there any possibilities of getting an E4 in this subject for me.. thanks
2018 HSC: 4U maths, 3U maths, Standard English, Chemistry, Physics

RuiAce

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Re: I was told 4U is going to drag me down
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 09:03:38 pm »
+7
Whilst I can see the point she's making, your tutor is a bit blunt to just throw that at you. Whatever your peers say about dropping doesn't mean anything anymore at this point.

When I was young, I was taught a lesson. Math is building a brick wall. If in one layer you don't place a brick, you can't safely build over it and expect it to be sturdy. If you lack a foundation, you can't build on top of that foundation and create development.
Unless, of course, you fill that gap with another brick. i.e., get back the foundation.

When it comes to lost marks, the main thing to ask yourself first is why are they being lost. Is it a result of stress, time management, content or whatever. That dictates the type of advice that'd be helpful to you. And the sooner you fix it all up, the more chances you have at acquiring that E4.

Since you have already singled out geometry, I'll give some advice regarding that first. You should still think about if anything else is impeding your results. If nothing else is, that's fair enough, but you should be thinking as hard as you can.
______________________________________________________________________

For both 3U and 4U circle geometry, you can't expect to do it without the foundation - 2U geometry. If you cannot handle those questions, you need to backtrack and do them first. For 2U geometry, this is my checklist:
- Ensure that I know all the terminology first (e.g. notation, what an angle is and blah). This is of course easy.
- Categorise the main theorems. Some of the common ones include parallel lines, properties/tests for a quadrilateral, congruency and similarity
- Identify what makes each theorem characteristic. (e.g. alternate angles will feature the Z shape)
- Know what each theorem even looks like. (e.g. alternate angles are as above. Similar triangles are just one being larger than the other.)
- Start properly memorising each theorem. In doing so, you should be thinking a bit about HOW/WHY each thing happens. (e.g. "HOW" parallelograms have opposite angles equal to each other.)
- Optionally, start sticking theorems up on posters in your walls.
Then, you'd be tackling questions
- Recall what each theorem looks like.
- Single out EVERY bit of information in the question. In math, they will not give you extraneous data, unlike science which tries to trick you. And read the question to know what's important
- Draw a diagram if it's not already provided.
- Look at ONE TO THREE things at a time. Do not stare at the entire diagram. Focus on little bits of it, and move on when you can't draw the link quite yet.
- ANTICIPATE the possibility that the method is not obvious (especially in later parts of the question). Some questions may only be done BY first recognising similar triangles or a hidden quadrilateral. Never rule out possibilities, because only at most 20% of the time will an idea be stupid.

And you should be doing as many of these until you feel confident with it. Once you feel confident at all of that, KEEP those dot points and add in the following, as you start tackling 3U circle geometry.
- Terminology, once more. Especially things such as equal radii, concentric circles, concyclic points etc.
- Move through the theorems section by section. Ensure you know all the theorems involving chords and arcs, before adding in a cyclic quadrilateral. And lastly the tangents
- Again, recognise what each theorem LOOKS LIKE. (e.g. alternate segment theorem involves a triangle and a tangent. Memorise that, and which angles are equal. Another could just be angles in the same segment - the shape of the two triangles involved looks like a bowtie.)
- Make sure you know all of them. Textbooks such as maths in focus will leave out valuable ones. The Cambridge textbook has the lot.
- Once you know what they look like, draw them out again, labelling which angles are equal and at the very least think about why they are (i.e. the statement of the theorem itself)
Then, you'd be tackling questions
- There is more information that can be SUBTLY given, instead of made explicit. (e.g. if they tell you there is a diameter, then it's very much possible that the angle in a semicircle will be useful.)
- Put both 2U AND 3U theorems to the test. It's fair enough to prioritise 3U theorems, but that doesn't mean 2U ones are a waste. Especially once you get to 4U circle geometry - trick questions love to put in 2U theorems.
- Label angles everywhere. You never know where just working backwards on the diagram would help you. Nor do you always know that a pair of similar triangles have been hidden around.

It's important to work at a steady pace. You don't want to spend forever on it because it'll eat away valuable studying time for other things, but you DO want to spend enough time to get through each step properly.

clovvy

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Re: I was told 4U is going to drag me down
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 09:12:50 pm »
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Thanks for the tips Rui, at least I get my hope back because I literally came home devastated with how shit I am basically..... Well what's done is done, true I have sooo many bricks not built properly so I don't really know how much time I needed exactly to build foundations but it will surely eat away my spare time
2018 HSC: 4U maths, 3U maths, Standard English, Chemistry, Physics

RuiAce

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Re: I was told 4U is going to drag me down
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 09:16:36 pm »
+5
Perhaps, the biggest challenge for you at this point is to not eat away all of the spare time. Constantly doing math ain't gonna help either; you're gonna need breaks. But without a doubt, building all of the foundations is going to make the most difference in the long run.

(P.S. Nice Tsukasa Eishi btw)