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Are you studying intelligently?

Antonio Diniz | March 15, 2005

Yesterday, Get Ahead tried to simplify your Mathematics and Physics papers.

Here are some more helpful suggestions:

Math and PhysicsMaths and Physics involve the following four areas:

1Knowledge of concepts

This is merely an acquisition of knowledge and is generally memory-dependent. For example: theorems in geometry and derivation of formulae in algebra must be learnt thoroughly.

2Thorough understanding of all concepts and how they are linked to other related concepts

This is linked to the interpretation of concepts.

For instance, you may know the definition of force, mass and acceleration because you have memorised the definitions.

But have you really understood how they are related to each other?  

3Problem-solving skills

4Applications of concepts to new situations

Depending on the extent of preparation over the year, here is what you should try to cover before the exam:  

~ Do you study at the last minute?

If you have not been studying throughout the year, but want to at least pass, prepare yourself by learning all concepts thoroughly and trying to understand as many as you can.

Do not attempt to master other skills, like problem-solving, drawing of diagrams and application of concepts to new situations, which you have neglected during the year. It will be difficult to master these at the last minute.

~ Are you an average student?

If you have been consistent throughout the year and already have a good grasp of all the concepts, but are still weak in Math, apply yourself to those areas where you are sure you will definitely score.

For instance, you could take problems which have already been solved by your teacher in class; practise those similar to these and some of the application-type questions, which are directly related to concepts you have learnt.

~ Do you top your class?

In every question paper, there will be 10 to 15 per cent marks allotted to indirect questions, which are totally different from what you have already learnt or practised.

They are based on a combination of two or more concepts learnt and are, therefore, somewhat tricky.

You need to combine your knowledge, understanding and mental skills intelligently to arrive at the answer.

If you have been taking your studies seriously and have been performing well consistently and are determined to excel, concentrate more on applying yourself to problem-solving.

Practise how to apply the knowledge and understanding to new situations both directly and indirectly.

This will help you to be more confident and answer most of the questions, if not all, correctly.


Antonio Diniz, a supervisor of Science at the Indian School, Muscat, has over 30 years of teaching experience.

Image: Dominic Xavier

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