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Class X board exams: Taming mathematics
Top Careers & You
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December 27, 2007

The Class X board examination is just around the corner. Now, with barely two months to go, there is nothing more important than to study with concentration and focus. Of all the subjects in the examination (mathematics, science, social sciences, Hindi and English), mathematics is usually considered the toughest.

The subject requires more time to prepare than any of the others. However, with the changes in the examination pattern this year, students need to be smart rather than being merely hardworking. Experts from TCYonline provide a few important tips for the students on how to prepare for the Mathematics paper.

Never read mathematics
Always use a pen and paper for practice. Often students tend to mug up the questions, particularly the theorems, which is not good preparation. Never learn and mug up any question or theorem. You would be able to reproduce the solution of a question in the examination only if you have practiced writing earlier.

Make a timetable
The mantra for success in any examination is not just "hard work" but "hard work in the right direction". There is no point in revising a chapter 15 times. Rather, prepare 15 chapters, at least one time each. While making a timetable, first identify your strong and weak areas. Select the chapters with which you are quite comfortable. Devote less time to these chapters in your timetable. Spend more time on the difficult chapters such as triangles, circles, surface areas and volumes. While preparing, mark the questions and topics that you find difficult. Again, devote more time to these trouble areas instead of procrastinating or avoiding them.

Frequent testing
To gain confidence in mathematics, the best method is to turn to a few model test papers and tests after revising a chapter and do the questions in these tests. Also, do all the questions given in sample papers. Work on the papers like you are taking the actual exam, the confidence you gain from this exercise will be well worth the effort.

Important formulae and definitions
Every chapter of mathematics contains certain formulae and definitions that every student is expected to know. Before learning any formula, read the definition related to it and make sure that you have understood the definition.

If the definition is clear to you, you can derive the formula (even if you forget it). While studying, mark the formulae that you find are difficult to derive. Revise these formulae again and again to make sure that these are on your fingertips.

Another important factor is the regularity of practice. No doubt all the subjects are equally important and you must spend a significant amount of time on each. However, make sure that your timetable takes care of mathematics on a regular basis.

A few days before the examination
Prepare for the mathematics examination according to a plan. First, divide the chapters of mathematics into 3 segments --Segment I, Segment II and Segment III.

In Segment I, put the chapters that you find very easy.

In Segment II, put the chapters that you think are the most difficult.

In Segment III, put all the remaining chapters (these are the ones that can't be fitted into Segment I or II).

Never start your examination preparation with the difficult chapters. Instead, start by doing the easy chapters (Segment I). The easier chapters will boost your confidence at the start of your preparation. After preparing all the chapters in Segment I, take a small test from the model test papers covering the questions from all the chapters of Segment I. Make sure that the preparation of this segment takes the minimum time.

After finishing Segment I, turn to Segment II. Now this segment consists of chapters in which you are not very confident. Read all the definitions and formulae of these chapters and write each one of them at least twice. Do not begin a chapter or a topic that you have never studied before. Leave such chapters or topics for later. Again, when you have finished the preparation of this segment, take a small test.

Now start preparing for Segment III. This segment consists chapters that can be considered of average difficulty. Now that you have prepared for the easy questions and very difficult questions, this segment won't trouble you much. After finishing the preparation, take a small test.

While preparing the different segments, keep marking the formulae and definitions. Write all the formulae and definitions at least twice before the examination. In mathematics, there is more than one method to solve particular types of questions. Make sure you practice all the methods.

You should finish your preparation by the night before the exam. Do not leave anything for the last moment. Do only a quick revision on the morning of exam day.

In the examination
Starting last year, the CBSE has been providing 15 minutes extra for reading the question paper. You must use these 15 minutes to the maximum advantage. Read all the questions very carefully. You can begin with any question, but remember a good beginning means half the job done.

So, always begin with questions you feel 100 per cent confident about. Avoid overwriting and scratching in the answer sheet. Keep a check on time. Do not spend too much time on any one question.

After finishing the paper, count the number of questions that you have attempted. Make sure no question is left un-attempted. Do not leave the examination hall even if you have finished your paper well before the finishing time. Check all your answers just to make sure.

With a well-planned preparation and consistent analysis of your performance in sample tests, it should not be too difficult to find your way to the Magic 100 figure.

Top Careers & You has been preparing national and international candidates for high-end tests viz. GRE, GMAT, SAT, NTSE and Class X Boards since 1998. Visit to have FREE access to MOCK NTSEs, MOCK CBSEs, online tests, and quizzes on topics like Business Awareness, puzzles and the English Language.

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