Looking for some HSC Mathematics tips to keep you going?
Whether you’re putting off your maths homework or thinking about why math has started to include so many letters – it’s okay!
We’ve got our top three HSC Mathematics tips from Nishanth, our Online Tutor of 2020!
So what are you waiting for?
Let’s jump right in!
Tip #1 Identify your silly mistakes
You’ve heard it before but identify your silly mistakes!
We’re all susceptible to making them but the sooner you know where you’re going wrong, the better.
Easier said than done, these pesky little mistakes in the HSC can be the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 6!
Not motivation enough? Review any old math test and have a look at how many easy marks you may have lost out on!
With the increase of online learning, the ways teachers and tutors can help have been limited with less points of contact.
While you might be glad your teacher might have stopped checking homework and spotting your mistakes – that responsibility is now yours!
Click here to find out the most common mistakes people make in HSC Maths!
Once you know what to look out for, you can be sure to pay extra attention and grab all those marks.
Step #1. Review every line of working
With tutors like Nishanth unable to check for silly mistakes, he encourages students to review every line of working out.
By finding out how to correct things you already know how to do, you are instantly improving your marks with minimal effort.
Reviewing each line of working as you go ensures that you are not wasting precious time doing the wrong thing.
Subtracting instead of adding, using different operations – these are silly mistakes Nishanth sees all the time, that you can easily fix!
While it can be a hassle at first, it’ll become second nature and should pay off!
Step #2. Make sure each line follows on logically
Although the correct answer in maths is important – the correct method is what will give you the most marks.
A common mistake Nishanth sees is “random things popping in and out of existence” in maths questions.
When you’re writing down your working make sure you know where each element is coming in and out from, it’s like babysitting a child – you always want to know when they are coming and going!
Step #3. Go back to the question if you need
As questions in HSC Mathematics just seem to get longer and longer, Nishanth says it’s important not to rush and to take your time.
If you end up finding mistakes after steps 1 and 2, refer back to the question and confirm that you are doing what it asks.
Use all the clues given to you and write them down somewhere if you need a reminder.
While maths is mainly numbers, comprehension is still important!
Step #4. Check the answers – in depth
More than ever, there is a greater pressure for students to keep themselves in check and correctly identify where they’re going wrong.
So next time you flip to the back of your textbook and see the right answer, check the working out too!
It is easy to assume that we’ve done everything right because we have the correct answer – but that’s not always the case.
Also, take note of the way the working is set out and where marks are allocated.
If you did it in your head but didn’t write it down, they don’t know!
Outta sight, outta mind.
If you do catch a mistake, GREAT!
Be glad you did it now and not in a test!
We all know you can find just about anything on Youtube and that includes all types of maths!
When you’re inevitably struggling with a HSC Maths question without a teacher or tutor on call, Youtube is your greatest asset.
It is an amazing resource to provide (sometimes boring) content in a fun and engaging way.
With less interactions as usual with teachers, tutors and even peers, now is the best time to take advantage of the free resources on Youtube.
Confused on what derivatives are? Youtube
Can’t get in touch with your teacher/tutor before your test? Youtube!
Need to organise your time better? Youtube!!
Unlike real life, Youtube allows you to pause, rewind, skip, speed up and slow down.
Plus, it’s an escape from staring at numbers and words in your textbook.
For easy to follow tutorials on complicated concepts, Nishanth highly recommends videos by Khan Academy which you can find here!
Fun fact: Sal Khan founded Khan Academy after providing online tutoring for his cousin!
These videos go through step by step and allow you to see all working out while guided by a voiceover.
While you’re watching you can even check out the comments to find students you probably relate to!
HSC Mathematics doesn’t have to be a bad time, you just have to find what works for you.
For other great maths resources, check out our article here!
Tip #3 Be consistent
Things need a good foundation to work well, and the same goes for HSC Maths!
Nishanth recommends doing some maths everyday, even if it’s just 10 minutes to ensure that you’re consistently revisiting and engaging with the subject.
This could be doing one question from our list of practice questions a day.
You can find our massive compiled list of past papers here!
In the end, it saves time, stress and improves the quality of your work!
Just because your test isn’t for another 5 weeks, does not mean you have to wait to start studying!
In fact, by doing so you’re not making an efficient use of valuable time and increasing the workload of the days to come.
If you can’t trust yourself, get a friend to check in with you and hold you accountable and vice versa!
By having someone to do this, you feel less alone, can have productive study together and be accountabilibuddies!
If you want to challenge yourself even more, you can inform your teacher of your personal goals and give them permission to hold you accountable how they see fit.
And that concludes our top three HSC Mathematics tips to get a Band 6 – thanks Nishanth!
Gabrielle Wong is currently the Digital Marketing Assistant at Art of Smart. She is a second year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies majoring in Media and Communications and Marketing.