It’s the end of Year 11 and it’s finally dawned on you that you’re about to cross into the threshold of Year 12. You’re staring at the barrel of what seems like no return after a year of having bad assessment scores for Advanced Maths.
While there’s no U-turn or redo button, you can always take the action to change the course of how the rest of the year will progress!
This is exactly what Ashim did — after scoring 35% for his Maths exam at the end of Year 11, it awakened him to buckle down and put in effort to change where the road was headed. With a goal of doing a Bachelor of Science at USyd, he knew he had to change this quickly. At the end of Year 12 HSC Maths, Ashim turned the tables, scoring 85%!
How did he do this? What did he change? Let’s see the insights that Ashim gives for this amazing score.
Tip #1: Recognise that you need help
Maths is like constructing a wall; it requires layers of knowledge and concepts before you can tackle the harder questions. If your skills aren’t developed throughout, then it’ll be very difficult to consolidate that gap, particularly the jump from Year 11 to Year 12 Advanced Maths.
Initially, Ashim didn’t pay attention or have a general interest in learning Advanced Maths and thought it would be okay to scrape by.
This, however, obviously did not work out after receiving a letter advising him to drop the subject at the end of Year 11. From then on, he knew that he needed to change something. And he needed help.
With Ashim’s goal to study a Bachelor of Science, his perspective towards Maths changed. “It was about looking at maths and saying, ‘I need this’, so I need to work hard at it,’” shared Ashim. This was his motivator and driver to put in the hard work.
Making sure you have the right mindset and motivation to making the change will kickstart you in the right direction!
Follow our How to Guide to create your Advanced Maths study notes so you can achieve a Band 6 in your HSC exam!
Tip #2: Get the help you need!
Ashim and his family had recognised that he was going to need some help to get the gears running. And quickly!
They sought after someone who could guide in consolidating the Year 11 Advanced Maths content while progressing in Year 12 as well. For this, he inquired for tutoring classes at Art of Smart and was allocated to Tom in Advanced Maths.
“After getting used to the tutor… everything just sort of worked,” he said.
This was fundamental to helping Ashim lay the foundations and patch up the holes that were missing in his Year 11 knowledge.
Tip #3: Put in the work to improve your marks
Now comes the most difficult part: putting in the work.
Even if you’ve gotten yourself a tutor, that doesn’t mean you will improve unless you apply your knowledge. Ashim said that he dedicated an hour or two of maths everyday, and at the beginning, one of those hours was focused on patching up the holes of his Year 11 Advanced Maths content.
During this time, he was doing textbook exercises, practice papers or smaller activities that would help him for the bigger questions.
“I had to learn [Year 11] material because Year 12 wouldn’t make sense to me if I hadn’t done that,” Ashim indicated.
Improving your score by 50% doesn’t happen overnight. If you really need a big change in your result, sustained daily effort and practice will slowly, but surely, get you to your final destination.
Tip #4: Re-prioritise your tasks
One to two hours of pure Maths everyday can seem quite overwhelming and you might be thinking, what about my other subjects?
For Ashim, his end goal was to enter into the Bachelor of Science which meant Advanced Maths was a requirement for him to be qualified for the course. As a result, he had to rethink the amount of time and effort he would devote to his subjects!
“I put Maths and English at the top [of my priority], and for the rest of everything I did, 30 minutes a day, and it all depended on schedule,” shared Ashim.
As Ashim needed to reconfigure past mistakes and insufficient knowledge for advanced maths, he had to develop a practical plan to make sure he would divide his time based on its importance and the circumstances. Likewise, it shows the importance of time blocking based on the demand of each subject and identifying where you can make those time sacrifices.
Tip #5: Prepare for your assessments effectively
Throughout the year, Ashim had developed different practice techniques to either refine his skills or warm up right before an assessment.
Doing past papers
Leading up to an assessment, he sharpened his skills by completing practice papers which he sourced from his school. This helped Ashim gain pattern recognition in the variety of questions in relation to the concepts.
“By the end of the year… I had 75 papers. It was a lot, but it paid off,” highlighted Ashim.
Before Term 1 or Term 2 exams Ashim tackled around 5 papers, and before the HSC trials he would smash through one almost daily.
Ashim would recreate the conditions of an assessment to simulate the environment of an exam. In this way, he could prepare to think well under time pressure!
For Ashim, his biggest struggle was minor errors which became evident when checking through his practice papers. When this occurred, he would redo the practice mistakes.
“[I redo the questions] until I know where I made the mistakes, why I made it, and if I do a new paper and make it again, then that’s a problem,” Ashim stated.
And that’s it!
By joining Art of Smart Education Advanced Maths class and putting in the dedicated work and effort, Ashim was able to improve his score by 50% in his HSC mark! This proves that you can make that leap as long as you decide to put in the effort!
“Don’t drop Maths! [Putting] in the time and hard work is what will get you there in the end,” shared Ashim.
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Alanah Santos completed her VCE in 2020, achieving an ATAR score of 96.60, and a study score of 40+ in Business Management and Psychology. She’s an enthusiastic Private Tutor on paper but is still trying to claim the title of Bingsu Connoisseur.