How to Finish Your A-Maths Paper on Time

Published on 25 May 2021 by Edu Aid | For Students | Mathematics | Study and Exams Tips & Guide

Clever young college student in maths class

A-Maths can be a challenging subject for anyone, especially if Maths is not your forte. Unfortunately, the lengthy exam papers can present an added challenge to finish each Maths paper while racing against the clock. Without the correct techniques, you may find yourself rushing to finish the last part of each paper, with little to no time for checking. In the worst case, it may even be difficult to finish writing all your answers before the time is up.

If you are one of the many students who frequently run out of time on your A-Maths examination, rest assured that you are not alone. At our A-Maths tuition in Singapore, we frequently receive questions from students on how they can finish their papers more efficiently. Even the best students can encounter this problem, which is why we have come up with this list of tips to help you clear each A-Maths paper with speed while achieving top scores at the same time.

Work on Test Questions

One great way to improve your speed and accuracy in A-Maths is to keep practising on exam questions. This will not only help you internalise the concepts better, but it will also help you get used to how typical exam questions are structured. Since most exam questions follow a similar format, once you have enough practice, you will be able to identify the answering technique required for each question at first glance. This effectively cuts down on a lot of thinking time, helping you zone in on the correct method right away!

You can find a surplus of A-Maths exam questions in ten-year-series assessment books, which are available from most bookstores. Some assessment books organise their questions by topic, making it easier for you to practice on one topic at a time. Alternatively, you can also obtain past-year papers from various top schools, which are great for recreating the exam experience and training you to spot each topic out of a mix. If you have friends from other schools, you could always trade exam papers to get even more practice material! The best thing about this idea is that it helps you get the most recent test papers instead of those from past years.

Pacing Yourself Well

If you know you have a problem with keeping time during an A-Maths paper, be sure to keep an eye on that clock right from the start of the exam. It might help to bring a watch along and place it on your desk especially if your seat is too far away from the wall clock. When the time begins, look through the whole paper before starting on the first question. This gives you an idea of how many question parts there are and how long you might need to answer them. Even if there seems to be a small number of questions in total, be sure not to overlook the sub-parts of each question, which can be lengthier than short-answer questions. Once you have an overview of the paper, divide your time and allocate an appropriate amount of time to spend on each section. For instance, you typically want to spend no more than one or two minutes on each multiple-choice or short-answer question, so perhaps you might need twenty minutes to half an hour for the first section. You can write this down at the top of every section if it helps you remember better. Try to finish each section within the time you have allocated for it, and once your time is up for each section, move on to the next part even if you have not finished. It is important to stay on track and leave sufficient time for checking and coming back to any uncompleted parts.

Start from the Back

The longest and most challenging questions usually come towards the end of the paper, and they typically also carry the most weightage in marks. If you often experience difficulties finishing the longer questions, it may be worth attempting those questions first and leave the easier sections for last. This can also help prevent you from spending too much time on the first section, thus leaving too little time for the last part. Keep in mind that starting from the back is just a matter of preference and may not work best for everyone, but it is worth a shot!

Practice Makes Perfect

Above all, the best advice we can give is to keep practising until you are thoroughly familiar with the entire syllabus and exam format. Even then, try not to be complacent and keep working on it whenever you have the time! For even better practice on A-Maths questions, we suggest looking for a tuition agency in Singapore where you can dedicate a few hours a week to working on your A-Maths skills.

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