VCE maths methods is a challenging subject, many year 12 students often struggle with this type of mathematics. What makes VCE methods quiet difficult is that it does not test the foundations and basics of mathematics, rather it assumes that students have a very good understanding of mathematics already. VCE Methods tests the student’s ability to integrate mathematics into application type questions. This means that knowing simply the basics of VCE maths methods will not guarantee high marks in the subject. Here are some tips about improving your VCE Math Methods marks.
Be committed and disciplined
VCE maths methods is not a subject that you can easily cram, simply knowing how to substituting numbers into formulas will not help you achieve good marks. To do well in VCE methods, you need to train every single day. Most people could not simply begin to run a marathon in one night – this is because their muscles would not be used to such stress and strain. A gradual build-up of strength is necessary to become a good athlete. Similarly, you will not be able to achieve great marks in one VCE methods cramming session – to excel in VCE math methods you really need to practice maths every single day.
It is necessary to practice maths not only when you have homework due, but also, simply to train your mind. If you do not do maths for a long time, it becomes very easy to forget your times tables or become confused about different types of math laws. It is therefore important to train consistently – we recommend studying about one hour every day for methods, that is if you want to do well.
Be smart in your studying
Simply working for an hour a day will not really guarantee excellence in VCE maths methods. It is both quantity and quality of your study that counts. If you practice 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day for methods that you focus on very simple questions – this is not efficient study. It is important to understand what to study in methods, so that your time is used efficiently.
When studying for your SAC or exam, do not focus on the basic questions. In fact you shouldn’t put more than 20% of your focus towards these questions. Why not more? Because your exam will be much more challenging than simple exercise questions. So putting more than 20% of your focus, on exercise questions will be a waste of time. What do you do with the other 80% of your focus? Find challenging, analytical questions to practice.
It is vital that you begin to train analysis questions from the very beginning of your VCE math method journey. This puts together the basic skills into a bigger picture. You begin to understand how the foundations of methods interlink – and what they actually allow you to find. When you are simply focusing on basic questions, most of this is micromanaging. Methods is not a micromanaging subject – it requires you to broaden your understanding of maths by applying the basics to analytical questions.
Spend 80% of your time working out questions that are difficult and challenging. This will prepare you for SACs as well as your exams. Make sure that you have a good try at these difficult questions as well.
Be determined to solve your own problems
Don’t just take the easy way and ask your teacher straight away, rather use your own critical thinking skills to solve problems. After all your teacher will not be there with you in exam so try to achieve a bit of independence with your learning.
The most effective learning takes place when you try a question yourself – multiple times, using different strategies. Although this is more time-consuming, you are bound to remember the steps for your exam. By answering questions yourself, or at least attempting to answer them yourself, you will reach the boundary of your own knowledge. In other words you will know exactly what piece of information you are missing to answer the question, once you find this piece of information it will broaden the boundary of your knowledge.
Solving the problem on your own, will also develop and deepen your critical thinking skills. Rather than passively accepting an answer from your teacher or tutor, you will gain confidence in your own ability to solve challenging problems. Passive learning is not an effective way of learning.
Don’t expect yourself to achieve great results in a short period of time, it will take a while until your VCE math methods marks begin to improve. This is especially true if you behind, or if you have a poor understanding of mathematical laws. However slowly, with enough determination, hard work and dedication you will find that your marks begin to improve. Develop a bit of patience with yourself, don’t criticize yourself too much – because this will only make your self-image worse.
Work on speed : accuracy ratio
In VCE math methods usually there are two extremes – students that work too quickly through questions and make multiple mistakes vs. students that work too slowly but are accurate. Both are detrimental to your marks. Only by practicing multiple trial exams and trail tests under timed conditions can you begin to reach the perfect speed: accuracy ratio. Aim to do about a minimum 12 practice exams (under exam conditions) for Maths Methods before going to your official exam.
Practice some Academy Plus online tests
Academy Plus has constructed a few practice exams and tests for students to work through. These are 100% free and include step-by-step worked answers. You can find these practice exams under the link online methods tests. So be sure to practice if you would like to achieve a good mark in methods, or if you seriously considering to improve in this subject.
To find some excellent VCE methods tutors for either private tutoring or a class-based tutoring we recommend that you have a look at our tutor database. This can be found on the Academy Plus homepage by clicking on “top tutor”. Academy Plus has a reputable group of professional tutors that are passionate in inspiring and teaching VCE students. Our group of devoted professionals wish to help unscramble VCE methods for hundreds of students that are struggling with the subject.