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How to prepare for Maths HL?

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4 replies to this topic

#1
fcb1013

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I will start maths hl in fall. I am currently in the standard maths class.

 

1) Do you know of standard level students who have done well in HL maths?

2) How much time might I have to commit to doing maths each day/week?

3) How can I better prepare for this course on my own during the summer? Any websites, revision textbooks, or other resources which would be helpful?

4) I am working on SAT 2 maths, how difficult is this compared to what's covered in maths hl?

5) What are some general maths skills or habits which are important for maths hl? Any general tips on how to do well?

 

Thank you!



#2
Wicquor

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Hi!
I do HL-Maths and considering that I'm doing terribly in it (mostly because of my general unwillingness to work which will change in the near future and my intense dislike for maths, which also might change in the near future) I might not be the best person for advice, but hopefully my experience means soemthing to you x3.

 

1) Do you know of standard level students who have done well in HL maths?

- From year 10 standard maths to year 11 HL maths? I did standard maths and I'm not doing very well (by not doing very well, I mean 65% - 70%), but I do know students who do very well (85% - 90%). The vast majority of standard maths students are not doing as well as people who did advanced (year 11) maths in year 10, but that doesn't mean we don't have room for improvement. ;P

 

If you mean students from SL maths moving to HL maths, then I don't know, sorry. That isn't allowed in my school. But I assume you don't mean this seeing as your exams are in May 2015, meaning you haven't even started the IB yet xP.

 

2) How much time might I have to commit to doing maths each day/week?

- Well, practice is the best way to excel in HL Maths. And the homework can be rather intense as well, so ... expect at least 2 hours a day, I suppose? If you're as slow as I am. You'll probably spend more time on maths during the weekend, so about 12-15 hours a week, which is really not a lot for your education.

 

3) How can I better prepare for this course on my own during the summer? Any websites, revision textbooks, or other resources which would be helpful?

- DON'T. Please don't. The Pre-IB should have prepared you enough and the IB's not intent on screwing your brains out, really. Brush up on the maths you learnt, fail the first few tests, learn from your mistakes, prepare for your exams; you'll be fine then.

 

4) I am working on SAT 2 maths, how difficult is this compared to what's covered in maths hl?

- I'm not American; I don't know anything about SATs, so ... sorry :/.

 

5) What are some general maths skills or habits which are important for maths hl? Any general tips on how to do well?

- Algebra. Algebra is super, super important; brush up on your factorisation, do your simultaneous equations ... essentially, you need to know your year 10 algebra inside out. Trig. is really important too! A lot of the HL-maths course is trig oriented and thus knowing your trig would b beneficial ... you'll probably have quick revision lessons in class about this, but it won't hurt you to know it.

Also, statistics (I mean, absolute hell, ugh, the bane of my existence); brush up on your stats. knowledge too. Cumulative frequency tables, histograms, line graphs, etc., etc. Super important stuff.

Would really help you to also learn how to use a graphic calculator, if you don't already know how to; Youtube has tutorials, or Googling tutorials can help too. I would suggest that you wait a bit before you actually buy one, to clarify with your teacher what models are IB approved because they cost a lot and you don't want to buy the wrong kind. o:

 

Good luck for HL-Maths!

 

EDIT: Man, those typos. :c


Edited by Wicquor, Apr 17, 2013 - 14:37.


#3
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Remember remember remember that you have your calculator in paper 2 and 3. Use them to the maximum (but still put some working down). Really know all the stuff you can do with your calculator. Also remember that you have a data booklet so refer to it if you are stuck. 

All the best!



#4
flinquinnster

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1. Like Wicquor, I'm not sure what you mean by 'standard level maths students/class'. If you mean SL to HL, that's quite a big jump - but considering you're May 2015, I don't think you've started the IB program yet. If you're referring to whether Maths HL is a big jump from the average level of mathematics you would have experienced pre-IB, I can't really tell you. :) Not knowing much about your local mathematics system, I'm not sure whether Maths HL would be a big step up. But coming from a 'Western' country like Australia, Maths HL was an astronomical leap from Year 10 Maths - in my first year, my average mark dropped from 95%+ to about 75%, so expect to be disappointed. However, if you are willing to work hard, Maths HL is certainly achievable, if infuriating at times. My best advice would be to talk to your current teacher(s) to see how they think you would fare in Maths HL. Whilst some school systems have fairly good maths syllabi that are rigorous, most likely they aren't quite as scary as Maths HL. 

 

2. Quite a lot. Since I'm slightly obsessive, I'll spend about 3-4 hours each week doing homework, and then maybe 1-2 hours revising/reading up on notes. That's an approximation, unfortunately and ironically I'm not actually very good at calculating how much time I actually spend doing Mathematics. Be prepared for Mathematics to take over your IB life. It was really bad for me in the first few months - I spent more than 60% of my study time doing maths - but now I've sort of dropped off a bit so I can work on my other subjects (probably to the future detriment of my maths skills!). Inevitably, though, the more you are willing to work the more likely you are to not screw up maths - but of course, it's no guarantee.

 

3. Try khanacademy, or even reading ahead in your textbooks. I'd suggest just following the textbook your school recommends because that's what your teacher probably uses, but if you are really bored, then try other textbooks such as the Haese and Harris (which is basic, but quite thorough) or the Roberts and Mackenzie. Otherwise, enjoy your holidays, and make sure you understand and blitz all the maths you did pre-IB, because that'll be important to Maths HL.

 

4. SAT Maths II (which I'm going to take in about two months, hopefully) is quite a bit simpler and less in both depth/breadth from what I've looked at so far. SAT Maths II doesn't look at calculus at all, nor does it look at vectors. It doesn't even touch any of the Options material. On the other hand, SAT Maths II looks at conic sections - which is not covered in the Maths HL Core or Options I think. Also, there's stuff in there about finding regressions with GDCs that is only implicitly covered in the IA component of Maths HL. So in short, SAT Maths II is a pale, pale shadow of Maths HL - Maths HL will probably require a lot more time and effort to pass/do well on the exam. 

 

5. General maths skills and habits? Be slightly unusual in enjoying doing your maths homework and constant revision/practice! It'll make all your friends think that you're quite, quite weird but (I'm hoping) it'll all be worth it. And do lots of IB past paper questions, and let your calculator become your best (and probably only) friend.

 

Don't be scared of Maths HL before you've started, because there are sometimes just a lot of maths pessimists out there who think that HL is impossible. :) 



#5
Dax

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Standard Math for me was Extended Mathematics in IGCSE's.
HL will be hard, but which IB subject isn't?
The thing is, be ready to accept low grades in your 11th grade, this is the first thing the teacher told us. Math HL is hard, and fast, because you have 48 hours of additional material to cover in approximately the same amount of time.
11th might bring you down, but if you're bent on doing Math HL, keep at it, practice, revise, give atleast 1 hour everyday for Math, that is excluding your homework. Just keep on revising concepts and try to cover the maximum amount before the exam. Keep your head in the class and listen (something which I did not do, and now suffer because of).
Those are the best tips i can give you. Don't be afraid though, Math HL is a beast, but it can be tamed, we just need to work hard the right way :D