Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
alvarosv

Need Some Guidance

Ok, so I'm taking HL Math because I need it for what I want to study and let me just say a few things:

1. My teacher is horrible.

2. I have always been able to never study for Math and still got solid As. I used to be in an advanced math program when I was younger.

Now, Math HL is really hard but I was managing to get by until we got to derivatives (mostly 5s). Now I'm averaging a 3/7 on my last two tests (one was 2/7, the other was 4/7). I understand all the material when we do it in class but the tests are on a whole new level and I get really blocked. When I do manage to understand the material, I lose half my points thanks to methodology.

Question is... will I ever improve? Is this happening to someone else? Should I just give up on my career and drop to standard (I can move to Chem HL so it wouldn't be a problem)? Tutors aren't helping me either because I do understand the course work, it's the exams that are killing me.

Thanks for the help in advance.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you will most definitely improve if you try/put some effort into it. Also, I can completely understand you! I never needed to study for maths prior to IB and did great, but the reality is that Maths HL is a big step up, and you do need to study for it. You sound like you've got the mathematical ability, so from what I can tell you've got a great chance of doing well in Maths HL.

The first thing is to realise that unlike your past maths classes, for this one you've got to study and practice if you want to do well. If the exams are killing you, then it sounds like you need to do more exam style preparation questions. Do past papers, get a question bank and do questions for the topics you're particularly weak at, e.g. calculus. Try and figure out exactly how you're losing your marks in the exams? You said 'methodology' but does this just mean you aren't showing all your working? Learn from the mistakes you've made in your past exams (where you've lost points) - so that you won't lose those marks again!

I'd like to advise you to not drop to SL -- in my first year of Maths HL I was considering that, but it became my most rewarding subject and I am so glad that I stuck with it, persevered with it and continued it. Despite all the difficulties of Maths HL, I really enjoyed the course, and if you have the desire to improve and really try to, then I think you can. Good luck!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you will most definitely improve if you try/put some effort into it. Also, I can completely understand you! I never needed to study for maths prior to IB and did great, but the reality is that Maths HL is a big step up, and you do need to study for it. You sound like you've got the mathematical ability, so from what I can tell you've got a great chance of doing well in Maths HL.

The first thing is to realise that unlike your past maths classes, for this one you've got to study and practice if you want to do well. If the exams are killing you, then it sounds like you need to do more exam style preparation questions. Do past papers, get a question bank and do questions for the topics you're particularly weak at, e.g. calculus. Try and figure out exactly how you're losing your marks in the exams? You said 'methodology' but does this just mean you aren't showing all your working? Learn from the mistakes you've made in your past exams (where you've lost points) - so that you won't lose those marks again!

I'd like to advise you to not drop to SL -- in my first year of Maths HL I was considering that, but it became my most rewarding subject and I am so glad that I stuck with it, persevered with it and continued it. Despite all the difficulties of Maths HL, I really enjoyed the course, and if you have the desire to improve and really try to, then I think you can. Good luck!

Well, thing is, I have been studying for the past tests, pretty intensively too. I do past papers and exams (the ones I can get my hands on) and the answers I get tend to be correct. When I do this, however (it's what happened in my last exam), I lose all my points due to methodology. it really isn't that I don't show my work, I just don't know how to show it exactly like the IB wants it. My teacher doesn't take a particular liking to me and takes points away whenever possible, meaning that my answers have to exactly like the IB answers. However, I am honestly clueless as to how to learn to "write IB mathematics".

Thanks for the encouragement by the way. Maybe I should wait to see if I fail more tests :P.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thing is, I have been studying for the past tests, pretty intensively too. I do past papers and exams (the ones I can get my hands on) and the answers I get tend to be correct. When I do this, however (it's what happened in my last exam), I lose all my points due to methodology. it really isn't that I don't show my work, I just don't know how to show it exactly like the IB wants it. My teacher doesn't take a particular liking to me and takes points away whenever possible, meaning that my answers have to exactly like the IB answers. However, I am honestly clueless as to how to learn to "write IB mathematics".

Thanks for the encouragement by the way. Maybe I should wait to see if I fail more tests :P.

If you get past papers try looking for the markscheme, there you'll find what work to show. They're usually necessary anyway.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thing is, I have been studying for the past tests, pretty intensively too. I do past papers and exams (the ones I can get my hands on) and the answers I get tend to be correct. When I do this, however (it's what happened in my last exam), I lose all my points due to methodology. it really isn't that I don't show my work, I just don't know how to show it exactly like the IB wants it. My teacher doesn't take a particular liking to me and takes points away whenever possible, meaning that my answers have to exactly like the IB answers. However, I am honestly clueless as to how to learn to "write IB mathematics".

Thanks for the encouragement by the way. Maybe I should wait to see if I fail more tests :P.

If you get past papers try looking for the markscheme, there you'll find what work to show. They're usually necessary anyway.

I have but they barely even show their work, as far as I've seen, so I'm clueless as to what methodology actually means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have but they barely even show their work, as far as I've seen, so I'm clueless as to what methodology actually means.

If your teacher marks the tests the same as how IB marks it then showing all the A, M and R steps are enough.

However the IB markscheme is a minimum and many teachers would want more so probably also showing why you get them is so is better.

For example you can say "by xx rule..." and something like that when you do a derivative problem.

Probably post a question and how you did it, that would be helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have but they barely even show their work, as far as I've seen, so I'm clueless as to what methodology actually means.

If your teacher marks the tests the same as how IB marks it then showing all the A, M and R steps are enough.

However the IB markscheme is a minimum and many teachers would want more so probably also showing why you get them is so is better.

For example you can say "by xx rule..." and something like that when you do a derivative problem.

Probably post a question and how you did it, that would be helpful.

Teacher won't allow us to take the tests home... as soon as I'm able to sneak a picture I'll show you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have but they barely even show their work, as far as I've seen, so I'm clueless as to what methodology actually means.

If your teacher marks the tests the same as how IB marks it then showing all the A, M and R steps are enough.

However the IB markscheme is a minimum and many teachers would want more so probably also showing why you get them is so is better.

For example you can say "by xx rule..." and something like that when you do a derivative problem.

Probably post a question and how you did it, that would be helpful.

Teacher won't allow us to take the tests home... as soon as I'm able to sneak a picture I'll show you.

When you do practice IB questions did you compare your answer to the markscheme? (Not only the answer itself but also your work)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have but they barely even show their work, as far as I've seen, so I'm clueless as to what methodology actually means.

If your teacher marks the tests the same as how IB marks it then showing all the A, M and R steps are enough.

However the IB markscheme is a minimum and many teachers would want more so probably also showing why you get them is so is better.

For example you can say "by xx rule..." and something like that when you do a derivative problem.

Probably post a question and how you did it, that would be helpful.

Teacher won't allow us to take the tests home... as soon as I'm able to sneak a picture I'll show you.

When you do practice IB questions did you compare your answer to the markscheme? (Not only the answer itself but also your work)

Yes, and if anything I did more than what the answers required me to. The only issue is I didn't quite explain everything (as in writing sentences) like they did but the idea was the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, and if anything I did more than what the answers required me to. The only issue is I didn't quite explain everything (as in writing sentences) like they did but the idea was the same.

As I said you can say "by xx rule" or "using xx" or something like that to explain how you get the answer, so that you don't have to write complete sentences.

Also don't skip steps, but I think the IB markscheme is quite lenient on that.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't you ask your teacher what exactly he/she is looking for in your answer? I find it strange that your teacher isn't telling you what is missing from your working. My teachers did tell me what was expected in my working.

Does your school have other math HL teachers? Other than the one who teaches you. You can bring your work to another teacher and ask him/her to mark it, and see if you still score as badly. Then you will know if your current teacher is just nitpicking, or if your working is really lacking.

I don't remember having to write any sentences explaining anything for derivatives. I never wrote using chain rule, using product rule, using implicit differentiation whatever. The writing only came when I was doing statistics and of course MI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't you ask your teacher what exactly he/she is looking for in your answer? I find it strange that your teacher isn't telling you what is missing from your working. My teachers did tell me what was expected in my working.

Does your school have other math HL teachers? Other than the one who teaches you. You can bring your work to another teacher and ask him/her to mark it, and see if you still score as badly. Then you will know if your current teacher is just nitpicking, or if your working is really lacking.

I don't remember having to write any sentences explaining anything for derivatives. I never wrote using chain rule, using product rule, using implicit differentiation whatever. The writing only came when I was doing statistics and of course MI.

Sadly, I go to a small school and she is the only one who is capable of even understanding HL Math =(. Good idea though, I'll see if I can find outside help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does take time. Most people here on IBS complain about how maths HL is and that they aren't doing as well as they did in their previous studies. Not having to put too much effort in high school and getting good results. That's quite common I guess. Come IB, and we have to work for it.

Bluedino pretty much covered it. Know concepts AND how to apply your knowledge to those twisted IB questions. Past papers do help. After our Jan mocks our teacher was kinda disappointed and she made us do a P1 and P2 every week. My grades improved after that. Seriously. Plus if it weren't for that I probably wouldn't have done so many past questions (maybe even like only 1 or 2 sessions before the exams) :chair:

So yeah...practise those IB questions and like what others have suggested, look at the mark scheme as well. It's usually those calculator questions that we don't put too much working in. For example, if you used your GDC for a graph, they might be fussy and want you to sketch it as part of your working. At the very least, say you got it from your GDC (I'm not sure this works so I'm scratching this out. I did that a couple of times to show that I didn't just hit buttons and wrote the answer). You can think of it as your teacher just knowing basic maths and so you have to show him/her all the steps. But do be conscious of your time though.

When you're doing your tests, relax. Try to remember what you've learned and how you can use those information/concepts. As nasty as some questions can be, it'll all be about the stuff that you have already learned. Be calm and try to work your way through the question. Even if you don't know how to answer the question, do until where you can get up to. You'll probably get some marks for those steps. Try not to skip questions at all. At least write something down. Unless you think you have a better chance or something with other questions. Actually, no. Just write what you can even if you don't know how to do the question. When you get the paper, do the easy questions and those that you can do first. Then work your way through the harder questions. No one expects anyone to be able to answer all the questions but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try and do what you can do with those questions.

Also remember that questions with a few parts might require answers obtained from previous parts. Use them. If you don't know the answer, try to do something for the previous part (at least an educated guess) and use that answer in the next part (mentioning that you got it from the previous part just to make it clearer to the examiner). There may also be later parts that don't require previous parts. Look through all the parts. Even if you can't answer a single part. Keep looking. For all you know you can answer the last part. That really did happen once.

Get used to using your calculator for paper 2 and your formula booklet. I think you can find some threads about what you can/should use your calculator for. Dead useful. Saves you a load of time and trouble.

Finally, don't beat yourself over it. There's no denying that you need to put effort into Maths HL. I'm pretty sure all the Maths HL people had to put effort into it and most of us weren't doing too well in the beginning. It's normal. But all of us persevered and we're on the other end of IB saying how wonderful Maths HL is and how proud we are of taking Maths HL.

All the best!

[Maths HL] became my most rewarding subject and I am so glad that I stuck with it, persevered with it and continued it. Despite all the difficulties of Maths HL, I really enjoyed the course [...]

Definitely. I don't regret taking Maths HL. At all.

Edited by -._._.-
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0