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Finding Maths SL tricky, help needed

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Hi,

I've just finished my first year of IB and i'm finding most of the subjects i'm taking okay, but maths SL is a real struggle for me. I understand the concepts when they are taught in class, but find the leap from the questions we do in class to the questions in the exams HUGE. I've talked to my teacher but she doesn't seem to think she can do anything else for me other then teach me what she has.

Has anyone else found that there is a huge leap between the questions in the exercise books and the ones in the exam?

Also mainly does anyone have any suggestions on books that I can get that have more involved questions that can perhaps prepare me better for the exams?

Thanks for your help in advance :)

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hey, what topics did u do last year? i just started my second year and we're done with four units overall.. of course they weren't simple but they're easier than integration and all that.. i think you should practice as much as you can.. do past papers for specific units.. as in, whatever's going on in class.. i've got this file which has questions according to the units.. i can send it to you if you want..

and focus on practicing from the past papers i suggest.. cause in the end that's how the format will be yeah..

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Well in the book we work from we've done: functions, quadratic functions and equations, probability, exponential and logarithmic functions, rational functions, sequences etc, limits and derivatives, descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, probability distributions and a bit of calculus. Sorry I don't know what units they are! :/

I asked my teacher for some practice papers but the school has this thing that they don't want to give students practice papers to take home because we could give them to younger years and they can cheat the next year! So i'm finding practicing kinda hard! That would be really good if you could send that to me, thanks:) Do you know if there are any sites that you can get IB past papers from, apart from having to pay for them from the IB store.

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Just wanted to say that you are definitely not alone!

Although I do Maths HL and not SL, I definitely agree that there's a big jump between learning theory/practicing it in class to doing the IB maths papers. :D

I think that it really is doing past papers and practice questions that will help.

& all I'm going to add to that is.. if you're smart.. you can easily find past papers online by yourself.. :)

I'm also not sure what "file which has questions according to the units" MISHI is referring to, but you could try looking up the IB Maths Questionbank too.. (if it's not that)?

Also, maybe try and consider why you're actually struggling with questions in the past papers? Do you get confused about how to approach the question? Do you not understand what the question is asking you to do? Or are you just making errors within the working out?
Maybe if you're able to know the specific reason for your struggles you might be able to work on them a bit more?

:D

Edited by bluedino

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Yeah, basically all you need to do is practice. Take a unit, go over it, and just practice the questions in the exam papers based on that unit. You might find it difficult at first, but then you'll also learn along the way, and it'll become easier. I took Maths HL but I used the Cambridge and Oxford books good for practice..They have tons of questions.

Yeah you can use xtremepapers.net or freeexampapers.com but they only have a few years' worth of papers...uptil 2009 or so. And thats really weird...my teachers gave us the papers. Dunno why your teacher isn't giving them to you O.o

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bluedino: thank god i'm not alone, I thought I was just being stupid about it! i'm guess i'm struggling with how they word the questions. Like in exercise books you know what topic you're doing so you know what the question is asking, but in the exam obviously they don't tell you what concepts you have to apply to work out the question. Plus with one question there's like 5 different types of calculations you have to do, but before you can start you have to a) work out you have to use and b) be able to use it.

MISHI: thank you, will definitely get on to practicing all summer now!

ak18: You're right I just need to get my head down and really practice. A few papers is better than nothing! This is my schools first year of doing the IB and it all seems a bit scatty, so that's probably why my teacher is being so safe guard about it all. Does seem a bit strange though, I mean we do need to practice!

Thanks guys for your help :)

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I would work backwards if I were you, so look at an answer sheets before trying to solve the question and see how they solve it. It'll prepare your mind to a new way of problem solving by knowing the solution first.

Math is meant to be intuitive and logical, but we learn it also by repeating.

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Hey! I have no idea how to work this thing but I am SCREWED for math! I got a 20/40 in my IA but I really want a 7 and I was wondering what score I must get at least (approx) in my Paper 1 and Paper 2 external to get a 7 overall. Anyone have an idea?

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Hey! I have no idea how to work this thing but I am SCREWED for math! I got a 20/40 in my IA but I really want a 7 and I was wondering what score I must get at least (approx) in my Paper 1 and Paper 2 external to get a 7 overall. Anyone have an idea?

Don't drop to studies unless you don't need it. I would say with 20/40 you'd need full marks in both papers for a 7, but I haven't calculated it.

You could opt to do another topic for your IA if it was that bad by the way, I did horribly in matrices so did another one at the end of the year right before the hand in deadline.

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We use the Oxford book, which has a ton of past paper questions integrated into the chapter review exercises (though our older edition has quite a few errors in the answer key). Does the latest edition (I think it's the 4th) have less typos? :P

And yes haha xtremepapers and freeexampapers have been priceless :P

The IA is 20% of your grade. Also, Papers 1 and 2 each count for 30% of your end grade, while Paper 3 counts the same amount as the IA-20%.

The May 2012 subject report says that overall, to get a 7 total, candidates needed to earn about 78% of total points. So if you wanted a 7, you have 10% of total points with your IA score. If you score about equally on all three papers, then you'd probably have to score perfect (or even greater than perfect :P) on all 3 of them, like ~Lc~ said above.

So as long as it's before the deadline, you can definitely redo the IA though. :)

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