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I've been talking with someone about universities and such, and we discussed the fact that I need a 5/6 to get into the faculty of science. Currently in my math class, I'm "struggling". Hint the " " because I can do fine on assignments such as homework, but when it comes to tests I do poorly (in my eyes). I believe that the real problem lies in my studying habits. I've been trying to push myself to review class work, do practice questions and so one, but I never seem to be able to do so. If you guys (with experience or good grades) have any advices or tips for me it would be great help. Thank you. 

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Do you have IB questions on tests? If so, practice those extensively. It will help you immensely.

 

One other thing: make sure you keep in mind the grade boundaries for your subjects. It might be enough to get 60%-70% on your final exams from SL math and still obtain a 5 overall...you even don't need to have close to a perfect score to get a 7. Believe me or not, but mistakes happen to everyone on IB.

 

Grade boundaries:

http://www.google.pl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dpcdsb.org%2FNR%2Frdonlyres%2F257D5ECC-B156-4400-B0C7-D765BB3D4855%2F140115%2F201405_Grade_Boundaries.pdf&ei=NVlgVJL_JsOvaY7xgOgE&usg=AFQjCNGpKhdkFXPwyA2dk3LJujWNvsyfnA&bvm=bv.79189006,d.d2s

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I've been talking with someone about universities and such, and we discussed the fact that I need a 5/6 to get into the faculty of science. Currently in my math class, I'm "struggling". Hint the " " because I can do fine on assignments such as homework, but when it comes to tests I do poorly (in my eyes). I believe that the real problem lies in my studying habits. I've been trying to push myself to review class work, do practice questions and so one, but I never seem to be able to do so. If you guys (with experience or good grades) have any advices or tips for me it would be great help. Thank you. 

 

1. It may be the case that you haven't understood the reasons underlying the concepts that you learn in class. Maybe you're just trying to use the formulas in your data booklet without fully understanding them. This is a very serious mistake made by many people. In fact, one of my friends once boldly claimed that mathematics is all about plugging in numbers into formulas that are provided. Of course, he's wrong. My advice to you is to read all the derivations there are in your textbook, because they'll improve your understand a lot and help you establish confidence in the subject. For example, don't try to just remember the formulas for transformations of graphs. Try to understand why it is so.

 

2. It may be the case that you haven't made your understanding 'general' enough. Lots of SL students that I knew usually approached a new maths concept by looking at a specific example. I would advise you to avoid this. When learning a new concept, try to understand the general case first, such that you can build up your own general method of solving this specific type of problem. For instance, try to establish a general solving method for integration by substitution, and then look at a specific example. To be more specific, this is what I wrote for the method of substitution in my study guide:

 

post-115475-0-07942100-1415617280_thumb.

 

3. You may have used too much help from the calculator. Avoid this as much as possible! because paper 1 is without calculator. Some of my friends use calculators all the time, even to calculate some easy trigonometric functions; and then screwed up in the end because they couldn't remember the trig values of some common angles. So train yourself to be independent from calculators!

 

4. Maybe you haven't tried hard maths problems yet, or maybe you give up too early when you try to solve difficult questions. I would advise you to look at hard problems in your book, and maybe even IB problems, because they are the real 'monsters' :P For these hard problems, spend fairly a lot of time on them before looking at the solutions, because doing this will train your thinking abilities. Furthermore, difficult problems are what that make maths interesting ;) For all hard problems that you've encountered, mark them down in your book, and redo them every once in a while (e.g. once every 2 months). This will maximize your memory of the solving method and will probably get you through the exams.

 

If those cases above don't apply to you, please leave a reply where you specify exactly what your problem is; and we'll try to help you as best as we can. Cheers :)

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I've been talking with someone about universities and such, and we discussed the fact that I need a 5/6 to get into the faculty of science. Currently in my math class, I'm "struggling". Hint the " " because I can do fine on assignments such as homework, but when it comes to tests I do poorly (in my eyes). I believe that the real problem lies in my studying habits. I've been trying to push myself to review class work, do practice questions and so one, but I never seem to be able to do so. If you guys (with experience or good grades) have any advices or tips for me it would be great help. Thank you. 

 

1. It may be the case that you haven't understood the reasons underlying the concepts that you learn in class. Maybe you're just trying to use the formulas in your data booklet without fully understanding them. This is a very serious mistake made by many people. In fact, one of my friends once boldly claimed that mathematics is all about plugging in numbers into formulas that are provided. Of course, he's wrong. My advice to you is to read all the derivations there are in your textbook, because they'll improve your understand a lot and help you establish confidence in the subject. For example, don't try to just remember the formulas for transformations of graphs. Try to understand why it is so.

 

2. It may be the case that you haven't made your understanding 'general' enough. Lots of SL students that I knew usually approached a new maths concept by looking at a specific example. I would advise you to avoid this. When learning a new concept, try to understand the general case first, such that you can build up your own general method of solving this specific type of problem. For instance, try to establish a general solving method for integration by substitution, and then look at a specific example. To be more specific, this is what I wrote for the method of substitution in my study guide:

 

attachicon.gifUntitled.png

 

3. You may have used too much help from the calculator. Avoid this as much as possible! because paper 1 is without calculator. Some of my friends use calculators all the time, even to calculate some easy trigonometric functions; and then screwed up in the end because they couldn't remember the trig values of some common angles. So train yourself to be independent from calculators!

 

4. Maybe you haven't tried hard maths problems yet, or maybe you give up too early when you try to solve difficult questions. I would advise you to look at hard problems in your book, and maybe even IB problems, because they are the real 'monsters' :P For these hard problems, spend fairly a lot of time on them before looking at the solutions, because doing this will train your thinking abilities. Furthermore, difficult problems are what that make maths interesting ;) For all hard problems that you've encountered, mark them down in your book, and redo them every once in a while (e.g. once every 2 months). This will maximize your memory of the solving method and will probably get you through the exams.

 

If those cases above don't apply to you, please leave a reply where you specify exactly what your problem is; and we'll try to help you as best as we can. Cheers :)

 

 

I believe the problem lies with #1 and #2. The only problem is , I don't know how to apply these correctly to my work habits. 

Edited by DocWonder

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I've been talking with someone about universities and such, and we discussed the fact that I need a 5/6 to get into the faculty of science. Currently in my math class, I'm "struggling". Hint the " " because I can do fine on assignments such as homework, but when it comes to tests I do poorly (in my eyes). I believe that the real problem lies in my studying habits. I've been trying to push myself to review class work, do practice questions and so one, but I never seem to be able to do so. If you guys (with experience or good grades) have any advices or tips for me it would be great help. Thank you. 

 

Great answer by Vioh. All the points mentioned are some of the most fundamental reasons why students tend to struggle in class. I would recommend you be totally honest with yourself and see which of the given points are most valid for you (not that this list is totally exhaustive). I used to struggle in my class too until I decided to sit down and actually do the problems myself as if I was giving my final test/quiz/exam. Be brutally honest with yourself and see what are the area's that are pulling you back and work on them. Having a private tutor is a luxury not many can afford, so look for cheaper alternatives. Websites like khanacademy are great. Another new website I found very helpful is http://www.MechMinds.ca . But again, first do an honest assessment of where you stand and then use these external sources of help to improve on areas which you find you are lacking in.

 

Finally, do not give up on yourself! You may not be shining right now but that is no indication of the future. As long as you keep working on improving your weak areas, it should all work out ok :)

 

Good Luck!

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