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Very afraid of failing Math sl, what can I do?

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I'm in IB year 2 of 2nd semester and I am heavily struggling with math sl. I recently got a test grade back and I did pretty bad. I feel really scared that I'm going to end up failing math in the end. What can I do in order to handle this issue.

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  1. don't panic - that makes everything seem harder than it already is 
  2. go to tutorials/office hours - your teacher is there to help you. If there's something in class that you don't understand, go to your teacher outside of class. Normally if you do that they will find a different way to explain it to you and they may give you some extra practice which can never hurt. 
  3. go and look at problems that are worked out for you (no question w answer key stuff, the actual explanations need to be there) and work the problem out alongside the explanation 
    • Working them out this way gets your brain used to thinking in the way needed for maths 
  4. just keep practicing! Maths is all about practice and getting the hang of the formulas - most of the important formulas are in the data booklet for exams, so figure out which useful ones aren't and memorise them 
    • This is where flashcards come in handy 
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I got back my internal assement and I did pretty bad on it, I actually got a 2! Now I'm really worried, so due to this grade, will I fail IB math?

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Grab all the past papers you can get your hands on, and do them. And then settle for a grade like 3, and that's fine. Accept that as long as you pass, all is good.

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With a 2 on my IA, is it possible for me to get at least a 4 in math sl? Do other summative assignments contribute to final IB scores?

Edited by Zangetsu

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Apart from your IA, only your final exams (papers 1 and 2) contribute to your final grade.

EDIT: So yes, it's very possible for you to get a 4. :)

Edited by FChaosi_

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8 hours ago, Zangetsu said:

I got back my internal assement and I did pretty bad on it, I actually got a 2! Now I'm really worried, so due to this grade, will I fail IB math?

I got a 3 in my French B IA still ended up with a high 5 (4 marks below 5/6 boundary) so it's definitely possible! Keep working hard!

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1. Don't panic and stay calm. Math SL is not that difficult. You can do it. Don't give up! It is still possible to do well overall with a poor IA grade.

2. Download a copy of the syllabus. Plan a revision time table for all topics. Cover all the important concepts in each topic.

3. Work on your graphical calculator skills. This will be especially useful for the statistics component which usually comes out in paper 2.

4. Know the IB command terms well. For example, "write down" means no working is required. "Hence" means that you have to use the answer obtained in the previous part of the question to help you answer the current question.

5. Practise past year exam papers and check your answers using the mark schemes. Clarify any doubts that you have with your teacher.

Read more about tips to excel in IB Math here. http://ibsuper.com.sg/category/ibmath/

Edited by ib_super
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1 hour ago, Zangetsu said:

Honestly, I'm not feeling very confident tbh. My teacher gave our class two past papers recently and I got a 3 on both of them.

Actually i think if you are getting a 3, practicing past papers might not be the best idea. Here's what I mean: you should do questions that directly assess the skill, like ones where you basically plug in formulae. For example, topic 1.3 says binomial expansion. So a good problem to start off with is (1 + x)3, then you want to work on maybe (1 + 2x)3 and compare with (2 + x)3. You shouldn't directly jump to questions on papers, where they might ask (3 + ax)5. You need to practise step by step and not in time constraints when you are still grasping the material. I think if you do just 10 of very straight forward (non-IB) questions for each point in the syllabus you should at least at least get a 4, even if you don't do many past papers (like 1-2 paper after you do 10 of each question type should be very sufficient). If you go see the repetitive question types on Khan Academy that's what I am talking about.

EDIT: at my school my teachers organized past IB questions by chapter (some may be found online I assume) and by chapter is much better than by paper. Now I don't recommend doing IB questions as a start but if you insist, definitely just focus on one unit/chapter a week and not jump around like you do on the actual exam. 

Edited by kw0573
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To get good score in Math SL, it's really important to focus on the basic theories in the textbook.

If u got average 3 or 4 in the past exams, I strongly recommend you to review the text book instead of solving the questions in the past papers. It's because solving the problem sets without understanding basic concepts, it will be more confused when u encountered the different type of questions. 

So, if u really want to improve your math skills, start from writing down the basic concepts and formula in the textbook to make your own notes and trying some questions in the text book. Since the questions on the text book are really basic things, it will be good way to check your comprehension. After you finish those steps, then start to do past papers. Practise past papers will be the last step for the final exam ;)

Good luck!

 

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