# Math SL - Past Paper 1 Practice, should I be worried?

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So after trying past papers (paper 1) and mixed ones (of different years but for paper 1, too) created by my teacher, I noticed that I am always getting around 65%. Sometimes I'd get a 60% or a 70%, and maybe on one occasion a 49% or an 82%. Should I be worried if my mean score is 64%? I mean, for myself at least, Paper 1 is where I have really struggled over the year. I once got 35% in my Paper 1 and 80% in my Paper 2. So if I am aiming for a Level 6, would getting a 64% in my practice be worrying or am I following the right track?

Also worth mentioning that out of the 35% that I get wrong in my practices (forgot to mention, they are done under exam conditions), at least 15-20% go down to silly mistakes such as missing a sign, forgetting +-, misplacing a bracket or using the wrong formula rather than actually not knowing how to answer the question.

So, with that, even if I shouldn't be worried that I'm on 65%... what is the best way to avoid silly mistakes?

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Which level do you take math at? Are your exams in May 2017?

I took HL Math and in homework we were assigned past IB papers and some non papers, and I just tried to do them as quickly as I can without really imposing a time limit on myself. I think it might not be a good idea to practise in exam conditions this early if your exams are in May 2017. By this time in Year 1, our math in-class assessments were averaging 1.5 minutes per mark. We slowly got used to the 1 minute per mark 3 months before the exam, and I think you will get used to it eventually.

In doing homework, if the questions are IB-styled or actual past questions, you shouldn't attempt all of them in exam conditions. I suggest a 3-staged system for doing math homework: 1) non IB questions, 2) IB, unlimited time, 3) IB, limited time. Before attempting IB questions, do some non-IB questions just so you are familiar with the simpler questions, possibly referring to your notes occasionally. When doing IB questions, you should do half of them closed-notes closed-book with unlimited time; check the answers, then do the other half closed-book closed-notes in timed conditions. A benefit in this system is getting as much time as you need to check answers during the first two stages before you tackle the exam conditions stage. You would use the 1 min/mark to calculate how long it should take you in the exam condition. Again at this stage I wouldn't really aim for that fast, probably 1.2 - 1.4 min/mark is already fast enough, even if your in-class tests are 1 min/mark. In conclusion, you want to see how much you can score assuming you make no careless mistakes and all marks are lost because you don't know how to solve the question.

You should aim for as close as possible to 100% during the first two stages, or whenever you don't have time restrictions. So if you are say only getting 70% in unlimited time, then perhaps you want to continue practising without time restrictions.

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3 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

Which level do you take math at? Are your exams in May 2017?

I took HL Math and in homework we were assigned past IB papers and some non papers, and I just tried to do them as quickly as I can without really imposing a time limit on myself. I think it might not be a good idea to practise in exam conditions this early if your exams are in May 2017. By this time in Year 1, our math in-class assessments were averaging 1.5 minutes per mark. We slowly got used to the 1 minute per mark 3 months before the exam, and I think you will get used to it eventually.

In doing homework, if the questions are IB-styled or actual past questions, you shouldn't attempt all of them in exam conditions. I suggest a 3-staged system for doing math homework: 1) non IB questions, 2) IB, unlimited time, 3) IB, limited time. Before attempting IB questions, do some non-IB questions just so you are familiar with the simpler questions, possibly referring to your notes occasionally. When doing IB questions, you should do half of them closed-notes closed-book with unlimited time; check the answers, then do the other half closed-book closed-notes in timed conditions. A benefit in this system is getting as much time as you need to check answers during the first two stages before you tackle the exam conditions stage. You would use the 1 min/mark to calculate how long it should take you in the exam condition. Again at this stage I wouldn't really aim for that fast, probably 1.2 - 1.4 min/mark is already fast enough, even if your in-class tests are 1 min/mark. In conclusion, you want to see how much you can score assuming you make no careless mistakes and all marks are lost because you don't know how to solve the question.

You should aim for as close as possible to 100% during the first two stages, or whenever you don't have time restrictions. So if you are say only getting 70% in unlimited time, then perhaps you want to continue practising without time restrictions.

I forgot to say, I am in Math SL. Yeah it is our first year. I have been practicing in exam conditions only recently but before doing it without a time limit which I was pretty successful at. My only issue is that in exam conditions with a time limit I get an average of 65%. Thanks for the tips.

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