Mastering the Application for Math & Science Based Subjects
Unlike Languages, Mathematics and Science subjects usually have one specific correct answer. This makes mastering the ability to answer and apply knowledge to these subjects a lot more straightforward.
In many instances, we have heard from parents and graduates of our I Am Gifted! school holiday programmes that the main strategy they adopt to mastering these subjects is by spending most of their time doing assessment books and past year papers. They end up doing hundreds of possible types of questions, but yet during the exams, they still get stumped by difficult questions set by crafty examiners. Now, what if we told you, even crafty examiners and test setters have to play by the rules?
Let’s take Physics for example:
Say you were taught the Physics concept that Force = Mass x Acceleration or F=MA. There can only be a fixed number of ways in which your teachers can test you on this. The possible combinations are:
1. Given Mass (M) & Acceleration (A), calculate the Force (F);
2. Given Mass (M) & Force (F), calculate the Acceleration (A);
3. Given Acceleration (A) & Force (F), calculate the Mass (M).:
Now this is great news for all learners! Understanding that even your teachers have restrictions when setting exam questions means as long as you learn and study the types of possible questions, you can always ace your exam papers!
Now, here are the 3 steps you can follow to start master the application for your Mathematics and Science subjects:
1. Collect all possible Question Types
The first step is really straight forward. It is about information gathering; more specifically, going around to collect all the possible different types and combinations of questions for each chapter. This will probably be the most tedious step of all 3, but remind yourself that there is always a fixed number to it, so what may seem like endless possibilities in the past, is actually just a handful of variations by the time you complete this process.
You will want to search for all the possible questions from a variety of sources. Some useful sources will include ten-year series books (a compilation of exam questions over the last ten years), assessment books, home work and textbooks from school and test papers from your school and even other schools.
Before you conclude this step, just double check the questions you have at hand. When you can confidently go through the entire list of sources and not find any new combinations, you can be sure you have found and collect every possible question there is.
2. Learn the Step to Solve the Questions
What comes next is pretty much the same concept as why teachers give us homework to do at school. We want to find the steps needed to solve every question type and combination that you have previously collected in Step 1. There is where the real learning take place and you are sure to be amazed at how for some types of questions, the steps to solving them is exactly the same as others, even though the values may vary at the end of each sum.
When doing step 2, it is perfectly normal if you get stuck some time. During these times, just approach your teachers or a friend to help solve the question together.
3. Practice to Internalize
Finally, it is time to internalize each question by practicing them at least 3 to 5 times. To internalize each question is to be able to identify each question type just by reading it and be fully confident that you have mastered the steps to solve them. You can make this process fun and exciting each time by getting your friends to test you or by creating cue cards to randomly test you whenever you are doing your revision.
Together Everyone Achieves More.
Work as TEAM, get your friends to collect the questions in Step 1 then come together to solve the questions together in Step 2. You will save a lot of time and be able to cover more chapters in a short amount of time. Just remember, Step 3 is the most crucial and it is up to you to practice and internalize each question. You can have the best friends, but even they can’t help you in an actual exam (that would be cheating!).