Are you one of those students who works your butt off in Maths? One of those people who knows exactly what they’re doing, but still manages to not get the results you deserve?
I have a good idea why that might be…
You’re forgetting about your inner Maths monologue.
Let me explain.
Typically speaking, students who are hard working and knowledgeable can struggle in Maths because of HOW they are answering questions.
The Maths is there. The numbers make sense, the method is flawless. But in order to score well in Maths at school, you need one more thing. Explanation.
Teachers mark you heavily based on your demonstration of understanding. Which might sound like the same thing, but it’s often just different enough to cost you a few marks.
So how do you fix it?
Simple. Release your inner Maths monologue.
Your inner Maths monologue is basically what you’re saying to yourself in your head as you go through a problem. It justifies why you chose to use that value from question 2, why you chose that formula, and what you’re actually doing in general.
The thing is, that your thought processes are what really matter in Maths questions. But you’re teacher can’t mark what is in your head, only what’s on paper. Unfortunately, you can’t be graded in Maths just for having a good discussion. *cough cough English cough*.
Which means that if you want those stellar marks, you need to explain clearly what you are doing and why.
Take this example:
It might look like a lot more work, but I actually timed myself. The difference was a few seconds.
Oh, but wait, here come the comments…
Don’t a few seconds make all the difference?
Yup, they sure do. Here’s how:
Let’s take a one hour test or exam, and assume there are 30 questions worth 2 marks each. Without an inner monologue at all, you score 30/60 if you get every answer right. Because the inner monologue is where your “Method” mark comes from.
Now instead, let’s say that you take an extra 10 seconds per question (which is WAY more generous than it actually would be, but I’m making a point here)
That would mean taking an extra 300 seconds, or five minutes. So let’s say (for arguments sake) that those 5 minutes cost you 3 questions on the test.
At most, you would have scored 6 marks from those questions you missed. But by nailing the other 27 questions, you’ve scored 54/60.
See my point?
Nailing most questions is way more beneficial than rushedly answering all of them.
So take the time to actually show your thoughts and your work – it’s actually less work!
Let the monologues begin!
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