Maths is a subject that has proven to be challenging for many. With the long list of formulas, values, rules etc. to memorise, it can be an overwhelming subject to study. But contrary to the popular misconception that math is difficult, it is in fact quite simple when you fully understand the basics of the concepts.
This perception can be applied to 8th standard math as well because the 8th math syllabus serves as the foundation for the next big 4 years and eventually the 12th boards. So any student’s mathematical knowledge up to 8th should be very thorough so that they don’t encounter any major difficulties in understanding the more complex topics taught in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.
Getting at least above 80 is an indication that you have a clear and complete understanding of the 8th standard syllabus. But for many students, this may not be an easy task. Here is a list of ways to help you get 80 and above in your maths exams.
Be thorough with all chapters
You must give equal importance to every chapter, even the ones that seem easy. This is because, often, these “easy” chapters serve as the basis or introduction to more complicated concepts taught later in the syllabus. For example, factorisation and the usage of brackets may be overlooked for being too simple. However, in the introduction to algebra, this is one of the most important aspects of the chapter, and you need to be thorough in all of these fundamental topics, to understand the more complex concepts.
You can do this by reviewing the textbook chapter wise. Solve every question, and every solved example, however repetitive or monotonous it may seem. Don’t leave any stone unturned, or in this case, any numerical unsolved.
Also, don’t shy away from asking for help when you require it. Whether in a classroom setting, a private tutor, or even from the internet, take every chapter seriously and study it thoroughly. If you are struggling with a certain exercise from a textbook instead of a whole concept, you can look up the solutions for these exercises, which are now available on the internet. For example, just type something like RS Aggarwal Solutions for Class 8 Maths Chapter 1 in the search bar, and you will find well-explained solutions to all the problems of a certain chapter/ exercise.
Practice practice practice!
It is no secret that practice makes perfect, especially with a subject such as math, where there isn’t much theory, but rather, a lot of application of what you have learnt. With application-based concepts or subjects, the best way to study them is by just practising application in different examples.
Whether in the form of worksheets, or free printables available online, or even in daily life, such as when you go shopping or when you are cooking etc. there are numerous areas in your physical environment where practical math application is applicable.
The more you expose yourself to the subject, and the more you include it in your day to day activities, the more enjoyable it becomes, and ultimately helps you prepare in the best way possible.
But the key here is consistency. Practising maths when you feel like it, or doing it for a while but then losing motivation can negatively impact your learning. It is imperative that you do math every day, even on holidays. It can just be for 30 mins to an hour, but this consistency is the only way the results will be more permanent.
Keeping your brain sharp
With math, you may know all the formulas and may have practised all the possible questions, but if your mental math is rusty, there is a high chance you will face some difficulty on the exam. Practising mental math could be very humbling as it requires you to go back to the basics of the basics, such as the times’ tables. However, being more thorough with this means that you will be able to recall the answers to simple multiplication much quicker, thus greatly improving the speed and performance on your maths paper.
Mental math doesn’t need a lot of time and can be something you only do for 5 minutes a day. But it is important and should not be overlooked. Keep your mind sharp so you can be the most productive on exam day.
Keeping all your formulas together
Being organised is a key part of doing well in anything as it helps you plan and prioritise. Even with studying math, under stressful conditions, such as that of an exam hall, you may struggle to remember the simplest of things – whether it is the square root formula or the formula for the volume of a sphere. Make a list of all the formulas you have learnt, and either make flashcards out of them or stick them with post-it notes all over the house, so you constantly see them when you walk by. Find ways to be creative and have fun with your learning, as that is when it is the most impactful.
This is just one example of being organised, but just general upkeep and monitoring of important things, such as what chapters need to be studied today or even just minimising possible distractions.
While these may seem like a lot of changes to implement, they are in essence quite simple. You just need to find more creative and interactive ways to engage with and expose your child to the beauty of this subject, which again, is often overlooked or is a misconception. Take the time out to find the best method of teaching your child the required knowledge, instead of forcing it down in the cut-out version that isn’t personalised to every child.
Teaching doesn’t work that way and neither does learning, and this is something that needs to be acknowledged and acted upon. So be a part of the change while encouraging your child to learn differently, and learn more productively.