Calculator Sections

Posted by Studentbox user
on 12/12/2017 at in  Mathematics

Does anyone have any good tips for calculator sections?  Any common mistakes?

I always have difficulty in them and I'm still not sure how to help myself.



  • admin
    Studentbox User
    In Math Methods I averaged 82 at school and got 78 in the WACE exam

    Here's a few tips from my experience:

    Knowing your formula sheet
    - Having a good idea of the formula sheet's content is very helpful in developing quicker thinking in high-stress situations such as a test/exam. Some high-perfoming schools are taught to memorise their formula sheet but you don't need to do that.

    Don't overcomplicate your working out
    - Since it's the calc section your marker is under the assumption that you're using a calculator. You do not need to fully supply your entire thought process onto the page. Often 1-2 mark questions are looking for your calculator input (what you put into the calculator). One mark questions only require the answer since your marker knows you put it through the calc. Of course 4+ mark questions require some working to demonstrate your understanding to the marker.

    Time management
    - I've never finished a Maths exam or at least to completion. The best advice I can give is practice. Time yourself when you sit a practice exam/test. If you find that you're running out of time and losing focus, just put something relevant down on the page (even if its just a formula). You're better off possibly gaining marks than writing nothing on the page.

    Sorry for the long post, hope I could help.
  • admin
    Studentbox User
    edited January 2018
    At school I averaged 84 in Methods but ended up with 88 in my exam. I found that the best way to smash the calc section is to know all the cool stuff you can do on your classpad that thing can do alot.
    1.) Utilising shift keys can save you heaps of time so for me shift = gets me solve instead of having to search through the keyboard and wasting time. If you dont know how to set up shift keys the internet has alot of useful links to help
    2.) When practising maths questions do it with a calculator and without a calculator just so you know how to do it both ways. There's no point just doing all the questions without a calculator when 2/3 of your exam is calc allowed. 
    3.) There are generally typical questions asked in the calc sections, questions that you can almost expect because they cant be put in the non calc section. You will know them when you get to them. Practise practise practise those sorts of questions until you nail them. When you get into the exam you will see a sort of question you know and it will make you feel a lot more comfortable.
    4.) Make your 2 pages of notes really simple. Put examples on them or calculator shortcuts whatever makes you feel comfortable. Dont cram alot of information onto the 2 pages because then you get stressed not finding the info you are looking for.
    I never struggled with time in the calc section because I was super comfortable using my classpad so I think thats the ultimate advice from me.
    Hope this helps :)
    Quickly on common mistakes. Degrees, radians is a big one always do a double check when you're putting things into your calc. 
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