3 Effective Math Revision Tips For Exams

preschool math, primary school maths, secondary school maths

3 Effective Math Revision Tips For Exams

The mid-year math exams are around the corner, and every student is gearing up to do their best. Here are 3 tips on how to revise for math exams effectively!

1) Practise sufficiently with relevance

Allocate bite-size practice which is based on topics, concepts or types of questions. If your child is weak in a certain topic like algebra, make sure he or she works more on that particular topic. If your child is not familiar with concepts such as constant difference or proving trigonometric identities, be sure to expose him or her to a variety of questions involving these concepts. If youe child is not good with word problems, get him or her to work more on such questions so that your child is able to answer them more concisely during the math exams.

While guiding your child to work on questions, constantly provide hints and clues to encourage him or her to think on their own, rather than providing the solution at once. “Now you have reached this step, what can you do next?” would be more helpful than “This is what you should do now.”

Finishing the math assessment book is not very time-efficient for exam preparation, as your child would need to prioritise and ensure that revision for his or her other subjects are not affected as well. Quantity does not equate to quality – it is more effective to work on quality questions, than to work on repetitive questions that your child already knows how to solve.

2) Complete a few exam papers

It is good to complete a few math exam papers, be it specimen exam papers in the assessment books, or actual school exam papers. The idea is not to complete as many as possible. Rather, there are two objectives to attain here:

  • Working on actual exam papers allow students to have a taste of what the standard is like. It provides a good opportunity to examine the topics, concepts or types of questions that one has gotten wrong. This is a good indication on what needs to be worked on.
  • Time management is key in any exams. Working on actual exam papers under timed conditions allow students to plan and allocate their time wisely. For example for primary school students, if the exam is 1 ½ hours, they should spend 15 minutes on Section A, 15 minutes for section B and 45 minutes for Section C, leaving them 15 minutes to check through their exam paper. Enforcing this at home will better prepare students for the actual exam and allow them to be less anxious.

3) Always check

It is important to check always. We cannot assume that students know that checking needs to be done. Special attention needs to be given when it comes to checking. Below is a list of common careless mistakes made by students:

  • Copying the wrong number: this happens when students are not careful in information transfer, and this can happen from moving one step to the next in the workings, or write the wrong answer in the answer blank when one has actually obtained the correct answer.
  • Writing the wrong units: schools are particular about this, and will not hesitate to deduct marks if units are written wrongly or not written.
  • Illegible handwriting: when students write illegibly, the number “0” can look like a “6”, while “2” can be “z”, and “1” can be “l” (lower case L). Thus, writing neatly and legibly is very important.
  • Keying in the wrong number while using the calculator: some students are careless in this, while some are not so good with computation involving fractions and operations. Being familiar with the calculator will definitely help.

During revision, it is important to have a checking space next to the working space. Attempt the question again without looking at what was done at first. This is especially helpful when it comes to rectifying any misinterpretation of the questions.


Parents, it is important to set the relaxed and assuring tone for your children to succeed and do better in the coming math exams. Provide your children with sufficient and relevant practice, get them to complete a few exam papers, and remind to always check their work.

If you’re looking for last minute help to prepare your child for the upcoming math exams, drop us a request now for a math tutor!

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