Importance of Revising Before Exams

Mathematics needs revising, even if you have a natural talent for the subject, you still need to pick it up and revise to become great at it. To become the best, you need to put in the work, it’s just a basic rule of life.

Mediocre maths skills will not take you very far, it could be enough to workout classwork and some assignments, but not nearly enough if you want to pass your Advanced level aka A level mathematics exams. You still need to look up those functions and equations, this will allow you to display all the steps you used in your solution to arrive at your final answer. Remember, the theory bit of all maths exam questions require you to show your working, doing that will earn you top marks.

Even though mathematics isn’t the only subject you are trying to concentrate on, there are other subjects that demand your attention, don’t put it aside for too long without revising and simply expect to be skilled at it.

Despite juggling between many subjects at school, you to create time to revise maths.
Despite the hurdle of having to study so many subjects at school, you have to create time to revise each and every one of them. Source: Unsplash.com

Studying a lot of other subjects coupled with mathematics, with all its functions and theorem can be daunting, and quite frankly, a little hard, if you are finding it difficult as most people do, perhaps getting the revision material for your course can help you figure things out.

The revision materials are usually in the form of books, Ebooks, curriculums/syllabi, online materials, and others.

Why Homework, When I Could Use The Time To Revise?

How tiring to carry home a homework every day? But despite the inconvenience at times, maths homework has great merit, because you are practically revising by working out the solutions for the homework.

It also gives you the opportunity to work things out yourself, allowing you to grasp the underlying principles behind each mathematics function, without anyone or a teacher to show you how every step of the way, you will learn to depend on your self.

But it’s nice to seek help if things are not going as smoothly as you expected, your friends, seniors, classmates, parents and professional maths tutors can help you prevail against even the most difficult problems.

Once you start finding it easy to answer the majority of your homework and classwork questions correctly, then it’s time to move on to finding more revision materials.

Don’t know where to find revision materials best for maths practice? Here’s a guide and some tips below.

Official Exam Websites

Perhaps the most obvious place to start looking for exam past questions and revision material is right on the website of the exam boards themselves. Their materials are authentic and usually up to date, it couldn’t get any better than that.

IJMB and JUPEB, for instance, have on their official website the past questions for A level mathematics and other useful resources for students who are about to write their exams. Universities are not left behind too, tertiary institutions such as the Edo University have compiled past question papers from previous exams and some handouts on many courses, including maths.

However, some of the exam boards, most of them in fact, don’t have such materials for students, and it is much easier to go to educational websites to find revision materials for your advanced level maths course.

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Online Materials To Help You Revise Your Mathematics Course

The internet is an endless pit of information, you will find revision guides suitable for mathematicians, ones that are good enough for your learning and ones that are just flukes, it is up to you to figure out which is high-quality material and which best serves your purpose. Those with quality materials are easy to spot.

They have good-looking, well-designed pages, have good reviews all over the internet, on social media and such, and their content is well written. They are well, like Superprof!

National Open University Of Nigeria (NOU) is a very good place to start, NOU is a distance learning tertiary institution, meant for students who are taking their lessons online, so they have a lot of revision materials for A level maths courses, the materials are made available to the public and are free to download.

You can revise mathematics online.
Universities offer free revision materials online on their official websites, for students to download. Source: Unsplash.com

Other online sources where you can get revision and study materials for your maths exams are e-commerce book stores, there, you can buy the books you need and get it in PDF/epub format. But you don’t have to buy anything.

If you visit myschoolgist.com you will find a ton of past question papers for revision, it has the largest collection of O’level past questions in Nigeria. You can look up their Post-UTME past questions papers, suitable for practicing A level mathematics.

Don’t Forget Paperback Revision Guides

Yap, printed books still live. Online revision materials are not the only avenues for practicing your maths lessons, printed paperbacks, hardcover books are still the primary methods of teaching and learning any subject. You may have to get off your laptop or mobile phone though, to visit a bookshop.

Ordinary textbooks can prove very difficult to find online, whereas a bookshop has plenty of copies enough to satisfy a whole town. In a bookshop, a single subject has different published textbooks authored by different people, you can then select which one’s best for you.

Of course, it’s not just online resources that have to update their materials every year after the exams, publishers of paperback past question papers edit by adding to the collection of past questions from previous years.

These paperbacks or hardcopies as some prefer to call them can be bought from online retailers such as Amazon, they are one of the best booksellers in the world. They sell audiobooks and e-books known as Kindle books on Amazon. Unfortunately, Kindle doesn’t work here in Nigeria, so we can only order hard copies. Some of the books you can even order with free shipping, and they will arrive within a week's time.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of ordering books from international vendors or don’t have the time to wait around until a week or so, you can try Jiji’s marketplace, there, you can find sellers of textbooks near you. Simply select your location and search the name of the textbook, if you are lucky, it will show up on the search results.

The fun thing about these mega stores is that you can buy books that you can read for fun, ones that are not necessarily part of your school scheme, but that is related to the subject at hand. Some examples for mathematics include Mental Arithmetic by T.R Goddard, Math with Bad Drawings: Illuminating the Ideas That Shape Our Reality by Ben Orlin, and Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern.

What To Consider Before Buying Any Revision Materials

Before you go out purchasing books to start your revisions, make sure you have at least considered other options, such as your local and school library.

Your School Library Has Free Revision Tools

Chances are your school has a library, where you can go to read books for hours without being charged a fee. Spending lots of money on textbooks and revision guides is not a guarantee you will be any good or even pass the course.

Take advantage of your school library to go and revise for your A level exams, they have the books you need and you can even borrow them.

Your local library too, the same thing. Once you sign up, you can visit and revise for as long as they are open, and you can borrow the books you need the most, but you can’t write little short notes on the side of the pages in the books, because it’s library property.

School libraries have past question papers for students to burrow.
The library is not an intimidating place once you go there the first time. Source: Unsplash.com

If you have never been in a library before, it’s okay, it is not too scary once you go there the first time. The rules are pretty simple; Quite, quite, quite, and two, Don’t eat in the library. If you can’t find any book simply ask the librarians they should be able to tell you where to find it, and remember, you need to sign up/register with the library first to begin using their services.

One disadvantage to using the local library, however, is that they don’t open during public holidays, your revision might get stuck for a day or two, and most libraries don’t open during the weekends. Whereas if you have a book of your own you can read anytime you want.

Past question papers and revision guides are some of the best ways to revise for upcoming exams, you will find them extraordinarily useful and as priceless tools to your advanced level education. Past questions allow you to become familiar with the way the questions are set in the exams, and besides, some questions are repeated, so if you got them correctly during your revisions you will most likely get them correct during the exams, thereby boosting your scores.

It doesn’t matter which level or class you are, past question papers are made readily available to students, in markets, online stores and in various schools.

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Hafiz

Hafiz is a freelance writer who has an appetite for creativity and smart tech. He also dabbles in poetry.