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"Sure Bet"MATHEMATICS




“SURE BET” MATHEMATICS

I do not intend to go into full working of the mathematics syllabus in WASC, GCE or allied examinations. I intend instead to get my readers interested in figures and other simple topics and some guidelines for success in mathematics in examinations.

BRANCHES OF MATHEMATICS COMMON IN WASC, GCE ETC.ARE;

ARITHMETIC
The science of numbers, computing with numbers under the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

ARITHMETIC MEAN OR AVERAGE
The sum of a group of measures, observations, magnitudes and scores etc, divide by the total number of items in the group.

ALGEBRA
Treats of quantity and number in the abstract. Calculations are performed by means of letters and symbols. It solves equations of any degree.

GEOMETRY
Treats space and its relations as specially shown in the properties and measurement of points, line, angles, surfaces and solids.

TRIGONOMETRY
Treats of the relations of the sides and angles of triangles and of the methods of applying these relations in the solution of problems involving triangles-widely used in navigation and surveying. It is a Greek word TRIGONON meaning “triangles” and ME TRON meaning “measure”, that means measuring of angles.

STATISTICS
Deal with the collection, tabulation, and systematic classification of quantitative data especially with reference to frequency distribution.

IMPORTANT BREAKDOWN OF THE SYLLABUS

ARITHMETICS

1.Number system

2.Bases

3.Fractions

4.Decimal

5.Significant figure

6.Standard forms

7.Averages

8.Ratio and proportion

9.Percentages

10.Simply and compound interest

11.Time and distance

12.Mensuration

ALGEBRA

1.Algebraic expressions

2.Identities

3.Factorization

4.Roots

5.Indices

6.Simplification

7.Equations

8.Graphs

GEOMETRY

1.Angles at a point

2.Triangles

3.Calculation of angles

4.Parallelograms

5.Theorem

6.Constructions

TRIGONOMETRY
1.Trigonometry ratios

2.Angles of elevation and depression

3.Triangles

4.Latitude and longitude

5.Cosine and sine rules

STATISTICS

1.Means, mode and median

2.Frequency distribution

3.Histogram

4.Probability.

If a student takes pains to study these topics during his practice session, he or she is sure to make high grades in the actual examination.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR MATHEMATICS IN EXAMINATION

Study with the syllabus well and take notice of the minutest detail that might be tested.
Note that the syllabus forms a framework within which the teacher’s own development of the subject can be fitted. It is therefore an excellent guide to follow.

Have a mathematical mastermind that you can seek help from if faced with puzzling problems.
Love figures and form the habit of solving problems

1.Ask questions for clarification

2.Do not work on assumption

3.Use good mathematical text books

4.Be familiar with the major divisions of your syllabus in mathematics

5.Algebra

6.Arithmetic

7.Geometry

8.Statistics and probability

9.Trigonometry

10.Mechanics and kinematics (for further mathematics students)

11.Supplement your efforts with an extra-mural class if you wish to excel in the subject

12.Study regularly and purposefully

Master the core essay areas well- graph, longitude and latitude, construction, statistics, probability, theorems and equations etc.

MEMORIZING FORMULAS AND THEOREMS
Memorize what is worth remembering-formulas, principles and theorems-they are working tools.
Learn with the intension recall at appropriate time.

Have interest in mathematics-if there is no interest, you cannot memorize.
Use your memory maximally and develop it constantly.

WHY DO STUDENT FEAR AND FAIL MATHEMATICS IN EXAMINATION

1.Fear of abstract and logical reasoning with figures

2.Poor attitude to the subject and the teacher

3.Poor methods applied by the student/teacher

4.Teaching on assumption

5.Destructive criticism of the student’s potential

6.Lack of knowing the aims of mathematics in other fields of your endeavor

HOW CAN STUDENTS SUCCEED IN MATHEMATICS IN EXAMINATION?

1.Work hard before the examination. This will build your confidence.

2.Abide by all instructions governing the examination

3.Answer the required number of questions- this is very important

4.Distribute your time among the number of questions asked

5.Understand what is being tested in the question.

6.Apply correctly the principles bas presented by the problem

7.Approximate at the final stage only

8.Double-check your work when different units are involved.

9.Show clearly in your construction all lines and arcs

10.Finally, it is humanly possible to reach high grade in mathematics examination. It requires hard work. You have to take remedial courses if you are deficient in the subject develop inspirational dissatisfaction about your inadequacy. Seek counseling from your teacher if in doubt. Ensure that you tackle mathematics daily.
I wish you more success in all your future examinations in mathematics.

TIPS ON ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN EXAMINATION
Many students have had their results withheld or missing for failing to identify their scripts. Out of carelessness/oversight or anxiety, many have sat for examination without having results.
Note that your examination number is the only identity in most external examinations. Write your examination number before reading the question. Refer back to it before you finally do away with your answer sheet.
Read carefully and note all the instructions and the requirements of the examiner before attempting the question.

Note the number of questions set, the compulsory ones alternative questions the sections which the paper is divided and the number of questions to be answered in each section.
Attempt first the question you know best. Doing this will give you the needed confidence to answer other more difficult question.

Give each question enough time according to the marks allotted to it as earlier indicated above.
Plan to attempt the correct number of questions for the paper.
Answering three questions out of five will be a poor attempt.
Attempt a short outline with key thoughts before answering the question. For e.g.

Question:
What are the merits and demerits of a multi party system?
Merit;

1.Caters for minority groups and views

2.Provides greater scope of criticism

3.Prevents the emergency of dictatorship

4.Gives room for democracy

5.Provides watch dogs for government

6.Permits human rights activities.

Demerit
1.Produces unstable government

2.Produces weak parties

3.Produces incoherent policies

4.Produce weak government

5.Produces different policies that may confuse the electorate.

Here enough points can be developed by the student for every satisfactory answer. You are encouraged to use this practice often during your study and revision periods in answering essay type questions.

Question two.
If you are asked to contrast the growth of Ghana with that of Mali Empire?
Here you are comparing two things-Ghana and Mali Empires. Try to note the following features in your outline-
1.Founding of the empires

2.Founders of the empires

3.Period of existence of the empires

4.Factors of growth of the empires

5.Contributions of trade and civilization to growth and development

6.The period the empires reached their apogee i.e. the greatest height

7.The period of decline and reasons for decline

8.The aftermath of the decline.

By comparing these eight outlines the result could have become very glaring to the examiner.
Pleases do a lot of practice during your study and revision period.
Make it easier for you during the actual examination.

 Good luck!!!!

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