# "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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