Math Tutoring Level-Up!

December 22, 2016

| Specialist Math Tutor

Even as a math specialist, Mr Ausome constantly travels across the world to seek more wisdom in the art of coaching mathematics. He has a lofty goal of becoming the most inspiring, englightening and life-changing math tutor in the world.

 

Today, he was fortunate enough to have a long meet up session with a Legendary H2 Math tutor, Mr Jackie Lee. Mr Jackie is a genius math tutor (Previously a lecturer from RJC) who specializes in coaching top JC students in H2 mathematics. The 2 hour long discussion was over in a breezed and I really I wished I had more time to spend with him.

 

We exchanged ideas on how to improve our teachings, how to assist the various kinds of students, our tips on how to make each topic more memorable. For all my beloved students who are reading this post, the following are some golden nuggets from Mr Lee:

M – Meticulous

A – Accuracy

T – Teacher

H – Holistic

S – Speed

 

 

M – Meticulous

 

There is always a group of students who are able to grasp mathematical concepts relatively well and yet consistently lose marks due to sketchy presentations and missing workings. Mr Lee shared with me about some of his talented students who were able to sketch graphs accurately without their graphic calculator. Yet tragically, they got penalized several times because they neglected the axes labels and turning points etc. As math tutors, Mr Lee and I strongly encourage students to always be meticulous in your presentations. Do yourself a favour by making it easy for the marker to give you your marks.

 

A – Accuracy

 

Excelling in mathematics is all about obtaining correct answers. We often encounter students who clearly understand the techniques behind solving a particular math problem. Yet their answers turn out to be wrong. A quick investigation would reveal that they committed a (tiny) mistake at a very early stage which escalated into a catastrophe. Such mistakes are synonymous with deadly tumors. Without early detection and proper diagnosis, they would grow uncontrollably, causing havoc to the whole body. The solution is simple: Be super vigilant and frequently double-check  your work. If untreated, carelessness can be very destructive. Our advice: Treat every careless mistake harshly.

 

T – Teacher

 

Teachers play a pivotal role in the academic journey of a student and having a good teacher/tutor is a great blessing. A good teacher guides you in the right direction and ultimately help you reach your goals. A great teacher keeps you on track and rescues you when you derail. Mr Lee cited that resourcefulness is an important trait for us as teachers and we should furnish our students with learning materials that match their level. The teacher should be strict yet approachable. Overall, a strong partnership with a good teacher is highly advantageous.

 

H – Holistic

 

Unlike languages and humanities, Mathematics has a very well-defined syllabus. As such, students tend to follow the syllabus tightly and spend much time mastering the common questions. However, examination trends have shifted over the years and questions today demand more than what is stipulated in the syllabus. In the last few years, Cambridge has been more creative with their examination questions and often tested on items that were uncommon in the past. As such, students are advised to study the whole spectrum instead of merely drilling on past examination questions. Focus on both the breadth as well as the depth of the subject.

 

S – Speed

 

Every student (excluding those with special needs) is given the same amount of time to complete the same number of questions in an examination. As such, time management becomes critically important. Good time management does not mean skipping steps to arrive at the answer quickly. Good time management is about selecting the right battles to fight and allocating the right amount of time for each battle. For example, a five-mark question, on average, takes up nine minutes to finish. Hence, by the end of the duration, students are advised to “let it go" and move on to attempt the next question. The objective is to ensure sufficient time to attempt all the questions in the whole paper. Bear in mind that questions (For H2 Mathematics) are arranged in ascending order of marks but not level of difficulty. As such, the last question in the paper could be time-consuming but not necessarily be difficult.

 

Hope these helpful tips from Mr Jackie Lee (H2 Math Specialist) would be beneficial to you!

 

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

 

 

Specialist Math Tutor

Mr Ausome

 

 

 

 

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