How to Study Maths in Singapore? IB, Secondary & JC Guide

June 26, 2024

For many students, learning mathematics is stressful and challenging. There's a common struggle to grasp numerous math formulas and apply them to different contexts, and students end up seeing the subject as one big problem to tackle.

In order to master math, the first step is learning how to learn. Dividing the learning process into digestible steps can help improve self-study and better understanding of math concepts, making it easier to study and practice at home.

Here are four useful tips to study math at any level.

1. Understanding the Curriculum

Understanding a math concept

Mathematics is a vast, expansive subject—each topic branches further into sub-topics and individual concepts. Understanding the curriculum will help you pinpoint the right learning requirements so you don't get lost within individual topics.

Your first step should be gaining an understanding of various topics, and clearing up misconceptions and fundamental errors that may hamper your learning later on. Start small and properly process and internalise the content, rather than trying to take in everything at once. Once you become familiar with the syllabus, you can break down what you have to study into easier-to-manage chunks.

Students often struggle to reach this understanding through school alone, which is the heart of the problem. In order to build a strong foundation, tuition classes or supplementary lessons can be invaluable in the long run.

2. Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Setting goals while learning math

Goal setting is a vital part of studying, and aids in motivation. Study sessions should begin with a goal in mind, such as learning how to solve Quadratic equations, or scoring a specific mark in an upcoming exam. It can be helpful to have a clear action plan for how to achieve your goals, so you can measure your success.

Rather than an abstract metric like "get good grades," setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) is more effective in quantifying action and results. For example:

  • Specific: I want to score at least 70 marks on my next math exam.

  • Measurable: To do this, I will complete three practice tests before the exam.

  • Achievable: I scored a 60 on my last math test and have been working hard to improve.

  • Relevant: I want to feel more confident in my math skills and score well to get into my dream school.

  • Time-Bound: I have three weeks until the exam and can complete one practice test per week.

The key is to set goals that are personal to you. If you're working towards A- or O-level scores, factor in the timeline until your major exams and set smaller milestones to achieve within that period.

3. Utilise Your Resources

students studying homework problems

In this day and age, there's a wealth of tools to help students learn mathematics. Making the most of the resources at your fingertips helps you study smarter, not just harder. Online resources and study notes on various topics are consistently available, allowing you to do revision on different topics within the math syllabus. When studying math, remember to seek out these resources to help supplement your learning.

Apart from notes and easily accessible information, students should also master the tools that they're allowed to use. Exams at most levels allow students to use calculators, so students need to pay particular attention to calculator usage, and understand how it can help them solve difficult equations. Students can also benefit from memorising formula sheets, so that they have a quick reference for the various commonly used formulas in exam settings.

Tuition centres such as eipimath are able to provide curated and customised resources, such as materials from textbooks, summaries and key concepts, and short video lessons. Having access to past-year papers and Ten-Year Series content can greatly aid your revision, and gives students plenty of reference material to use in their studies.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Regularly doing practice problems, practice questions

Practice solving problems, and keep practising. If you get a wrong answer, identify exactly where you made mistakes so you can correct them. Math is largely formulaic, so the more you practice, the more naturally it will come to you as your brain builds muscle memory. You will eventually be able to recite formulas, recognise patterns, and find solutions like a well-oiled machine.

A good way to carry out practice sessions is to take timed mock exam sessions. These practice tests train students to work under exam conditions, and can help them work within time limits. It's also useful to have regularly graded assessments and active feedback on these papers, so students can gain an understanding of their own mistakes and weaknesses.

Tuition centers such as eipimath can provide structured practice sessions and personalised feedback. These centers often have experienced tutors who can guide you through complex problems, offer tips for efficient problem-solving, and help you stay motivated. Their structured programs typically include a mix of instruction, practice, and assessment, providing students with a comprehensive schedule and many opportunities to learn.

Boost Your Math Skills With Eipimath

overcoming math anxiety with the help of a good math teacher

Knowing how to study mathematics is a skill in and of itself. Luckily, it can be developed and honed over time. Experienced math tutors can aid in the learning process, providing nuanced explanations and professional insights into how to study math effectively.

eipimath offers physical and online lessons for students at various levels, from O-Levels to tertiary education. Our one-to-one and small class sizes provide personalised teaching or structured study groups, creating a safe and conducive learning environment.

If you have any questions about our math classes, feel free to reach out to us!