What to Do When I am Stuck with a Question?


2 Feb 2021

What to Do When I am Stuck with a Question?

It is inevitable that Mathematics students will encounter obstacles while trying to answer questions during their examination. The feeling of fear of the unknown starts to creep in and you feel like skipping the current question to buy more time for your subsequent questions.

Does this sound like what you encounter? Then read on to find out tips to tackle the obstacles while in the examination.

1. Identify the Topic of the Question

This is the first requirement for you to try to understand the problem. If you are not able to identify which topic the question belongs to then you should probably skip the current question.

Most students who practised sufficiently and understood the content from lecture notes and tutorials should be able to clear this stage at the least.

2. Brainstorm for Possible Concepts Relating to Topic

Once the topic is identified, think of the possible concepts that the question is testing. For example if you have identified that the question is related to ‘Function’, start thinking of concepts like ‘inverse function’, ‘composite function’ and see if the question is trying to test on those concepts.

3. Check for Mark Allocation

The mark allocation can give a big clue as to the depth of the concepts required. For example a 1 to 2 mark question will usually only require the usage of one concept in a straightforward manner. On the other hand, a 6-mark question may signal the usage of multiple concepts within a single topic or even from multiple topics and careful planning is required for you to successfully answer the question.

If you want to know how to apply these tips in a systematic way, you can join our Secondary A Math Tuition, Secondary E Math Tuition or JC Math Tuition. Both online and physical lessons are available. Students from our programme are trained to be unstuck from the questions that they are stuck with and systematically break down complicated questions to solve them.

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