Many Form 4 and Form 5 Malaysian students dread Add Maths (officially known as Additional Mathematics), which often induces great stress and anxiety. Unlike the Mathematics curriculum, which aims to prepare students with the mathematical challenges faced in everyday life, the Add Maths curriculum provides a mathematical foundation for students to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology. This entails mastery of abstract topics in areas such as geometry, algebra, calculus, trigonometry and statistics.
With these helpful study tips and recommendations, you should be able to view all those numbers, formulas and tricky problems in more familiar and less intimidating terms:
1. Master the concepts
The Malaysian Add Maths syllabus requires you to fully understand the relevant concepts and skills, and to demonstrate your knowledge via problem solving. To do well, you have to be able to approach these problems with systematic, accurate and diligent thinking. This means that you have to spend time and effort to understand the basis of the theories and formulas that will be introduced to you.
2. Practice makes perfect
There is usually only one correct answer to an Add Maths problem, but there might be a few ways to solve a problem. The only way to solidify your understanding of the theories in your syllabus is to put in the effort and test your knowledge with multiple practice questions. When you are done, check your answers and workings with the model answer at the back of your exercise book. In time, the kind of rigorous thinking needed to excel in this subject will become easier for you.
3. Do not be shy to ask for help
You may find yourself struggling to understand one or a few Add Maths concepts throughout your Form 4 and Form 5 classes. Instead of keeping quiet and pretending to understand them, ask your teacher to explain it in a different way to help you understand. You can also approach your teacher or a more confident fellow student for help on the topic. If this is still insufficient, consider signing up for classes with a home tutor who can give you additional assistance and extra motivation.
4. Be confident, but not overly confident
When the examination comes around, you should feel prepared and calm. After all, you have worked hard to master the material and have familiarised yourself with the kinds of questions that will appear. You have to work at a quick pace to finish all the questions within the allocated time, but watch out for careless mistakes. Simply misreading a number or making a silly calculation error can cost you precious marks. Therefore, be sure to read each question carefully and think through each step carefully. If you have additional time, go through all your answers to check for any errors in logic or calculation.
At the end of the day, you should aim to do your best in this difficult subject throughout Form 4 and Form 5. Start early so that you do not have to be overwhelmed with anxiety at the last minute!