Some will be naturally good at maths, and others will have to work harder at it, but no matter what, you can achieve the same results, so do not be disheartened!
Although maths is not a requirement for medicine entry, many candidates choose to do this A-Level, and the skills will certainly come in handy during your medical training. In this blog, you will find three top tips for A-Level maths revision.
1. Video tutorials
For me, this was a life-changing discovery. After struggling to keep up with a fast-paced A-Level maths class, and feeling completely useless, learning about video tutorials was absolutely fantastic.
Video tutorials allow you to understand concepts at your own pace, rewinding when necessary or speeding things up. The most useful part of it is seeing how to work out answers to past paper questions, rather than just seeing the answer on a mark scheme and not having any idea how to get to it.
“Exam Solutions” is a website that covers all exam boards in this way, with clearly organised and labelled videos that allow you to work through topics and questions systematically.
This is a little known tip, but is actually useful for every A-Level subject you are doing. Each past paper and mark scheme comes with an examiner’s report, giving feedback on each question in the paper, and where candidates went wrong. This is gold dust – not only can you learn from your own mistakes, but also the mistakes of everyone else around the country!
You should also try to do as many questions as you can, even from other exam boards or older specifications. The more you practice, the more confident you will be, because the questions on your paper will always be different than what you have previously done.
3. Try to do a question before checking the answer
Before you apply top tips number one and two, try as hard as you can to answer the question yourself! Although it’s very tempting to look straight at the answer, if you get it wrong, you should try it again first.
This is because working out how to do a question yourself is much better for your learning than reading the explanation straight away. It’s annoying, but trust me, it’ll help!
If you’re struggling to motivate yourself to revise maths, remember, it’s more similar to medicine than you may think! Maths requires application of knowledge and rules to different problems, and although there is more than one way to solve each question, ultimately there is always a right and wrong answer.
This is very similar to medicine– different doctors will have different ideas on how to treat patients, but they all have the same aim. Medicine is an area where you can’t learn answers off by heart; each case is slightly different and you have to apply what you know, or use the experience of previous patients that you’ve had.
Maths is exactly the same – no question is identical to another, but if you apply previous knowledge and expose yourself to a wider variety of questions, you get better at it, just as doctors improve with experience. I hope that gives you some motivation!