A-Level H2 Math Tips: How My Friend Got Onto The Dean’s List Almost Every Semester

When I was in the university, a friend shared with me his secret on how he got onto the Dean's List for almost every semester. He had definitely studied really hard but he had also studied really smart.

He achieved his amazing results by making sure that whenever he revised for his exams, he would revise with a group of friends. Hang on a second, there are definitely a lot of people who study with friends, but we can be pretty sure not that many of them will be getting onto the Dean's List. And he told me that the difference was that he made sure his friends knew that he would be available to teach them whatever they didn't know something. And he wasn't simply discussing the subject with them, he would put in the extra effort beforehand to be about 20 to 30 percent more prepared than his friends. And since he was also known to be one who is consistently in the Dean's List, his friends knew he could be trusted and so during exam period he would usually be swamped with many people asking him questions. Probably … even more than the Professors teaching those modules.

I myself was also on the Dean's List but my productivity spike when I studied and revised in isolation. So I couldn't really understand why he did that because to me having so many people trying to get your attention and asking you questions all the time would be very, very distracting.

This was what he explained to me. He told me, when you start learning or revising a new subject, especially when it's Math or Science-related, there will always be gaps in your understanding because the initial perspective of this new subject is still going to be pretty narrow. It's new, it's unfamiliar, you have not been tested so … you can't possibly know what you don't know! But the moment when you start teaching people, it will immediately challenge you to think deeper and reveal any of your inadequacies, and your perspectives of the subject will broaden because you now can also start seeing from other people's perspectives. And if you can help them truly understand and apply the theories and formulas, you can then be 100% certain that you have master and solidify your own understandings and applications. And if you can teach your friends to know the subject better, they will most likely come back to you with higher quality questions and bringing together with them those tougher exam questions too, and this will in turn refine your understanding of the subject even further. He told me that it has never been necessary for him to go hunt for difficult exam questions to practice because the difficult questions would automatically come find him! And trust me that he did this not just to benefit himself but to also genuinely help his friends because more and more of his friends also started getting A or into the Dean's List in the subsequent semesters.

Youtuber, Ali Abdaal also mentioned this in one of this study tips. He titled that tip as “Teach what you are learning”.

So if you are a student trying learn a new Math topic well or if you are revising for your exams, generously share your knowledge with your friends, and work hard to know the subject at least 20% – 30% better than the friends around you so that they know you are someone they can trust to learn good information about the topic. And the more you teach and share, the more knowledgeable and well-equipped you will become.

This video is about how my friend was on the Dean's List ALMOST every semester, but I should probably make another video to share how I stayed on the Dean's List EVERY single semester.

Meanwhile, happy learning 😊

Getting Poor Results In A-Level H2 Math? Here’s An Easy Way To Change It!

Instantly Improve Your Math Exams With This Easy Change

It can be quite common to come across students studying higher level Math, for instance Singapore A-Level H2 Math, who, even after practicing really hard, still end up failing their tests and exams. There are definitely various possible reasons but a prominent one that I want to highlight to you in this video would be when a student adopt the wrong approach in learning some of the high level Math topics. And good news is, this can be easily corrected.

Theory-Centric Topics

For A-Level H2 Math, certain topics like Functions and Vectors, are to be learnt as Theory-Centric topics. And for such topics, a good theoretical framework is necessary before any practice is going to make logical sense. But most students have developed the habit in primary and secondary schools to learn a new topic by first presenting themselves to questions, and by solving the problems brought forth by those questions, they start getting to know their topics better. This approach works well when a topic is Practice-Centric but this is definitely not not going to help when a topic is Theory-Centric. And at higher level Math, this is the juncture when more and more  Theory-Centric topics are introduced into the syllabus.

One possible way to identify whether a topic is Theory-Centric is by reading the solutions to the related questions. For instance, if, say, you are starting to learn the A-Level Math topic Vectors, you can try by skipping the theories and jump straight into reading the solutions to Vectors questions … I doubt even after ploughing through quite a few Vectors questions you will have a have a good enough idea of how Vectors work. And this is probably hinting to us that we are looking at a Theory-Centric topic. So if the student continues to just keep practicing questions to learn such topics, the cognitive returns will continue to be insignificant, hence leading to failures in tests and exams.

What we need to do is, once we have identified a topic as Theory-Centric, we should allocate an adequate amount of time to patiently understand the theories and concepts and explanations before we start practicing questions. At Achevas, when we learn such Theory-Centric topics, we will always structure the lessons such that the emphasis is placed on the theories and concepts discussions instead of mindlessly practicing questions after questions.

I hope you can really try learning Singapore A-Level H2 Math by customizing your study approaches based on whether the particular topic you are studying is Theory-Centric or Practice-Centric because I truly believe this is one of the best and most efficient way for you to learn higher level Math and score in exams!

H2 Math Tuition: When is the right time to start?

The answer is simple. Right when you start feeling like you need a bit of extra help.

It is a harmful myth that your first year of Junior College will be a Honeymoon year, and you only need to start getting serious about H2 Math in your second year. The truth is that you need to bring your A game from Day 1. 

You see, the bulk of Pure Math will be taught in JC1, and it is critical that you spend the time to make sure your fundamental concepts are as strong as can be. After all, a tower is only as strong as its foundations. 

As the adage goes, a stitch in time saves nine, and it is way easier to get it done right the first time than having to go back and relearn the basics later on.