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How to pass Maths at Grade 12 level

Posted on February 20, 2017 by Richard McIntyre

There are TWO points that need to be made about Maths in Grade 12.

The first point is about knowing whether you (as a learner) should be doing Maths or Maths Lit. There is a huge stigma attached to Maths Lit learners – it is unfounded, however. There are many good reasons for doing Maths Lit. If you do not need to do pure maths for what you are aiming to do after school, consider changing to Maths Lit so that you can spend more time on your other subjects.

If you are convinced that you need Maths, not Maths Lit, then my second point applies. Difficulties with Maths generally arise due to the nature of the subject. It is not a purely rote learning subject, nor is it a purely practical application subject. Both aspects need to work in harmony to ensure that success in Maths can be achieved. This point raises a new question that is “How do I ensure this harmony is achieved?” and the answer to this is simply put, but not as simply done:

  • If you are aiming to only achieve a pass percentage of 30%, you cannot only study 30% of the work! This means that the level of work that is needed to be put into Maths is not necessarily proportional to the mark obtained. Generally, more work must be put in and this work must also start at the beginning of the year!
  • Exams are set so that if you just know the basic procedures and definitions, you should be able to get 50%. If you are not getting this, try determine why. Is your study method effective for your learning style? Are you giving yourself enough time to study? Are you listening in class (this will be over 50% of your learning done already!!)? Are the notes that you are learning from correct and complete? If you are answering NO to any of these questions, do something to change the answer to a YES!
  • If you are not good with all the sections in Maths, DO NOT WORRY! You are in the majority of the population! Have a look at the sections in the exam that you can do and try make sure you work hard on these and complete these first in the tests/exams. Then spend whatever time is left trying to squeeze extra marks out of the other sections. I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU MUST IGNORE THE OTHER SECTIONS!! JUST FOCUS MORE ON THE ONES YOU CAN DO!! If you are unable to pass on just those sections, refer to the point above.
  • Finally, there is an important aspect that is left off from many lists. YOU MUST WANT IT!! By want it, I mean that you must want it more than getting drunk or high every night and causing you to struggle to concentrate the next day in class; more than watching TV or YouTube for hours on end in the afternoon after school instead of doing homework; more than leaving school and not being able to go in the direction you want because your matric is too weak!

Good luck for the coming year! Remember that many people pass Maths per year – make sure you are one of them!