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How can I be really fast at maths?

  1. Mar 2, 2013 #1
    Hey, I want to be able to do calculus and algebra extremely fast so how can I do that?
    I have to get the maths paper done in 3 hours but people say rarely someone achieves that because the exam paper is huge and some questions are very tedious. There are 10 questions each question worth 10 marks and has about 5 parts. The first question is integration, the second is complex analysis, the third is graphing, 4th is volumes, 5th is applications of calculus (mechanics), 6th is harder polynomials, 7th is conical sections, 8th is probability and combinatorics, 9th is binomial theorem, 10th is harder analysis.
    How can I get the questions done in 3 hours? At the moment I get up to about question 8 in 3 hours which means i dont get to do my fav topic, real analysis. Any tips are appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2013 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you have to do them in this order? If not, start with your favorite parts - or the parts where you expect to be good and quick.
    How to get quicker: practice. In addition, you can look for different ways to solve problems - usually, there are quicker and slower ways.
  4. Mar 2, 2013 #3


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    well, if you don't mind being wrong, you can be as fast as you want.
  5. Mar 3, 2013 #4
    Are there past or sample exams for the test you're taking? Just do a lot of practice with those. Usually the more practice you do, the faster you'll get. It's only natural.
  6. Mar 3, 2013 #5
    Thanks guys, I will definitely do a lot of practice but some of the questions are very very tricky and with very little time it is very hard to spot the trick... have a look at this question: http://i.imgur.com/0LdTrM9.png
    This is a 1/5 of the 8th question (probability and combinatorics) and I am meant to spend around 10-20 mins on it. I think it takes like 10 mins to just write the answer down lol
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  7. Mar 3, 2013 #6
    The avarage for the test I am taking is usually 50% but I have been preparing for 2 years and I really want to get 90%. Only 1 person got 100%.
  8. Mar 3, 2013 #7
    Yes, there are sample papers, I have about 1500 of them! But I never get them done in time. I will keep doing them and hopefully improve my speed. The problem is that it is a very difficult exam so I need concentration, speed and accuracy and under so much stress it is hard to achieve. Thank you for the help everyone!
  9. Mar 3, 2013 #8
    Just like running, practicing will make you faster. In calculus, practicing will make you realize which technique to use for integration to make the integral easiest to solve.

  10. Mar 3, 2013 #9
    im no expert at this stuff but when i was practicing for the SAT i would take off a small chunk of time from the allotted time. for example, if a section is 25 mins 24 questions, i would give myself 20 mins for 24 questions.

    overtime i was able to get faster. on test day, i finished the longest sections in around 10-15 mins
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