Is 6 months of intense study enough time to study for an entrance exam

In summary: This is just a basic outline of my plan, I'm open to any suggestions you may have.In summary, the 6-month intensive study regime is going to include repeating 5th-8th grade, studying resources from KhanAcademy, PatrickJMT, Professor Leonard, MIT OpenCourseWare, and worksheets found on the internet, and having a private tutor to fill in any holes in my knowledge.
  • #1
BoredLlama
5
1
Hi all,

Forgive me if this post seems long, I tried to make it as short as possible by removing any unnecessary details, and leaving only the things needed. It would really mean so much to me if you would be able to read all of it to better understand my position, but if you're unable to read all of it, just jump to the Training Regime section.

Ok, here's the thing. I'm preparing myself for the college entrance exam, and I hope that 6 months of intensive study regime will be enough time for me to pass it. I would like your opinion on it to see if there is anything I would need to change

The entrance exam (July, 1st) is only 10 math-based questions from a random selection of topics listed here (the ones marked with a '?' are topics that I'm not sure if I translated well)

There is unfortunately, one huge problem with this whole thing, and those are my math skills.

ABOUT ME
--------------

I won't bother posting too much of my background info just to be able to keep this thread short, but the only thing that I will say is that unfortunately throughout high school, I had a series of many, many bad events happening in my life leading me to the "downward spiral" and soon enough to a deep depression which caused my grades to drop heavily (from B to E (or whatever is the minimum passing grade at schools in the US)), and unfortunately math was never the topic I was interested in before and after depression hit.

Most of the time in school I always thought about math as that one subject where you won't need anything more than basic arithmetic and geometry in your life, so unfortunately I never paid much attention to it in class and just memorized the formulas and "templates" enough for it to be a passing grade.

Because of this, my math skills have suffered severely, and I plan to make it up to myself since now I'm looking towards entering college and I'm hoping I can hone my skills enough to pass the exam :)

TRAINING REGIME
---------------------------

Since my memory of math is pretty weak, I decided to go on KhanAcademy and see how far I can go without failling. These are the results:
  • Kindergarten to 4th grade - Too easy, everything completed 100%
  • 5th and 6th grade - Here I can see that there are holes in my knowledge, but I covered most of it
  • 7th and 8th grade - Really foggy here, I need to repeat the majority of this stuff
  • High School - I failed everything :(
Now, here's the thing. All those topics that were listed in the above PasteBin link are the topics that I need to study for the exam, and what I'm curious about that is:
Is 6 months enough time to study all those topics listed above, even with knowledge as bad as mine?

Here's my study plan:
  • Starting from January, I'm going to go and repeat everything from 5th - 8th grade (this is mostly because I believe that if my fundamentals are bad, the rest will fall easily)
  • My study resources will comprise mostly of:
    • KhanAcademy
    • PatrickJMT
    • Professor Leonard (YouTube)
    • MIT OpenCourseWare
    • BONUS: Worksheets found on the internet for homework
  • My study will consist of 6-8 hours a day, 6x per week (1 - 1.5 hours of this will be spent on 'theory', that is, when I'm learning a new concept, I first want to try and understand it; like what does this concept represent, when do I use it, how do I apply it in X or Y situation, what it's all about, etc...) (rest of the hours will be spent on practicing and doing worksheets for that topic I just learned, and the previous ones)
More than 8 hours is something I don't think I'll be able to accomplish, just to avoid the feeling of "burnout". Of course, I don't plan on spending these hours all at once, what I meant was something like 3 in the morning/afternoon, 3-5 in the evening just before bedtime. I'll also use the Pomodoro Technique for better time management.
  • Starting from February, I'll also include a private tutor
Since the goal here is accelerated learning. With a private tutor, I was thinking of scheduling tutoring once a week, so that we can go through all of the things I learned that week, to see if I learned everything correctly, if I can do any homework assignment without help, to clear things up in case I was stuck somewhere, or didn't knew how to solve a problem, etc...

The lessons will be scheduled once a week from February up to May. In May and June, I'll start scheduling tutoring 3 times a week and I hope we can go through all of the topics listed above and fill any holes that I have. Most importantly to practice together, A LOT!
And that's about it for my study plan. Let me know what you think about it.

I know all of this seems a bit excessive, but this is just for that small hope that I have that I will succeed at entering college this year, and to be honest, even with all of this, I still have some form of anxiety that's telling me this won't be enough to study all those things in such a short period of time, and that I should give up on trying this year, and go for the next :\
I really want to succeed this year, but if skipping another year is necessary, then I'd rather do the right thing.

I would really like to hear what you guys think about all of this.

Thanks in forward, and forgive me again for the long post.
 
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  • #2
You have not alternative. Go on. Go ahead. Good planning. Your agenda is the wright one. Be confidence. You will achieve. Salutes!. Excuse my english.
 
  • #3
A reasonably bright person could teach themselves from algebra to introductory calculus in 6 months if they worked hard. Go for it.
 
  • #4
So, you need to cover a bit over 6 years of material in 6 months. Do you think it is reasonable to do things 12x faster than anyone else?
 
  • #5
Something else exams test for beyond knowledge is intuition (understanding and knowing is not enough), but I think many of us have participated in many examinations... I've seen people study the night before and achieve impressive scores; I've also seen people put everything into it, practicing and studying regularly- still ultimately choking and failing. It happens. There's no right answer aside from doing the best you can, but certainly couldn't hurt your odds to work hard.

Good luck!
 
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  • #6
Joshy said:
Something else exams test for beyond knowledge is intuition (understanding and knowing is not enough), but I think many of us have participated in many examinations... I've seen people study the night before and achieve impressive scores; I've also seen people put everything into it, practicing and studying regularly- still ultimately choking and failing. It happens. There's no right answer aside from doing the best you can, but certainly couldn't hurt your odds to work hard.

Good luck!
There is a rate: the more effort, the better feed-back. And there are experiences out of logic. My english is poor because I haven't studied it enough, I won't quote irrational trues. I prefer not to search excuses. It's easy, It's real the irrational. But is a proof useless. It's real not enough
 
  • #7
Hi, guys. Thank you for all of your replies, it really means much to me.

One thing I forgot to mention about the exam was, it consists of 10 questions, each carrying a maximum of 6 points. The good thing about it is, you're answer is scored depending on your attempt, not the result. This means if you make a mistake somewhere, it's not going to be an automatic 0. This is why I wanted to try studying all these topics and hopefully score a 3 or 4 on questions regarding integrals, derivates and any tough topics that would require months of studying.

Another thing which I want to ask is, do you think it would be better to devote another year just for studying math (and at a regular pace 2-4h a day, 4-5 days a week) to make sure I understand all of these things instead of rushing through or is it better to try and bite the bullet now and go through this regime just to be able to enter?

Another good thing is, after the exams (July, 1st), the first semester starts in January, so I would have plenty of time to catch up on all these topics and properly figure them out to avoid having trouble during classes :). Of course, the bad thing is that I wouldn't do well on the exam as to how I could have done if I paused another year.

I'm really confused about what to do here. Both seem like good choices, and I only want to avoid wasting my time and doing what it's right, but the problem is I can't figure it out, and the clock is ticking :(
 
  • #8
Are you allowed to take the test multiple times? Probably wouldn't kill you to take it this year even if it's in a rush, and then try again next year if you're not happy with the scores. In either case: Put everything into it. I wouldn't even aim for partial credit. Go for 100%. There's no denying you're already too late, but you're going to have to start somewhere (if this is what you want) and go with what you've got.
 
  • #9
Joshy said:
Are you allowed to take the test multiple times? Probably wouldn't kill you to take it this year even if it's in a rush, and then try again next year if you're not happy with the scores. In either case: Put everything into it. I wouldn't even aim for partial credit. Go for 100%. There's no denying you're already too late, but you're going to have to start somewhere (if this is what you want) and go with what you've got.

Hi Josh, unfortunately no, we are not allowed to take the test multiple times (that is within the same year, as it's only done once), but I can try next year as you've said. The only drawback is that it would cost me money (a small amount for signing up for the entrance exam, a lot for private tutoring for this year, and the next one).

Additionally, I would like to share with you previous entrance exams to see how they look like. Unfortunately, since they're in PDF format, you will have to translate them with Google since I can't edit them.

(NOTE: Ignore every question after the first two pages (that is, after the first 10 questions))

Here are the 2018 exam questions:
http://www.ftn.uns.ac.rs/n877262965/prijemni-2018

Here are 2017 exam questions:
http://www.ftn.uns.ac.rs/741711949/...spita-koji-su-se-odrzali-u-junu-2017--godine-

For 2019, it's still supposed to come out, it's just a little bit delayed.

Anytime you see the word "Rešenje:", it means "Solution:", so to save yourself time, ignore it and just translate the questions before it.

Let me know what you think about them. Is it too hard for 6 months, doable...?
 
  • #10
Is it a price you're willing to pay? There's no free lunch. If you don't think you're willing to take it twice and you're not in a rush, then I would save it for next year. If you're in a rush and don't want to wait until next year, then doesn't seem like you have a lot of options. Looks like you can optimize your chances if you take it this year and next year (if you're unhappy with the scores)... but it's going to cost you. I personally opted for the last option when I took my exam for graduate school.

I didn't look at the questions, but it wouldn't matter. If I showed two friends the same 5 km race track and asked them to run it in less than 25 minutes... it might be two different race tracks in the perspective of my friends especially if one sits most of the day compared to the other who runs 10 km everyday for the last 5 years.
 
  • #11
I don't think the specific questions are valuable except as a calibration, and the calibration is about as I would expect for college admissions. So nothing has changed - you're trying to do 6 years of work in 6 months. Do you think you can do this 12x faster than everybody else? If you don't have a good answer to this, it's not really a plan, is it? At best it's a hope but more likely a wish.

Even a year and a half means learning the material 4x faster. The risk you take by taking it now just to see what happens is that you'll try to cram in the last year or three without adequate foundation, you won't do well, and now you have to start over from where you should have started - only six months further behind. (And now you have to learn the material 6x faster),

I don't see how partial credit is relevant. Everyone will be graded that way, so you won't have any relative advantage. If you think that you can somehow squeak by without having learned the material well, isn't that how you got into this mess?
 
  • #12
BoredLlama said:
Since my memory of math is pretty weak, I decided to go on KhanAcademy and see how far I can go without failling. These are the results:
  • Kindergarten to 4th grade - Too easy, everything completed 100%
  • 5th and 6th grade - Here I can see that there are holes in my knowledge, but I covered most of it
  • ...
So, the problems seem to build up in 5th grade. Any explanation?
 
  • #13
zoki85 said:
So, the problems seem to build up in 5th grade. Any explanation?
No idea why.

It could be because I don't tend to use fractions, powers, roots etc... quite often, so I could remember all of it in a week or two.
 
  • #14
When I mentor students preparing for the ACT, an effective approach is to have them take it once and carefully analyze the results to identify weak areas. Then the available time before the next take of the ACT is used mostly to address the weak areas rather than to "study everything." Students I mentor with this approach improve by an average of 3 points between takes (a perfect score is 36).

Now each different college entrance exam will be different, but identifying and focusing on weak areas is probably a better use of the time than studying everything. The real question is rarely "do I have enough time" but rather, "How do I make the best use of the time I have?"
 
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  • #15
Dr. Courtney said:
When I mentor students preparing for the ACT, an effective approach is to have them take it once and carefully analyze the results to identify weak areas. Then the available time before the next take of the ACT is used mostly to address the weak areas rather than to "study everything." Students I mentor with this approach improve by an average of 3 points between takes (a perfect score is 36).

Now each different college entrance exam will be different, but identifying and focusing on weak areas is probably a better use of the time than studying everything. The real question is rarely "do I have enough time" but rather, "How do I make the best use of the time I have?"
Hi, Dr. Courtney, thank you for your reply :)

I know that I should best make use of this time that I have, but the problem is, I'm perplexed right now as to whether I should try my best and hardest these 6 months or pause for another year and throughout the whole 2020 year studying all these topics properly?

As I said before, my exam has a total number of 10 questions, each carrying 6 points if done correctly. Thankfully, even if it's not done correctly, the professors will still grade your progress.

The goal for me to enter into my desired program (IT) is to be able to answer at least 8 (or 7.5) questions correctly.

I know it's not the end of the world if I fail, but I just have a strong desire to succeed, even at the expense of another year.
 
  • #16
BoredLlama, I'm spanish, and I have two exams on January the end: maths and physics. It's only 2 of some other ones. It's the first step. It's what the UNED requires to access to the grade in Maths. I am 54 years old. My curriculum it's a universitary five years' poor studies called journalism ,at the nineties. I've read the contents of your exam. It's the same as mine of maths. I have done it from february to augoust. Two books of more than 300 pages each. I suffer a mental illnes. That makes me feel very friendly with you. There is nothing more devastating. I write you not to say you what you have to do. I have no idea. Actually, the contents you mention can be lifelong. I only write you to salute you. But one more thing, you spend a lot of time talking about your problem. Nobody can help you. Take a decition wright now. Stop thinking. Take it easy.
 

Related to Is 6 months of intense study enough time to study for an entrance exam

1. Is 6 months of intense study enough time to study for an entrance exam?

The answer to this question depends on various factors such as the difficulty level of the entrance exam, the subject being studied, and the individual's study habits. However, in general, 6 months is considered an adequate amount of time to prepare for an entrance exam if one is dedicated and consistent in their study approach.

2. Can I achieve a high score on the entrance exam with just 6 months of intense study?

Again, this depends on the individual's study habits and the difficulty level of the exam. However, with proper time management and a focused study plan, it is definitely possible to achieve a high score on the entrance exam within 6 months of intense study.

3. How many hours of study should I dedicate per day for 6 months to prepare for the entrance exam?

The number of hours one should dedicate per day for studying depends on their personal schedule and learning capacity. It is recommended to study for at least 2-3 hours per day consistently for 6 months to adequately prepare for the entrance exam.

4. Is it better to study intensively for 6 months or spread out the studying over a longer period of time?

This ultimately depends on the individual's learning style and preferences. Some people may benefit from an intensive study approach, while others may find it more effective to spread out their studying over a longer period of time. It is important to find a study method that works best for you.

5. Are there any tips for maximizing the effectiveness of 6 months of intense studying for an entrance exam?

Yes, here are a few tips: create a study schedule and stick to it, focus on understanding the concepts rather than just memorizing, take regular breaks to avoid burnout, practice with past exams or sample questions, and seek help from teachers or tutors if needed.

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