How to revise for Alevel maths/how to memorise techniques?

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b447m
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I find that, once ive thoroughly re-read over a topic i can easily do the harder questions in my course book, but then if i wait a few weeks and try some questions without rereading the notes in my book i cant remember how to do certain things, its like ive completley forgotten and i have to refresh my memory all over again by reading through the book notes
Is there any way to effectively make techniques stick in my head? My problem at the moment is remembering how to do each 'bit' of integration, like which calculation correspond to which results im looking for (if that makes sense)
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CaptainDuckie
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The reason you can’t remember is because you don’t truly understand the concept at hand.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by b447m)
I find that, once ive thoroughly re-read over a topic i can easily do the harder questions in my course book, but then if i wait a few weeks and try some questions without rereading the notes in my book i cant remember how to do certain things, its like ive completley forgotten and i have to refresh my memory all over again by reading through the book notes
Is there any way to effectively make techniques stick in my head? My problem at the moment is remembering how to do each 'bit' of integration, like which calculation correspond to which results im looking for (if that makes sense)
You should be trying to understand not memorise ...
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by Muttley79)
You should be trying to understand not memorise ...


In some topics you can get away with understanding the concepts and subconsciously memorising the steps.
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itchinandburnin
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(Original post by b447m)
I find that, once ive thoroughly re-read over a topic i can easily do the harder questions in my course book, but then if i wait a few weeks and try some questions without rereading the notes in my book i cant remember how to do certain things, its like ive completley forgotten and i have to refresh my memory all over again by reading through the book notes
Is there any way to effectively make techniques stick in my head? My problem at the moment is remembering how to do each 'bit' of integration, like which calculation correspond to which results im looking for (if that makes sense)
I usually find doing the Edexcel bronze - silver - gold tiered papers from Physics and Maths Tutor(or CrashMaths) helps as the paper contains questions from a handful of topics, therefore helping you keep techniques in your head, if that helps
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by itchinandburnin)
I usually find doing the Edexcel bronze - silver - gold tiered papers from Physics and Maths Tutor(or CrashMaths) helps as the paper contains questions from a handful of topics, therefore helping you keep techniques in your head, if that helps

Most of these are tailored to old specification questions and are not problem solving enough.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by CaptainDuckie)
In some topics you can get away with understanding the concepts and subconsciously memorising the steps.
That's not encouraged as a question set in a different context or differently worded won't be recognised.
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by Muttley79)
That's not encouraged as a question set in a different context or differently worded won't be recognised.


If you had a question which you knew how to approach from general understanding and memorisation of the steps, you’re more likely to finish the question in less time.


Most of the context are pretty much the same, at the end of the day, it’s mainly testing that particular topic which would not be any different from what you already know.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by CaptainDuckie)
If you had a question which you knew how to approach from general understanding and memorisation of the steps, you’re more likely to finish the question in less time.


Most of the context are pretty much the same, at the end of the day, it’s mainly testing that particular topic which would not be any different from what you already know.
Not in my experience of teaching Maths and supporting teachers in other schools ...
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Not in my experience of teaching Maths and supporting teachers in other schools ...


Hmm. So, whenever I solve a question involving integration.. let’s say U sub... why do I immediately think of the steps needed to solve the integral?

Surely its good to understand but having a formulated way of getting the answer, through memorising steps of changing the X values to U values, and then integrating leads to less time wasted. Also utilising memory

It’ll be less feasible to approach every question with the intention that the approach is different from what you have normally learnt.


Plus our brain memorises subconsciously anyways whenever it comes to complex questions. As that is the desired approach.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by CaptainDuckie)
Hmm. So, whenever I solve a question involving integration.. let’s say U sub... why do I immediately think of the steps needed to solve the integral?

Surely its good to understand but having a formulated way of getting the answer, through memorising steps of changing the X values to U values, and then integrating leads to less time wasted. Also utilising memory

It’ll be less feasible to approach every question with the intention that the approach is different from what you have normally learnt.


Plus our brain memorises subconsciously anyways whenever it comes to complex questions. As that is the desired approach.
Presumably you UNDERSTAND the need for a it... and can recongnise when it's appropriate - not every integration needs it so blindly memorising is pointless. If you understand then you really don't need to revise ...
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b447m
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(Original post by CaptainDuckie)
The reason you can’t remember is because you don’t truly understand the concept at hand.
I do understand the concepts though, once ive finished thoroughly revising a topic i can solve any of the questions in the book, i just have a problem retaining it i suppose
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Presumably you UNDERSTAND the need for a it... and can recongnise when it's appropriate - not every integration needs it so blindly memorising is pointless. If you understand then you really don't need to revise ...

I used it as an example. The method will work in pretty much all techniques to solve an integral.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by b447m)
I do understand the concepts though, once ive finished thoroughly revising a topic i can solve any of the questions in the book, i just have a problem retaining it i suppose
Test yourself a month afterwards, then a bit more often the nearer you get to the exam. My maths teachers at school always gave end-of-topic tests at least a few weeks after we'd moved onto a new topic so that it stuck in more.
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CaptainDuckie
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(Original post by b447m)
I do understand the concepts though, once ive finished thoroughly revising a topic i can solve any of the questions in the book, i just have a problem retaining it i suppose

You might just need to develop a schedule to regularly review it.

Your brain forgets information, it’s normal. It’s called ”forgetting curve”- if that is your case, then just review the questions in a spaced out repetition.


But I’d urge you to try understanding though, as only memorising leads you to disaster.
Last edited by CaptainDuckie; 4 weeks ago
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