Practise for exam perfection

26th March 2004 at 00:00
Higher Mathematics: Official SQA Past Papers 2000-2003 with model answers pound;6.99, Leckie amp; Leckie

Nothing prepares you better than practice," says Leckie and Leckie. It also states that real exam practice develops confidence and prepares students to know what to expect on the day.

The book aims to cover all topics and allow a comprehensive approach to revision. For these reasons, most of my pupils will have worked through these papers at least once before the SQA examination.

Study skills workshops are an integral part of student's learning and Leckie and Leckie's top 10 tips for exam success reinforce nicely what we do in schools.

Another advantage is the pocket answer section which can be pulled out and used alongside the exam paper - useful for students working through papers independently. It provides not just final answers to problems, but a prompt if they are working through them on their own.

However, my concern is that students consider these solutions to be adequate, when clearly they are not. The answer section lacks detail and communication, and solutions to proofs are not shown. It is necessary to check students' solutions to ensure that they are presenting them with the detail required by the SQA.

Although the resource is made with complete past papers, it isn't necessary to copy the blank pages and have the formula sheet at the start of every paper. This could be a pull-out page as well, which could bring the cost down - always an advantage.

Students using this resource will gain more of the practice that is essential to succeed in Higher mathematics, and ensure that the exam is not as daunting on the day as it seems.

Pauline Anderson is PT maths at Kelso High, Scottish Borders

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