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Summertime and the Living Is Easy?

20 June 2016

For our students summertime is more IB than easy. Their end-of-Year 12 exams are over and now is the time to reflect on their learning, their performance in the exams and to plan for a productive summer. At NAIS Pudong, we believe reflection is an important part of the learning cycle, so we asked all of our Year 12 students to write a simple reflection on their performance in the exams and to use this as the basis for an action plan to improve in Mathematics over the next academic year. Here is a taste of what they wrote:

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IB HL Maths reflections of the year:

“Throughout this year, I have improved on my skills in previous knowledge, building upon calculus, probability and statistics. I have also learnt many new concepts such as matrix and trigonometry calculus. Overall, I feel this year has been rewarding and useful in developing my mathematical knowledge, allowing me to push my boundaries from an IGCSE student to an IB one.”

“From the end of year examination, I realized that I need more work and practice on trigonometry. Linking to the whole year, I have really come to understand how important it is to build a base before developing new concepts in Mathematics. Personally, the ‘deepest’ trigonometry I had ever done was Pythagoras theorem and the area of a triangle (base x height)/2. So although I had trouble in this topic, I now know what I need to work on.”

“It has been more challenging than I had thought IB HL Mathematics was. It’s a mixture of my Hong Kong Mathematics syllabus and deeper. I think the best quote to describe my whole year experience in IB HL Mathematics is ‘no pain no gain’.”

“In order to succeed, I need to go back to each topic especially; logarithms, simultaneous equations, calculus, transformations, translations of graphs and matrix as well.”

“IB HL Mathematics is really challenging. Even though it really pushes me and makes me work harder, I get a sense of accomplishment. When the units get harder and harder, I felt scared. However, that makes me push myself further and gives me a wider perspective of the subject.”

“I am pretty happy with my results from this exam; however, I made some silly mistakes that I have to reduce for the real exam. I also need to improve on graphs and the normal distribution as these were the areas that I felt less confident and lost the most marks.”

“I think that I am becoming better at completing simple problems using the correct mathematical equations. However, I need to focus more time on the how to complete complex problems, and my ability to extract the correct information, as well as understand which formulas to use. I also need to take more time answering questions, in order to avoid making careless errors.”

As reflective learners we expect our students to continually improve. In addition to the work they are set to complete on their IA we give them a range of resources including instructional videos and interactive worksheets to work on their weaknesses over the summer. While we hope they have a relaxing and refreshing summer holiday we also hope they have a productive one.

Mr Clem Parrish
Head of Maths