Mathematics - New Pattern For Class 10 And 12 Students

How to prepare, important topics, and what to look for.

Amidst the peak of the second wave of cases of Covid-19 in the country, the Government of India announced the cancellation of board examinations for Class X and XII grades in the interest of the wellbeing of lakhs of students. With the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020), the traditional education system is set to undergo a paradigm shift. With the increasing demand to learn niche courses like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Gaming, Vedic Mathematics, aspirants are honing foundational math skills.

Need for A Practical Approach 

As the new academic year commences, one of the most important subjects to plan for and focus on from day one is Mathematics which requires a practical approach to learning. Mathematics is a life skill that goes beyond the classroom. As adults, we use math for many important life decisions, from managing our finances to household decisions. When it comes to learning practically, an essay-based test system does not measure knowledge. Competency-based MCQs and case study-based questions in Math and Physics can enable practical assessment for lower grades. This style of assessment is already prevalent at the graduation and post-graduation levels in our education system.

NCERT has also recognized the need for practical training among students and has introduced a competency-based learning programme in its secondary school curriculum for 2021-22. It is a significant change in our education system as schools will now focus on teaching real-life competencies. Students will learn mathematics to solve real-world problems, and not just to prepare for exams. These changes, while implemented for the better, come with their own set of challenges for students. With a few tips and strategies, students can smartly navigate the new syllabus. Students must accept that competency-based questions will be the norm soon. Students of standard IX and XI should start their prep in advance for their boards in the upcoming year. 

Exam Prep with The New Syllabus and Question Paper Style

  1. Know the latest math syllabus well - Take the time and do thorough research on the marking system to understand test patterns and scoring areas. Know the syllabus thoroughly. Invest more time in knowing concepts thoroughly rather than completing the syllabus faster.
  2. Time management - MCQs test your knowledge and also your time management skills. In subjects like mathematics, you may not have the time to work out all the problems on paper – practising mental math will save time during the exams. Make sure you allocate the first hour for the easy questions, so there is time to work out the difficult questions.
  3. Reading skills - Competency and case-study-based questions in physics and mathematics require high reading comprehension skills. Crucial details will often be buried in the questions - practice fast reading skills to understand such questions thoroughly. Read the entire question fully before attempting to answer.   
  4. Identify your weak areas - It is important to know which section of the question paper will take you more time to solve. Put extra work into those areas ahead of the exams. Be prepared to tackle them at the end if you face a time crunch during the exam.
  5. Follow a timetable, plan well - a well-scheduled plan can save you from last-minute cramming during the exam season. It will also ensure you have enough time to understand the concepts by practically solving them rather than just theoretical learning. 
  6. Remember important formulae - Have a dedicated sheet containing important formulae, and keep it handy to remember. Make a note of the applications of the formulae. 
  7. Solve mock exam papers - Solving mock papers has become more crucial than ever with this new pattern. It will give an idea of what topics are highly likely to be asked. Students that solve more papers will have an advantage over others as they will be faster in solving competency-based questions, as they are familiar with the pattern.
  8. Join a workshop to refresh and strengthen your foundational concepts. Develop your own methods that make math fun and engaging to study by going beyond the regular curriculum.
  9. Learn to eliminate - Most of the questions in the new pattern will have crucial details which can help you eliminate the wrong options. It's easier to find the correct answer after eliminating the wrong options.
  10. NCERT Textbooks are the holy grail - the textbooks contain all the information needed to solve these questions. Before studying from reference materials and guide books, make sure you know the textbook well. The textbooks have become more important for the new pattern as most words/paragraphs in the question paper will be taken out from the textbook verbatim.

Important Math Topics 

Application of derivatives; Differential equations; Matrices; Rational Numbers and Number Systems; Exponents and Powers; Understanding Quadrilaterals; Statistics; Polynomials, Identities, and Factorization; Coordinate Geometry, Graphs; Linear Equations; Practical Geometry and Constructions; Finding Square Roots; and Probability .

These guidelines are supplemental measures to help students put in their best efforts during the exams. Parents and teachers can help students in how to follow these guidelines, especially maintaining a timetable and adhering to it. Understanding the concepts is half the game; preparation is the other half.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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