by Jimmy Ling


Have you looked through your child’s exam papers? How do you review your child’s exam paper? Regardless of how your child did for the paper, there will surely be a few things to take note of to ensure better results next time.

I will share a few useful tips on how you can review your child’s paper for better results next time. My tutors and I use this to review all my students’ papers to make sure they don’t repeat the same mistakes, and improve on the key areas.

1.  Spot for Mistakes Which Can be Corrected Immediately

There are many kind of mistakes. Some are due to carelessness. Some are due to misunderstanding of questions. Some are due to poor understanding of key concepts.

For a start, focus on those mistakes which can be corrected immediately. These are mistakes usually found in paper 1 and shorter problem sums. For example, your child can understand the concepts, but due to carelessness or mistakes in the calculations, your child lost precious marks. You will be surprised at how much your child will improve when he corrects these mistakes.

2.  Focus on Concepts which your child is not clear on

For each chapter, there are a few key concepts which your child must know. If you spot mistakes in your child’s paper which shows lack of understanding in these concepts, it’s time he corrects them. If he doesn’t correct them, he will probably lose marks again in the next paper, because these key concepts will usually be tested again.

For example, for fractions, most students don’t understand the phrase “… of the remainder”. Try to explain using model or tree diagram. This will help your child to see where the remainder is.  Make a note beside the mistake and don’t throw the paper away. Make sure your child go through the mistakes again before the next exam. This will help in his revision.

3.  Give More Practice on those Concepts

After you have explained those concepts, you need to make sure your child can apply them. Give him some exam papers and ask him to spot questions which use the same concepts.

If he has problems spotting, you can help him by dropping hints. Then ask him to do those questions and make sure they are correct.

Once your child is able to spot which questions are testing the same concepts, and is able to solve them all correctly, you can move on to revise other concepts that he is weak in.

4.  Go Through the Methods your Child used in the Problem Sums

Which method did your child use when he solved the problem sum? Did he use it correctly? Ask him why he used this method. This will help him to identify the correct method when he encounters similar questions next time.

Most importantly, go through with your child on how to apply the method correctly. If he used model drawing, did he draw them correctly? If not, go through with him on how to draw and label the model. Make sure he do his corrections correctly.

5.  Improve on the Presentation

Presentation is very, very important. Did your child show all the workings clearly? All top scoring Math students have a good habit of writing clear statements.

For example: Instead of writing “6 / 2 = 3″, they will write “Number of groups of shirts = 6 / 2 = 3″. Writing clear statements make their workings easy to mark, and most importantly, helps your child to understand his own working better.

I have met many students who didn’t even understand their own working when I asked them why they wrote a certain working or step during their exams. So checking on your child’s presentation and improving them (even though they got the answer correct), will go a long way in improving your child’s marks in the future.