29 Apr 2021

In most of the JC H2 Mathematics classes, typed notes are often distributed to students during lectures. Although these notes are fairly comprehensive, students may need to annotate them with any extra comments, common misconceptions, hints and pointers discussed in class. Encouraging students to annotate their own notes lets them take charge of their own learning and refine their personal studying methods. Let’s take a look at a sample page of JC H2 Mathematics given by the teacher to the student. The page is free from annotations and explanations.

Do you understand what is going on just by looking at the page of notes on complex numbers? It is quite a detailed set of materials, however some students may not be able to make sense of the content. It is not surprising if you cannot understand the lesson just from the notes. Without clear explanation, the notes containing only the solution appears as disconnected chunks of words, diagrams and graphs. Explanatory sentences can be useful to help the reader comprehend the lesson.

Some of the common questions asked by students are:

- How does the diagram relate to the modulus argument form?
- What do the variables r, argument mean?

With specific questions like these, self-guided annotations may be useful in helping students understand the ~~ ~~specific concept-related queries that may surface.

One common reason why students may not partake in – class annotations is due to multi – tasking. Paying attention to the lesson whilst attempting to annotate notes can be challenging. This is certainly no easy feat. It is difficult to copy as fast as the lesson is presented. Is there a good way to listen and write at the same time? The key is to write only one or two main phrases and recall the lesson when doing your own self – study.

Refer to the sample JC H2 Mathematics sample notes. This page comes with in – class annotations. Since there are only the main phrases scribbled on them, it may be a good idea to review content right after the class on the same day. This is encouraged mainly because concepts are all fresh in recollection. Hence it helps students to surface out the possible questions they have much faster than before.

Working on at-home annotations can be tricky in the beginning. To work on these for your JC H2 Mathematics notes, you can follow some guiding steps. Firstly, read through the notes to check if you have any questions around the concepts. Pencil down your questions to ask your tutor later.

Circle out any sections that confuses you as a reminder to check with your teacher later. Compare the JC H2 Mathematics notes you received from the teacher versus the ones you annotated at home. Do you spot any difference? The notes look a lot clearer, don’t they? It will be much easier to recall the material when you review these notes a few months later.

JC H2 Mathematics in Singapore are taught using a spiral curriculum. The Spiral curriculum is a teaching method where the material is revisited repeatedly over time. For example, the polar form of complex numbers will be appliedto De Moivre’s theorem in later chapters of complex numbers. If earlier chapters have not been fully mastered, the misconceptions can affect understanding of later units.

Hence, being able to take good notes is an important skill a student should possess to achieve academic success. Here at IB Super , we believe and advocate in effective note taking skills help students summarise the main ideas taught in the JC H2 Mathematics lessons and aids in better understanding of the subject. Good grasp of earlier units through better note taking will ‘spiral’ to later units and improves students understanding of the overall subject.

If you have any further questions on how to take good notes, do schedule an appointment with IB Super to discuss. We have helped thousands of students improve their grades and will be happy to help you too!

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