MATH1241 students, our exam superstars, were recently asked to share some of their hard-earned wisdom about how to pass a mathematics exam.

In contrast with the restrictive rules with our last poetical journey, verse was optional. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Find their tips below...


Do the past papers, get in with mathsoc, attend tutorials, if u don't understand ask. Finish all past papers and do as many qs from the booklets as u can -> 90+

Mathsoc Class test solutions.

Write summaries

do past exams

get it all wrong

learn from your mistakes

don't fail exam

If you are to spew,
Remember Norman J. W.
\"Please stay rational.\"

People that do maths are a special sort of people.

People that do maths know fear.

People that do maths are always there to help you.

Don't be afraid to draw near.


Make friends throughout the struggle

Wear battle gear to lessons

You will find lecture jokes and banter

And communal Maple T.A sessions.

Lie in bed crying wondering why you decided to do an engineering degree.

Revising chapters by simply reading the theorems

Completing past papers under timed conditions

go to consultation regularly. If you have any problems ,you had better figure it out as soon as possible because it can strength your understanding of this content.

  • Do all the past papers and the difficult ones at least twice
  • Attempt all questions in exams even if you can't get the answer, just put something down 
  • Go through exercise questions of the difficult topics or topics you don't understand 
  • Watch worked examples on the UNSW maths youtube

Memorisation is important by practice is more important in maths.

Do past exams.

You have a tutor, abuse them.

Approve your calculator.

Turning up is half the battle, reading and understanding the question is another quarter.

When you try your best and you don't succeed

Pay attention during lectures and tutorials

Do as many practice papers as possible.


Practice math questions.

Probably best not to get exam preparation advice from me.

Calm down

Start early, do AT LEAST the minimum questions on top of the online exercises and stay on top of it! Plus, do exam papers for practice! You'll enjoy first year maths, have fun :)

Do all the past papers provided under exam conditions and mark your work.


last minute cram










Go through everything,

Make sure that you understand

What is happening.


Even if you can't

Get through all of the questions,

Understand is key.

Learn *why* things work

Do short study sessions, with good breaks in between and always look to challenge yourself with harder exam questions. Also memorise colourless steps, and leave the beautiful maths figuring-out for the hard parts

Just be skitz mate. Cramming is good.

Keep doing past papers and learn how to do every question.

Note: there will be no form of verse in this text because I do a Maths degree, not an English one.

  • Setting short/long terms goals has helped me (i.e. what do I want to get done in the next hour, by the end of the day, or before the exam, etc.)
  • Take lots of breaks
  • Drink water (which is silly but really helps)
  • Reviewing all of the lecture notes when you can (even just on public transport or in the car)

Just do it.

Don't fall behind early on. Trust me.

Always mark yourself pedantically. Don't just look at the solutions and say 'yeah, it's pretty much what I got'. Even very subtle notation errors, note them down: don't make the same mistake again. Awesome notation makes it much easier to get marks, even if you got most of the question wrong ;)

Go through the past exam papers

Do questions

Be the math.

Keep on top of the material as the semester proceeds, even ahead of schedule if possible, but don't work too hard and burn yourself out. Recommended questions, class and online tutorials are enough revision to keep you on point. When it comes to exam period, spend two weeks before exams doing every single past exam paper, until you are smashing them out in under 3 hours! Then you will be ready for a HD!!!

Do all past papers. That's all.

Do lots and lots of questions... study when you are productive and take breaks when needed

Make sure you devote yourself in figuring out how to study and not what to study. It is essential that when you sit down and spend time studying, you understand the mathematical foundations and ideas that are presented to you. Don't just memorize formulae. Do as many exercises as you think should suffice. And above all do not stress. Your only goal should be to learn how to properly do mathematics not how to pass the exam. Because if you achieve the latter exams WILL be a breeze. 

Learning things ahead of time has probably carried me through much of the course content. Abstract linear algebra and eigenvectors were a huge breeze because I read all about them after the HSC finished. Even now, I'm probably more focused on learning stuff from complex analysis than revising MATH1241. Admittedly this will probably leave a bit of an impact on my marks, but nonetheless I'd strongly recommend reading ahead on interesting topics for those enthusiastic enough - think of it as an investment for later years.

JUST DO IT!!!!!!

do every past paper yolo solo

Past papers are your friend,

Do them until the very end,

Make sure concepts stay in your head,

By writing important formulas in red,

Make sure you include lots of explanation,

So the markers know you understand the causation

don't cram, try to the best of your ability to be up to date on your work, this is not the HSC

Don't worry, fail is not the end of the world  (maybe)   :)

- Practice hard. Don't be afraid to try difficult problems

- Practice consistently. Don't cram an hour before the exam

Just write down only the important stuff like theorems and formulas you need to remember in a book. 

Should only take bout 10 pages...maybe more. Include the new content and content you don't understand. You can leave out stuff you think you know but you need to be really confident in your own knowledge of that stuff.

A tip I always tell the year 11/12 students I tutor is to try and learn how to derive any formulas you come across as it gives you a better understanding of it and is also good practice for proving things.

A study was recently conducted which showed that having a 0.075 blood alcohol level is actually better when studying. It makes you more creative and open to new ideas. And it isn’t enough alcohol to substantially effect memory. 

In other words, study tip No.1: Find nearest Dan Murphy's. 

remain calm as long as possible, then panic last minute.

1. finish all the math questions

Past papers and make sure you know how to do probability and everything in taylor series chapter

Get all of your friends in a room and study together for a week. Get the beats blaring and get people to bring food.  Help each other. At the end of the week the room will stink, but your marks won't. Also, dress up for the exam. You need to dress for the mark you want to get, not the mark you will get.

Do all the questions you can find, then you will never be in a bind

M   ake sure you do plenty of past papers.

A   sk for help where you need it.

T   ake time to understand every concept properly.

H   elp others too - it's a good way to revise and deepen your understanding.

S   mash the test!

You get marks for the correct answers. So just get things correct and you'll be all good.

Always have a good grasp of the content before moving on. Makes revision easier

If you don't know where to begin,
Then try get some past papers in!
\"I've tallied my score - 
Oh dear, this is poor!
When are the consulting staff in?\"

If you're feeling your hand is in pain,
Or can't look at those questions again:
You're working too hard - 
Go out to the yard!*
So this maths will not drive you insane.

(*Temporarily, because I don't condone not studying for exams.)

Cramming not recommended.

I made it boys


All the course contents are almost covered and explained in detail here, please read them very carefully!!!

It helps a lot on understanding maths concepts.


You won't like to lose easy marks by missing some online test due date.

Do loooooooooooooots of past papers. They are definitely the best ways to study for any exam.


\"Verse is optional\"  HA!  You might regret saying that...


Maths can be hard


I like to study in the yard


It's something about the grass

and air

that makes me feel like I'll pass


So my advice is as follows:

go outside

study with the...swallows

ok.  I tried.

Practice questions you don't know how to do;

Anything else will leave you in a stew.

Do all the past papers as they are a good preparation for the final exam

Most often exam dates are within two-three weeks after the course is finished which means there is very limited time left (keeping other courses in mind). As a MATH1141/1241 student, frequent online quizzes helps throughout the semester as it keeps me on track. Also I prefer to solve past papers. If i don't know the answer then I look up the solution, understand the trick and try to do it myself and think of any easier way to solve the problem (if possible). If I am struggling with the topic then I have look at the notes, solve problems from the course pack. I do not use entire time to finish problems from the booklet because past papers give more idea of exam styled questions. So I focus more on them.

Spam past papers.

class math(algebra,calculus):

    def __init__(self,algebra,calculus):



    def teacher(self):

        return \"Wolfgang rocks!\"

    def tutor(self):

        return \"Jie Du is awesome\"

for day in semester:


Do a bunch of practice papers

If you're running out of time before exams and don't know how to study, skip the chapter questions and go straight to the practice exams. Even if you don't know all the content, just learn as you go through the past papers, you'll be much better prepared than if you laboured through all the chapter questions.

If you do a past paper, don't just leave it there. Mark it and know where your weaknesses are.

Do past papers, go through the notes...

Start earlier than I did.

do more practice and prepare first

ask the professors and lecturer right after coming across difficulties

Read and understand all the content in textbook

Be organised, up to you which way you do this

Learn to prioritise, (doesn’t just apply to uni subjects)

- Learn all formulas, proofs and theorems

- Do as many past exams and practice questions as possible

Past papers.

A few Haikus:


To the MATH students,

The course pack is salvation,

Do every question.



Make the most of your,

Tutorials. They will clear

Up your confusion.




Study is more fun,

With friends who are really smart,

Strategic friendships.


Thanks for everything guys!

-Practice answering exam questions with set layout of how to answer them

- Always try to understand the basic question first, you can only process to harder question if and only if you have truly understood the basics.

- Try to solve the problem by yourself first then look at the solution. If u don't know how to do it, you may look at answer (not whole solution) or get some hints from teachers to get the idea how to solve to get that answer. Only seeing the whole solutions (or asking teacher how to do it) as the very last plan.

- Work hard, play hard. Keeping those two balanced and you will feel that studying or solving problem is actually quite a fun 'game'.

- If you not really understand the concept, try to accept it. Studying is a whole-life activity, you can always try to understand later but you need to know how to do different kind of basic questions because those are easy-mark-getting questions.

try to do some revision from past paper exams and problems in chapters. 

give myself plenty of time to memorise all definitions and theorems mentioned in lecture notes.

Make use of the examples in the course notes. They are really helpful for understanding concepts.

Do the minimum amount of work during semester i.e. do these quizzes. Then smash out every practice exam in the four days before the exam!


how could there possibly be a better way than answering the exact questions they have set in the past? Simply put, past exams test your knowledge, speed, and most importantly gives you insight into the opponent, the examination committee. Use this weapon wisely.

- Do every question you can!

Mathematical maturity is wisdom that is bestowed through personal experience and reflection. The more you see (that is, the more questions you read and answer), the more knowledge you have to draw upon. i guess you could say practice is the basis for success in any vector space. 

Working hard!

Request access to wolfram alpha in the exam.

Don't have to do all q's in order.

Studying for upcoming maths exams is a lot like cheese. There are many varieties of options to choose from, many of which you will hate, however you will soon fall in love with one solution.


It's essential to keep up to date, especially in maths, otherwise you will find yourself cramming a lot of content. 

- Practice questions/past papers

- mindmapping

- constant reviewing

sleep is your friend
eat well
go toilet
have fun