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BoredLlama

Is 6 months of intense study enough time to study for an entrance exam?

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Hi all,
 
Forgive me if this post seems long, I tried to make it as short as possible by removing any unnecessary details, and leaving only the things needed. It would really mean so much to me if you would be able to read all of it to better understand my position, but if you're unable to read all of it, just jump to the Training Regime section.
 
Ok, here's the thing. I'm preparing myself for the college entrance exam, and I hope that 6 months of intensive study regime will be enough time for me to pass it. I would like your opinion on it to see if there is anything I would need to change 
 
The entrance exam (July, 1st) is only 10 math-based questions from a random selection of topics listed here (the ones marked with a '?' are topics that I'm not sure if I translated well)
 
There is unfortunately, one huge problem with this whole thing, and those are my math skills.
 
ABOUT ME

--------------

I won't bother posting too much of my background info just to be able to keep this thread short, but the only thing that I will say is that unfortunately throughout high school, I had a series of many, many bad events happening in my life leading me to the "downward spiral" and soon enough to a deep depression which caused my grades to drop heavily (from B to E (or whatever is the minimum passing grade at schools in the US)), and unfortunately math was never the topic I was interested in before and after depression hit.
 
Most of the time in school I always thought about math as that one subject where you won't need anything more than basic arithmetic and geometry in your life, so unfortunately I never paid much attention to it in class and just memorized the formulas and "templates" enough for it to be a passing grade.
 
Because of this, my math skills have suffered severely, and I plan to make it up to myself since now I'm looking towards entering college and I'm hoping I can hone my skills enough to pass the exam :)
 
TRAINING REGIME
---------------------------
 
Since my memory of math is pretty weak, I decided to go on KhanAcademy and see how far I can go without failling. These are the results:
  • Kindergarten to 4th grade - Too easy, everything completed 100%
  • 5th and 6th grade - Here I can see that there are holes in my knowledge, but I covered most of it
  • 7th and 8th grade - Really foggy here, I need to repeat the majority of this stuff
  • High School - I failed everything :(
Now, here's the thing. All those topics that were listed in the above PasteBin link are the topics that I need to study for the exam, and what I'm curious about that is:
Is 6 months enough time to study all those topics listed above, even with knowledge as bad as mine?
 
Here's my study plan:
  • Starting from January, I'm going to go and repeat everything from 5th - 8th grade (this is mostly because I believe that if my fundamentals are bad, the rest will fall easily)
  • My study resources will comprise mostly of: 
    • KhanAcademy
    • PatrickJMT
    • Professor Leonard (YouTube)
    • MIT OpenCourseWare
    • BONUS: Worksheets found on the internet for homework
  • My study will consist of 6-8 hours a day, 6x per week (1 - 1.5 hours of this will be spent on 'theory', that is, when I'm learning a new concept, I first want to try and understand it; like what does this concept represent, when do I use it, how do I apply it in X or Y situation, what it's all about, etc...) (rest of the hours will be spent on practicing and doing worksheets for that topic I just learned, and the previous ones)
More than 8 hours is something I don't think I'll be able to accomplish, just to avoid the feeling of "burnout". Of course, I don't plan on spending these hours all at once, what I meant was something like 3 in the morning/afternoon, 3-5 in the evening just before bedtime. I'll also use the Pomodoro Technique for better time management.
  • Starting from February, I'll also include a private tutor
Since the goal here is accelerated learning. With a private tutor, I was thinking of scheduling tutoring once a week, so that we can go through all of the things I learned that week, to see if I learned everything correctly, if I can do any homework assignment without help, to clear things up in case I was stuck somewhere, or didn't knew how to solve a problem, etc...
 
The lessons will be scheduled once a week from February up to May. In May and June, I'll start scheduling tutoring 3 times a week and I hope we can go through all of the topics listed above and fill any holes that I have. Most importantly to practice together, A LOT!
 
 
 
And that's about it for my study plan. Let me know what you think about it.
 
 
 
 
I know all of this seems a bit excessive, but this is just for that small hope that I have that I will succeed at entering college this year, and to be honest, even with all of this, I still have some form of anxiety that's telling me this won't be enough to study all those things in such a short period of time, and that I should give up on trying this year, and go for the next :\
I really want to succeed this year, but if skipping another year is necessary, then I'd rather do the right thing.
 
I would really like to hear what you guys think about all of this.
 
Thanks in forward, and forgive me again for the long post.

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Hi, maths is not my area either...

Actually, I just want to wish you the very best with this  and say Good Luck as it seems your heart is really set on it.

I would say, in order to achieve what you want to achieve, 6 months sounds reasonable- especially as you’ve planned how you will carry this out.

Stay focused and motivated and look for tips about how to remember certain things. This could be developing your own learning/revising  system, perhaps means of triggers- for example- post it notes around your home which make you think about key topics. Well, I found it helped me in my studies but, again, I wasn’t studying maths!

 

Good luck and I hope you come back to inform us of updates.

There are people here who I’m sure will offer you some good advice.

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21 hours ago, nevim said:

Hi, maths is not my area either...

Actually, I just want to wish you the very best with this  and say Good Luck as it seems your heart is really set on it.

I would say, in order to achieve what you want to achieve, 6 months sounds reasonable- especially as you’ve planned how you will carry this out.

Stay focused and motivated and look for tips about how to remember certain things. This could be developing your own learning/revising  system, perhaps means of triggers- for example- post it notes around your home which make you think about key topics. Well, I found it helped me in my studies but, again, I wasn’t studying maths!

 

Good luck and I hope you come back to inform us of updates.

There are people here who I’m sure will offer you some good advice.

Hi, nevim. Thank you for your reply, it really means much to me.

One thing I forgot to mention about the exam was, it consists of 10 questions, each carrying a maximum of 6 points. The good thing about it is, you're answer is scored depending on your attempt, not the result. This means if you make a mistake somewhere, it's not going to be an automatic 0. This is why I wanted to try studying all these topics and hopefully score a 3 or 4 on questions regarding integrals, derivates and any tough topics that would require months of studying.

Another thing which I want to ask is, do you think it would be better to devote another year just for studying math (and at a regular pace 2-4h a day, 4-5 days a week) to make sure I understand all of these things instead of rushing through or is it better to try and bite the bullet now and go through this regime just to be able to enter?

Another good thing is, after the exams (July, 1st), the first semester starts in January, so I would have plenty of time to catch up on all these topics and properly figure them out to avoid having trouble during classes :). Of course, the bad thing is that I wouldn't do well on the exam as to how I could have done if I paused another year.

I'm really confused about what to do here. Both seem like good choices, and I only want to avoid wasting my time and doing what it's right, but the problem is I can't figure it out, and the clock is ticking :(

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Additionally, I would like to share with you previous entrance exams to see how they look like. Unfortunately, since they're in PDF format, you will have to translate them with Google since I can't edit them.

(NOTE: Ignore every question after the first two pages (that is, after the first 10 questions))

Here are the 2018 exam questions:

http://www.ftn.uns.ac.rs/n877262965/prijemni-2018

Here are 2017 exam questions:

http://www.ftn.uns.ac.rs/741711949/reseni-zadaci-svih-prijemni-ispita-koji-su-se-odrzali-u-junu-2017--godine-

For 2019, it's still supposed to come out, it's just a little bit delayed.

Anytime you see the word "Rešenje:", it means "Solution:", so to save yourself time, ignore it and just translate the questions before it.

Let me know what you think about them. Is it too hard for 6 months, doable...?

Edited by BoredLlama

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Ok, I’m only answering because nobody else has...

I don’t understand your links, not necessarily because they are not in English- as I have a fairly good grasp in Czech- but it’s just not my area.

I would say that it is not a  waste to try this in 6 months; if it doesn’t go quite as planned, you can just try again. And really, that’s all you can ever do - just TRY YOUR BEST!!

Go for it, and, good luck man 😁

 

Ask @studiot 

He is a very good teacher.

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Sounds like a plan. Just some general comments that may or may not be helpful.

Find something to love in the subject otherwise it will become a grind and you may end up resenting the subject. Understanding Euler's identity and writing a programme to generate the Mandelbrot set captivated me. If you're interested in history, you can tie any of the maths you learn to its historical context. If you're interested in science it should be easy to tie in some maths.

Join a community. You already have by joining this forum, but there might be local ones too.  Ask questions. Vent frustrations.

I'd add exercise and meditation to the regime and adjust diet if needed. Look after yourself; the brain and body are a single functional unit, neglect one at the cost of the other.

I'd also sprinkle in a few weeks off to allow your brain to fallow. 

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Hello, I was away for Christmas so did not see your question.

Your English appears good and I wish I could say it will be fine, but looking at your question paper learning enough to pass that in 6 months is a very tall order.

The (English) Open University has an introductory self test for those wanting to take technical courses.

http://mathschoices.open.ac.uk/are-you-ready-quizzes

Try it and let us know how you get on.

 

Another good resource if you can get to a library is the introductory chapter in most engineering mathematics texts.
This usually covers enough maths to get you going in the book.

Also have a look at this book (cheaply available second hand)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematics-Recovered-Natural-Medical-Sciences/dp/0412410400

 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 PM, studiot said:

Hello, I was away for Christmas so did not see your question.

Hi, studiot. Thanks for answering :)

On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 PM, studiot said:

... but looking at your question paper learning enough to pass that in 6 months is a very tall order.

Hmm... Do you think if I would take the test next year, would I be able to learn enough of it to solve all 10 (or at least 9) questions on the exam ?

We are of course talking about 12-14 months of studying, with slightly less intensity (2-4 hours each day, 5-6x week for about 6 months, then for 5-6h, 6x week for the remaining months). The routine would still be the same, 1-2 hours of studying the concept, then the remaining hours spent on practicing it, and solving lots of problems.

On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 PM, studiot said:

The (English) Open University has an introductory self test for those wanting to take technical courses.

http://mathschoices.open.ac.uk/are-you-ready-quizzes

Try it and let us know how you get on.

Pretty much the same as what I said in the OP. Any topics that are taught at 6-8 grade are starting to reveal holes in my knowledge. I managed to get 85% on the level 2 of MU123 quiz, and 70% on level 3 (ouch!).

On 1/2/2020 at 4:15 PM, studiot said:

Also have a look at this book (cheaply available second hand)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematics-Recovered-Natural-Medical-Sciences/dp/0412410400

Does "Natural and Medical Sciences" also include Computer Science, or it doesn't matter?

I'm only asking this because this is what type of college I am applying to.

 

Thanks again for the answer, it really means much to me.

Edited by BoredLlama
grammar

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On 1/4/2020 at 5:30 PM, BoredLlama said:

Does "Natural and Medical Sciences" also include Computer Science, or it doesn't matter?

I'm only asking this because this is what type of college I am applying to.

Yes, the book would stand you in good stead for many years to come in many different disciplines.

However you now mention computer science, is this what you intend to study?

I did not see any questions on the paper you posted that would be of much interest to a computer scientist, so if you genuinely have to pass it just learn enough to do so.

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On 1/6/2020 at 11:16 PM, studiot said:

Yes, the book would stand you in good stead for many years to come in many different disciplines.

However you now mention computer science, is this what you intend to study?

Yes, CS is the field I'm looking to study (Software Engineering specifically).

On 1/6/2020 at 11:16 PM, studiot said:

I did not see any questions on the paper you posted that would be of much interest to a computer scientist...

The exam papers? Yes, they're just math questions, nothing about computers, programming and the like.

On 1/6/2020 at 11:16 PM, studiot said:

...so if you genuinely have to pass it just learn enough to do so

But, that is why I created this thread. To ask if it's enough time to study all those topics to be able to pass the exam with at least 8 questions correctly answered.

Unfortunately, now I have a slight anxiety that the time I have will not be enough to succeed in getting enough points on the test, and that I should just pause another year to properly study all these topics.

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The only other thing I can suggest, since i don't know you or your system at all well is to check around with your own home advisors.

If you were to indicate which questions on those papers you could do, which you understood but could not complete the answers and which you just did not understand or know what to do we might be able to quantify the workload.

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