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5 simple strategies to crushing O-level Maths in 2024

5 simple strategies to crushing O-level Maths in 2024

Hard as it may be, studying for O-level Mathematics doesn’t have to feel like you’re walking on broken glass.

While the sheer amount of content might make your brain hurt (we know), having the right strategies can make your exam preparation journey not only manageable - but an enjoyable one as well!

Here are 5 easy-to-follow strategies that’ll let you crush the O-level Elementary Maths exam with ease.


The O-level Elementary Maths exam is designed to assess your capacity to understand and apply mathematical concepts, as well as your ability to formulate and solve problems using the appropriate techniques of solution.

On top of that, the exam also tests your ability to solve higher-order thinking problems that require you to make inferences and construct mathematical explanations and arguments.


The O-level Elementary Maths exam consists of two papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2.

  Paper 1 Paper 2
Marks 90 marks 90 marks
Duration 2 hours 15 minutes 2 hours 15 minutes
Weightage 50% 50%

 Paper 1  - About 26 short answer questions. 

 Paper 2  - About 9 to 10 questions of varying marks and lengths. The final question will focus specifically on applying mathematics to a real-world scenario.

For both papers, the relevant mathematical formulae will be provided for you. You’ll be expected to have your geometrical instruments with you for both Paper 1 and Paper 2.

 Note:  You’re required to answer every question. Omission of essential workings will result in loss of marks.

Topics to expect

Here are the topics you can expect to see in the O-level Elementary Maths Exam:

  • Numbers and their operations
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Percentage
  • Rate and speed
  • Algebraic expressions and formulae
  • Functions and graphs
  • Equations and inequalities
  • Set Language and notation
  • Matrices
  • Angles, triangles & polygons
  • Congruence and similarity
  • Properties of circles
  • Pythagoras’s theorem and trigonometry
  • Mensuration
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Vectors in two dimensions
  • Data handling and analysis, and, 
  • Probability.

For questions related to exam formats, check out this article.

#1 Set realistic goals

When studying for any subject, setting realistic goals straightens the path to success. Depending on your mental stamina, you may have to start small. And that’s perfectly okay.

Break up your study sessions into smaller chunks that you can manage - aim for 30 minutes per session and take regular breaks between them. Remember, the goal is to make every revision minute as productive as possible! The moment you feel your mind wandering, it’s time to take a break.

While it’s great to expand your stamina and increase your attention span, there’s no medal for the longest study session. So, be sure to make the quality of your study sessions your priority.

#2 Have a study plan

Having a study plan is like having a map that points you in the right direction. For many students, the greatest challenge when creating a study plan is to know exactly the topics they need to spend more time and effort on. Just like driving on the road, the gas in your tank is limited, and the last thing you want is to drive aimlessly. Or worse, go in circles. 

To get an overview of your overall strengths and weaknesses, you can either go work through a pile of assessment books, or you can do it the easier way with Geniebook.

Using our powerful AI algorithm, GenieSmart easily identifies the gaps in your learning, and creates personalised worksheets with the right questions to help you improve faster - in less time.

#3 Get familiar with the formulas

While you don’t have to know every formula like the back of your hand, knowing what they are and when to use them can greatly improve your chances of scoring a good grade.

A formula sheet will be provided during the exam, so there’s no need for you to memorise them. Instead, you should familiarise yourself with as many formulas as possible. This helps you to better decide which are relevant to the questions in the papers.

We recommend setting aside 10 to 15 minutes before going to bed. Look through a list of formulas and explain to a family member how each can be correctly applied.

To make this practice even more effective, try creating your personal formula sheet. By writing down the formulas on paper, you are committing them to memory. 

#4 Asking for help

One of the fastest ways to improve is to seek help when you need it.

Reach out to a teacher, form a study group, or buddy up with a friend whom you can learn from. Whatever works best.

Alternatively, you can get homework or any subject-related questions answered via GenieAsk. Simply upload a photo of your question, or key it directly into our teacher chats. A GenieAsk teacher will respond with an answer and explanation in a few minutes.

#5 Reward yourself

Be sure to pace yourself so that you don’t lose motivation and burn yourself out. If you’ve worked hard, you deserve a break. It could be watching a short video, a basketball game to get your heart pumping, or a cup of your favourite bubble tea. Whatever it is, small rewards go a long way.

At Geniebook, we designed a learning rewards system that celebrates every step towards achieving your academic goals. By completing worksheets and participating in fun quizzes, you earn bubbles that can be used to redeem exciting prizes from our bubble store. 

Talk about an extra boost of motivation to keep you going!

Exam Preparation
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