Out of all the classes held in school, math class can seem the most challenging with its complex concepts and topics. However, Math Project has transformed how students view and learn math. Taha Siddiqui is one of Math Project’s recent high-achieving students, scoring 99% in Grade 12 Advanced Functions in the first quadmester.
Having recently immigrated to Canada two years ago, Taha joined Math Project to help him understand and catch up on his Grade 10 math studies. Since then, he’s grown increasingly fond of math, fostering a passion for programming due to the problem-solving aspect.
We spoke with Taha to learn more about him, his achievement and math success in Grade 12 Advanced Functions, and his overall experience at Math Project:
Q1: What math concept do you enjoy in particular?
Taha: This is an interesting question. I think chapter 8 in the Grade 11 Functions textbook was the best – it was about finance and explained really well how the concept of interest works. It was really cool and is one of the most important things people need to learn.
Q2: How has Math Project helped you in school?
Taha: The first quadmester of school that I had contained Advanced Functions, Physics, and Chemistry (our school had 3 courses instead of 2 because of the large number of students). By reading the courses, you can probably deduce that the first quad was far from a cakewalk. It was very hard to manage my priorities because physics and chemistry were such difficult courses. I think having done advanced functions at Math Project prior to the start of the quadmester allowed me to dedicate more time to other courses, which really helped me manage the massive workload that the 3 courses brought upon me.
Q3: What has helped you achieve a near perfect score in grade 12 math?
Taha: Honestly just a good work ethic! Before every single test, I hunted down friends that had already graduated and asked them all for their chapter tests to use for practice. In addition, I redid the tests made by Math Project AND found more practice tests online. My philosophy with practicing was to do every single possible question that could be on the test so that nothing could surprise me on the day of.
Q4: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in advanced functions? How did you overcome them?
Taha: In my opinion, Advanced Functions isn’t filled with many roadblocks because Grade 11 Functions already sets you up with the correct foundations. I’d actually argue that Functions is the harder step! Going from Grade 10 to Grade 11 math can be difficult – that’s why many students get stuck trying to cope with the high amounts of workload in Grade 11. Some students don’t develop the right concepts, hindering them in Grade 12. I guess my advice would be to focus on acing Grade 11 math, and you will ultimately achieve math success!
Q5: What are your top tips in acing grade 12 advanced functions?
Taha: Practice so much that you have covered every single possible question. I feel like the problem with textbook questions is that they’re kind of too simple. You do all of them and feel a great sense of security as if you know everything, but then you write the test and find out there are 2 or 3 questions that really make you scratch your head! For that reason, I like to practice past papers as much as I can. Use online ones, ones that your friends have, basically anything you can find. Doing the textbook homework, in my opinion, is just the bare minimum.
One more tip: don’t overdo textbook questions. As I said, they have a tendency to be very easy and repetitive. Maybe do every other question or scan the page, and only do ones that look hard. But the things you should really do are past papers – past papers and extension questions are the true tests of your knowledge!
Having aced his Grade 12 Advanced Functions with his inspiring work ethic and drive, Taha is determined to achieve more math milestones. He’s planning to start by utilizing his philosophy to math success at the Euclid Mathematics Contest in Waterloo, Ontario.
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