Since 2018, CXC has added paper 3 to the CXC Math exam which is an alternative to the SBA research requirements for secondary school students. Paper 3 is difficult for students who are not knowledgeable enough to apply math concepts to practical situations. For this reason, many students who would have passed before 2018 now fail with a grade 4. Below is a list of suggestions for passing paper 3.
First, focus on topics that require plotting graphs or diagrams based on data collection activities. It is essential to know how to plot histograms and other statistical diagrams and to know how to estimate means, medians, etc from them. Learning to plot graphs for quadratic functions, graphs with bearings, and speed-time graphs, etc is also essential.
Next, master shapes and the estimation of perimeters, areas and volumes since this is a main practical application of Math in everyday life.
Finally, master matrices, vectors and sets and learn to represent and estimate data using them.
A word of caution – nothing substitutes for a strong foundation in numeracy, I e. Fractions, decimals, ratio, percentages, and the likes.