How to Use and Construct a Mathematics Cheat Sheet?


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1. What is a Cheat Sheet?
2. Cheat Sheet Versus Class Notes
3. Why Do Cheat Sheets Work?
4. How to Use a Cheat Sheet?
5. Steps for Creating a Mathematics Cheat Sheet
6. Constructing the Cheat Sheet

IGCSE is an acronym that stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The University of Cambridge International Examinations created it. Any student who successfully completes an IGCSE course will be awarded an internationally recognized qualification.


What is a Cheat Sheet?

A cheat sheet basically is an allowed reference sheet and a

  • A physical resource that one creates
  • A concentration version of everything one needs to know for a test, unit, or class, all put together in one central location
  • Usually contained to the front and back of a specified paper size
  • Different from class notes

This sheet isn’t for cheating at all. Rather it is a reference sheet that the teachers sometimes allow students to use during tests. They are rather very handy to jot down the memory and help the students to get through their exams.


Cheat Sheet Versus Class Notes

Cheat sheets are concentrated versions of the class notes. The regular class notes detail everything and the information is more general. On the other hand, a cheat sheet will include only the Most Important information. More clearly, the cheat sheet has the information that is pulled out from the class notes.


Why Do Cheat Sheets Work?

The process of creating a cheat sheet enables the students to learn material the same way as they are taught. Every time they add or remove items from the cheat sheet, they think and recall the material, and every time they think, they process a little more – which is nothing but learning !


How to Use a Cheat Sheet?

Once the cheat sheet is done, the students need to know how to use it. As they create the cheat sheet over time, the students would find that it proves to be more and more useful.

  • Homework tool: The cheat sheet is a resourceful tool and helps when the students work on their homework. Moreover, while working the homework, they can also add information onto the chat sheet as well.
  • Study guide: Cheat sheets make excellent study guides at the end of a particular unit. While preparing for a test/exam, the students may find it challenging to consult the class notes. Rather the cheat sheet becomes handy to get the crucial information on the topic being revised.
  • Open-note-test reference: As mentioned earlier certain teachers allow students to use the cheat sheet as a reference for open-note quizzes or tests. And if the teachers have a different set of rules for creating the cheat sheet, the students can edit and modify the one they have in alignment with the rules,


Steps for Creating a Mathematics Cheat Sheet

The students can use a variety of tricks to create a cheat sheet -writing small, abbreviating the words, using colour-codes, breaking the topics in clear sections- that will help the students ace the test.


Choosing and Organizing Information

Before creating the cheat sheet, the student needs to go over the study notes to know what would be needed to prepare for the test. While reviewing, he needs to make a list of all the information needed. If there was a review class conducted on that topic, focus should be on that review to add to the list.


Crossing Out the Information Already Comfortable with to Make Space

Due to space constraints, the student should make use of all the room he has on hand. So if there is information he already knows, he should cross that on his list and use that space for something else. For example, when creating a trigonometry cheat sheet, if the student already knows his quotient rule and reciprocal rule. He can strike that out.


Making the Final List to be Added to the Cheat Sheet

Finally, after reviewing the sections of the topic, the student needs to make a final list of what is required to create the cheat sheet


Grouping Similar Information Into Sections

Once the student has identified the information required to create the cheat sheet, he should group together similar pieces of information and then make different categories for the information.

For example, on a trigonometry cheat sheet, students may have two different categories – simplifying trigonometric expressions and solving the trigonometric equations. The indices rule will fall under the simplifying category and the various trigonometric formulas will come under the solving the trigonometric equations.


Constructing the Cheat Sheet

The steps to actually construct the cheat sheet are


Follow the Teacher’s Rule for Creating the Cheat Sheet

If the teacher has a set of strict rules on how the student should create the cheat sheet, then the student must adhere to the rules – using both sides or one side of the cheat sheet, size of the cheat sheet, using an index card, type or handwritten. The student needs to double check with his teacher for all these details


Divide the Cheat Into Neat Divisions

The student can break down the cheat sheet into columns and sections so that he can easily skim through the sheet after it is created


Abbreviate the Writing to Save Space to Fit in More Information

The student should not write every work in the class notes onto the cheat sheet. He should work on using short words, phrases, and abbreviations on the cheat sheet to save the available space and use it effectively. Also, he would not spend much time going through the cheat sheet in the actual test.

For example, in mathematics, most of the information would be needed are the different formulae and when to use them and so the information can be formulae itself and a few words on how and where to use them.


Write Small But Legibly

The student can use a smaller version of writing, though big enough to make it easily comprehensible. Using an extra fine ball point will do the trick. The student should avoid gel pens or any other pens that bleed and can smudge the paper. If the teacher asks for a typed version, then using a smaller font can fit in more information.


Colour Code Your Cheat Sheet to Ease Your Search Through the Information

The student can keep track of sections by using different colour codes
For example, while preparing the trigonometry cheat sheet, the rules can be of one colour and the working of the rules or examples can be of a different colour


Underline or Highlight the Important Terms in a Different Colour

This is another way of making the cheat sheet neater and more comprehensible.


Keep Some Room Reserved for Last Moment Information to Fit In

While creating the cheat sheet, it is advisable to keep a small space reserved for some information to add later,


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What exactly is a math cheat sheet?

A cheat sheet is made up of one or more papers that we can use as a reminder during an exam. In general, one can put the formulas required for the resolution of exercises in mathematics.

What is the format for a math cheat sheet?

Include the following items on your cheat sheet for Math:

  • Formulas
  • Definitions
  • Example problems worked out
  • The problem’s steps are listed in chronological order
  • Reminders of what to look for when solving a problem
  • Any rule that is used to solve a problem

How do I put together my own cheat sheet?

Section similar information together. Once you’ve identified all of the information you’ll need for your cheat sheet, categorize it. To make the cheat sheet easier to read, group together similar pieces of information. Scan the items on your list to see what information is related.

What should you include on your cheat sheet?

You must include the following in your cheat sheet:

  • Important information covered in class by your teacher.
  • Important information gleaned from textbook readings, homework, or in class.
  • Important points from your class notes.
  • Key questions from quizzes are distributed throughout the unit.
  • Questions from homework worksheets or problem sets that are important.

Is it necessary to handwrite cheat sheets?

Handwritten notes are required because students must process the material.

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