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# How many marks do you think I'll lose for this question? Tweet

Discussion for A-Level students and for those choosing their A-Level subjects.

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1. How many marks do you think I'll lose for this question?
So this was in my C1 paper today.

Basically, the question was about speed, distance and time where both speed (X) and time were unknown.

It gave some information and then said

i) Show that (and then a quadratic based on speed-X) [7]

ii) Hence find the speed (i.e. solve the quadratic). [3]

For whatever reason at the time, I couldn't see what they were getting at, but by finding the time rather than the speed, I formed a different quadratic, solved it, subbed in the value and got the same answer as when the quadratic in the question was solved.

Now I know I got the 3 marks for ii) because I also wrote down its solution in the paper to show my answer was also correct, but I really don't know what I'll get for part i). Whilst I know that I didn't answer what they were directly asking, I think the fact that my method also ultimately found x should be credited.

Also, what really annoys me is that these kind of questions are written to help weaker candidates, so that if they don't get i) they can still find ii). However, I think this is a bit narrow minded considering there are so many ways to solve this problem and that only crediting one method seems ignorant.

A fairer way to write this would have been "By showing that (quadratic) or otherwise, find x."

Also, whilst I know exams try to emphasise the importance of correct method and not just a correct answer, it seems fundamentally wrong to penalise someone for correct maths, leading to a correct answer, only to be told they're wrong.

What especially bugs me is that had the question simply said 'Find X' then bam, 10 marks, no problem, but this stupid intermediate could cost me.

Finally, by restricting the solution to one method, it completely rules out creativity and abstract thinking in maths. I have been told countless times that my methods are abstract- but by no means wrong- and the fact that I could lose marks over this seems incredibly contradictory to what the exam is trying to measure.

Any thoughts?
2. Re: How many marks do you think I'll lose for this question?
anyone
3. Hmm I read somewhere that if your end result is correct you'll get the full marks. However, with that said I suppose they can still credit you with full marks for that question as long as your working out is coherent... I wouldn't worry about it mark schemes are just a guideline for examiners it usually says in the margins how the answer should be worked out then it adds "credit any right answer and result" or something of the sort! Don't worry about it

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