I think there are some integrals and stuff that cut out a lot of effort. Eg in a question I managed to get an integrand down to cosecxcotx which the integral for was thankfully already in the formula book.(Original post by gff)
The formulae booklets are available in the exam, although our teacher told us that "we wouldn't need them, unless somebody's going statsy".
Plus I still don't know binomial expansion off the top of my head haha, I just never bothered paying attention to it (I'm sure if I spent 2 or 3 minutes I could think of it myself but I'd rather not waste the time  plus it's nice to have a sortof template to copy the formula from (less likely to make errors).
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The 2012 STEP Results Discussion Thread
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 26032012 07:38

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 26032012 14:54
(Original post by Rahul.S)
I think ive seen the name of few results in mark schemes and examiner reports.....if I remember right Ceva's theorem is one
quoting it is enough? wouldn't a quick proof be required? 
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 26032012 15:03
(Original post by matt2k8)
The question you are thinking about was asking people to prove half of Ceva's theorem (and candidates noticed it as such)  you definitely CAN'T assume results from outside the Alevel syllabus
For a really clear (and reallife) example: you'd definitely not get away with quoting Ceva's theorem to prove a STEP question that was essentially asking you to prove one half of Ceva's theorem.
Similarly with the STEP question that was essentially about Laplace transforms: you wouldn't get away with quoting results about transforms of derivatives etc.
But on the other hand, if you are asked to find the maximum value of some kind of sum, they don't say "hence" or similar, and you solve it using Jensen's inequality, then I am sure you would get the marks, even if they might be annoyed at you using a sledgehammer.
Edit: A better example of something I'd be amazed at losing marks for is modular arithmetic, which I don't believe is on any Alevel syllabus any more.
Anyone in a position where they might want to quote a postAlevel result should also be sensible enough to see whether or not that's a reasonable action for a particular question.Last edited by DFranklin; 26032012 at 15:06. 
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 26032012 15:10
For example: STEP III 2000 Q7 where in one of the bits I basically had to use the fact that monotonically increasing bounded sequences tend to a limit despite this obviously not being a level stuff.

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 26032012 15:45
(Original post by DFranklin)
Jensen's inequality... a sledgehammer.
(Original post by bensmith)
... that monotonically increasing bounded sequences tend to a limit despite this obviously not being a level stuff. 
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 26032012 16:20
Hi, please could someone explain something for me as I'm having a bit of a blank moment
I'm just working on STEP II 2004 question 4 and I'm trying to get my head around the first part.
If we let f(t) = L, so f(t) = acosect + bsect we find f'(t) = 0 to get tan^3t =a/b...why do we do this?
Is it because f(t) is at a minimum to enable the rod to be moved into corridor b..? or have I completely got the wrong end of the stick?!
Thanks 
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 26032012 17:21
(Original post by matt2k8)
The question you are thinking about was asking people to prove half of Ceva's theorem (and candidates noticed it as such)  you definitely CAN'T assume results from outside the Alevel syllabus 
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 26032012 17:39
(Original post by Rahul.S)
yh it was half of it.......most STEP questions aren't about using anything outside really so its fine. I was doing another question involving Jensen's Inequality.....would STEP go one step further to ask for a proof of it?
And I think if you know a result that utterly trivialises a question, they'd like a proof, but it's fine to use very wellknown results without proof. (Not sure though.) (Edit: just noticed DFranklin said the same above, pretty much.)
Personally I think STEP's all fine and dandy with just the formula book so far, but that's just me!
(Original post by DFranklin)
Edit: A better example of something I'd be amazed at losing marks for is modular arithmetic, which I don't believe is on any Alevel syllabus any more.
Anyone in a position where they might want to quote a postAlevel result should also be sensible enough to see whether or not that's a reasonable action for a particular question.
Seems silly that it's not on Alevel, but ho hum... 
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 26032012 17:52
(Original post by Xero Xenith)
IIRC the question on Jensen's Inequality said explicitly "You may assume this result without proving it."
And I think if you know a result that utterly trivialises a question, they'd like a proof, but it's fine to use very wellknown results without proof. (Not sure though.) (Edit: just noticed DFranklin said the same above, pretty much.)
Personally I think STEP's all fine and dandy with just the formula book so far, but that's just me!
Modular arithmetic is used sometimes in the official solutions: STEP II 2008 Q2 for instance. (Actually, there it's used more for clarity in presenting the answer rather than to get the solution. But it's definitely used.)
Seems silly that it's not on Alevel, but ho hum...
I was wondering if there is a good simple proof out there just out of curiosity.....the step question involving jensen's inequality as you correctly mentioned didn't require to prove it. 
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 26032012 18:04
Should we use pen or pencil in the STEP exams?

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 26032012 18:12
(Original post by Xero Xenith)
And I think if you know a result that utterly trivialises a question, they'd like a proof, but it's fine to use very wellknown results without proof.
For example, suppose a question asked you to show
x^3+y^3 = z^3 had no solutions where x and y are multiples of 7 but z is not.
Then this question is trivialised by Fermat's Last Theorem, which is definitely a well known result. I don't think for a moment it would be fine to do that without proof. (And given the lamentable margin sizes on typical answer booklets, good luck with fitting that proof in...)Post rating:5 
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 26032012 18:13
(Original post by Rahul.S)
Oh did he I was trying to prove it via induction......read some articles....alot of it is based on statistics....makes sense as mean etc. lol
I was wondering if there is a good simple proof out there just out of curiosity.....the step question involving jensen's inequality as you correctly mentioned didn't require to prove it.
seems reasonably straightforward to me. 
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 26032012 18:23
(Original post by DFranklin)
The wiki proof at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jensen'...finite_form.29
seems reasonably straightforward to me. 
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 26032012 19:12
(Original post by gff)
If I wasn't on PRSOM, I would've repped you just for this description.
That's what this question is about, and indeed, I don't believe any examiner will be annoyed from the fact that you actually know what this means. Otherwise, it would be silly. 
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 26032012 20:06
A heads up for anyone who has a go at question 12 on STEP III 1998, the order of p outside the bracketed expression is 3, not 2 like it says on the paper. Have spent a good couple of hours expanding all the summed probabilities trying to work out why the coefficients weren't fitting what was required in the question, only because the expression required had a misprint

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 26032012 20:13
(Original post by Rahul.S)
I dont usually trust the things on wiki... 
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 26032012 20:42
(Original post by bensmith)
For example: STEP III 2000 Q7 where in one of the bits I basically had to use the fact that monotonically increasing bounded sequences tend to a limit despite this obviously not being a level stuff. 
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 26032012 20:44
(Original post by DFranklin)
This sentence doesn't seem sufficiently careful (paranoid) to me.
For example, suppose a question asked you to show
x^3+y^3 = z^3 had no solutions where x and y are multiples of 7 but z is not.
Then this question is trivialised by Fermat's Last Theorem, which is definitely a well known result. I don't think for a moment it would be fine to do that without proof. (And given the lamentable margin sizes on typical answer booklets, good luck with fitting that proof in...) 
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 26032012 20:50
(Original post by DFranklin)
In my experience, the maths articles on wiki are pretty reliable (although sometimes pitched at a rather inappropriate level). I think I've only seen one or two fairly subtle errors in what must be hundreds of articles. 
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 26032012 20:55
(Original post by sianem)
Hi, please could someone explain something for me as I'm having a bit of a blank moment
I'm just working on STEP II 2004 question 4 and I'm trying to get my head around the first part.
If we let f(t) = L, so f(t) = acosect + bsect we find f'(t) = 0 to get tan^3t =a/b...why do we do this?
Is it because f(t) is at a minimum to enable the rod to be moved into corridor b..? or have I completely got the wrong end of the stick?!
Thanks
by looking at the diagram we can see that for any angle t, f(t) is the largest stick that could be put in the corridor at that angle. So when we find the minimum of f(t) and rearrange for t, we find the angle that minimises the "longest possible" stick that can be put in the corridor at any angle.
Thus f(t) at that particular t is the longest possible stick passable through though corridor. This is because a stick that is passable through the corridor can be put in the corridor at any angle t with (90>t>0).
But you probably knew that anyway :P, and probably didn't really need the lengthy explanation.Last edited by Blutooth; 26032012 at 21:07.
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Updated: November 18, 2012
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