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The 2012 STEP Results Discussion Thread

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    (Original post by Xero Xenith)
    Guessing that's literally nothing on purpose?

    That whole idea just seems alien to me - I just pick my questions, get started, and spend 30-50 minutes on each. Why do you do nothing for hours?
    It's weird, I just seem to be much better at maths towards the end of papers...
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    (Original post by GreenLantern1)
    I would've thought it is fairly common since I am in year 11 and am taking it this June alongside my GCSEs.
    Why not Yr 12? Seriously, your time is better spent looking into UKMT mentoring/ olympiad stuff. Getting into BMO2 etc. in yr 11 is arguably just as impressive. They do not correspond directly (or at all) with uni interviews stuff, but they do not require a-level knowledge (with one or two extra topics not covered in school) and are harder than step in terms of "getting into" a question (as no clues are given). The summer school I went to via UKMT, mentoring etc. were one of the reasons I started looking into maths as a high school kid in the first place, as my schools did not have sufficient resources/ teachers for extra maths stuff. Now I prefer STEP more, but pre-alevel UKMT is the best way forward in terms of building core problem-solving skills and persistance.
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    (Original post by ben-smith)
    It's weird, I just seem to be much better at maths towards the end of papers...
    I think I know what you are talking about. When struggling on a difficult maths problem, I usually just move on to another hard but fun maths question. And when I return to the initial problem, having taken my mind elsewhere, the difficulties vanish and the problem seems to effortlessly unlock itself.

    I think the subconscious is working on these problems in the background, and after some time it has an answer that's neatly wrapped up and ready for your conscious mind to unpack in but a few simple steps.

    I think it's the same reason why plenty of mathematicians, myself included, seems to be able to solve a hard problem having just woken up or after getting out of the bath. Didn't Archimedes jump out of his bath, and run onto a street- shouting eureka- having solved a famous density problem? It must be that the subconscious is picking at these problems while we relax, sleep or indeed while we're doing other hard maths problems.
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    (Original post by ben-smith)
    It's weird, I just seem to be much better at maths towards the end of papers...
    Have you tried with reading the questions, and then writing down the first ideas that pop up for the ones you like to attempt? Helps to get started.



    With regard to time consumption, do you think it is fine to insert some results without computing or justifying them completely? (If the question is not about them)
    Spoiler:
    Show

    Like, \displaystyle \int_{-a}^{a} \sin(bx)\cos(cx)\ dx = 0 by the fact the integrand is odd, or by inspection \displaystyle \int_{0}^{a\pi} \left(b + c\sum^{n} \limits_{k=1}\cos(kx) \right)\ dx = ab\pi for a \in \mathbb{N}.

    What I mean is that, as long as you can see the answer, do you actually have to write all the details.
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    (Original post by twig)
    Why not Yr 12? Seriously, your time is better spent looking into UKMT mentoring/ olympiad stuff. Getting into BMO2 etc. in yr 11 is arguably just as impressive. They do not correspond directly (or at all) with uni interviews stuff, but they do not require a-level knowledge (with one or two extra topics not covered in school) and are harder than step in terms of "getting into" a question (as no clues are given). The summer school I went to via UKMT, mentoring etc. were one of the reasons I started looking into maths as a high school kid in the first place, as my schools did not have sufficient resources/ teachers for extra maths stuff. Now I prefer STEP more, but pre-alevel UKMT is the best way forward in terms of building core problem-solving skills and persistance.
    I am in year 11. I was joking about the STEP hting if you had bothered to read on. And also I have been doing the UKMT Intermediate Mentoring Scheme alongside my school since the beginning of Year 11. I haven't got high enough marks in the UKMT challenges to get into BMO yet, hopefully I will get into BMO1 in Year 12. I got Gold this year and got into the Maclaurin stage as I got 120 in the Intermediate UKMT; so I do do these problems. Btw don't you have to do the Senior UKMT in order to qualify for BMO1?
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    (Original post by GreenLantern1)
    I am in year 11. I was joking about the STEP hting if you had bothered to read on. And also I have been doing the UKMT Intermediate Mentoring Scheme alongside my school since the beginning of Year 11. I haven't got high enough marks in the UKMT challenges to get into BMO yet, hopefully I will get into BMO1 in Year 12. I got Gold this year and got into the Maclaurin stage as I got 120 in the Intermediate UKMT; so I do do these problems. Btw don't you have to do the Senior UKMT in order to qualify for BMO1?
    someone told me you can just pay to do BMO1
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    (Original post by GreenLantern1)
    I am in year 11. I was joking about the STEP hting if you had bothered to read on. And also I have been doing the UKMT Intermediate Mentoring Scheme alongside my school since the beginning of Year 11. I haven't got high enough marks in the UKMT challenges to get into BMO yet, hopefully I will get into BMO1 in Year 12. I got Gold this year and got into the Maclaurin stage as I got 120 in the Intermediate UKMT; so I do do these problems. Btw don't you have to do the Senior UKMT in order to qualify for BMO1?
    You can pay to do BMO1, I think you can even pay to do BMO2!
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    (Original post by gff)
    Have you tried with reading the questions, and then writing down the first ideas that pop up for the ones you like to attempt? Helps to get started.



    With regard to time consumption, do you think it is fine to insert some results without computing or justifying them completely? (If the question is not about them)
    Spoiler:
    Show

    Like, \displaystyle \int_{-a}^{a} \sin(bx)\cos(cx)\ dx = 0 by the fact the integrand is odd, or by inspection \displaystyle \int_{0}^{a\pi} \left(b + c\sum^{n} \limits_{k=1}\cos(kx) \right)\ dx = ab\pi for a \in \mathbb{N}.

    What I mean is that, as long as you can see the answer, do you actually have to write all the details.
    But you did justify - you noted the integral was odd. That should be fine, and will generally 'impress' more than doing it the longer way (although remember there are no style points for elegance in STEP). However, showing flair is never a bad thing
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    (Original post by gff)
    Have you tried with reading the questions, and then writing down the first ideas that pop up for the ones you like to attempt? Helps to get started.
    Works for me perfectly. Also, I always try the first idea I come up with, even if the idea seems ridiculous, but usually not.
    Don't spend too much time on thinking what's the best way to tackle it, unless you're completely stuck. The chances are, you make things more complicated than they are.
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    (Original post by Rahul.S)
    someone told me you can just pay to do BMO1

    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    You can pay to do BMO1, I think you can even pay to do BMO2!
    You can pay to do BMO1 but you get automatically entered for free if you get high enough in the UKMT Senior Mathematical Challenge.

    I am pretty sure that to then get into BMO2 you need to have gotten above a certain score in BMO 1; you can't pay.
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    (Original post by ian.slater)
    ...
    Are you coming to Warwick on Saturday?
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    (Original post by GreenLantern1)
    You can pay to do BMO1 but you get automatically entered for free if you get high enough in the UKMT Senior Mathematical Challenge.

    I am pretty sure that to then get into BMO2 you need to have gotten above a certain score in BMO 1; you can't pay.
    I just checked, you can pay but you have to have participated in BMO1. Imagine being a complete noob and paying your way through all the exams haha. :p:
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    (Original post by Dog4444)
    Works for me perfectly. Also, I always try the first idea I come up with, even if the idea seems ridiculous, but usually not.
    Don't spend too much time on thinking what's the best way to tackle it, unless you're completely stuck. The chances are, you make things more complicated than they are.
    When I attempt a maths question I usually just think for the first 5 minutes without writing down anything- to see if there is a better approach. I resist all urges to go straight ahead with my first instinct. I think that it you run straight into these Step questions, you could waste a lot of time getting lost in the twists and turns of difficult algebra.

    Edit: I usually jot ideas down, and test a few cases out, before attempting a full blow solution. And I might do that within the first 5 minutes.
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    (Original post by Blutooth)
    When I attempt a maths question I usually just think for the first 5 minutes without writing down anything- to see if there is a better approach. I resist all urges to go straight ahead with my first instinct. I think that it you run straight into these Step questions, you could waste a lot of time getting lost in the twists and turns of difficult algebra.

    Edit: I usually jot ideas down, and testing a few cases out, before attempting a full blow solution. And I might do that within the first 5 minutes.
    You're definitely right, it's not always the best strategy.
    I "go straight ahead with my first instinct" if I have an idea straight after I read the question. It seems to work for me.
    If you're stuck, it's not the best thing you can do.
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    I just checked, you can pay but you have to have participated in BMO1. Imagine being a complete noob and paying your way through all the exams haha. :p:
    Why would you pay to do a soul-destroying exam :confused:
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    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    Why would you pay to do a soul-destroying exam :confused:
    Who knows. :p:
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    Imagine being a complete noob and paying your way through all the exams haha. :p:
    I can imagine that. Also he/she arrives at the training camp and starts conversations with: "Are you a genius? I know what's Hilbert's Nullstellensatz."
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    -Are you a genius? I know what's Hilbert's Nullstellensatz."
    -Cool. I proved Fermat's Last Theorem in Year 8.

    Pwned.
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    (Original post by Dog4444)
    -Are you a genius? I know what's Hilbert's Nullstellensatz."
    -Cool. I proved Fermat's Last Theorem in Year 8.

    Pwned.
    Are you suggesting that people at camp talk to each other

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    (Original post by TheMagicMan)
    Are you suggesting that people at camp talk to each other

    At the physics equivalent in Oxford apparently they do...

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