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# STEP Prep Thread 2016 (Mark. II)

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1. (Original post by Zacken)
Don't beat me up if I get pooled to Homerton
I wont. The tripos will.

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2. How many marks would you predict i will get for doing the beginning of q12 aswell as part i (1/n)
3. Any chance I could get an estimate of my marks from someone?

Question 3:
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Had no idea how to prove that f'(a)f'(b)>0, but continued without it and answered everything else. My justification of the number of roots was maybe a bit weak. I just said that even degree polynomials have an even number of roots and odd degree polynomials have an odd number, therefore 0 roots in the even case and 1 root when odd.
Question 5:
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Didn't do much here at all. I wrote the coefficient and the expansion of (1-x)^-N. Then tried writing (1-x)^-1(1-x)^-N in a few ways, but didn't get to the required result. Didn't try either of the other 2 parts.
Question 6:
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Got everything here. During part (iii) I accidentally wrote n as k at one point and carried on without noticing until I had lots of k's in my working out. I noticed when nothing was cancelling out and wrote a note that I had mistakenly introduced k and it should be n. I continued with k replaced in my next line and got to the right answer. I'm not sure if this will affect my marks?
Question 7:
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I got everything except the integral of 1/(cos x(sin x + cos x)) in the last part.
Question 8:
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Everything up to the estimate of the sum of 1/r^4. I got a value for it but it wasn't the required one. I think it may have been because I took E = 2 rather than the more accurate estimation, but can't remember exactly how I answered it.
Question 12:
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I think the only thing missing from this was that in the last part I forgot to multiply by 1/n as the probability of the card being in the right place, leaving me with an answer of n*(1-P(n-1)) where P(n) is the series from the previous part. I've never done a question involving algebra with events like in the initial part so I don't know what my answer should have looked like, but I assume I was fine with a repeated application of the given result and using the fact that 'and' distributes over 'or'.
Thanks
4. I actually think q6 is pretty nice
5. (Original post by gasfxekl)
I actually think q6 is pretty nice
You did OK BTW?
6. In question 2. i had generally the riht apprach but only had 2 mins to scribble down so made many mistakes.

I showed a+b-c is a factor and factored it correctly but missed the constant of 3 out front.
I realised that the (a,b,c) should be(x,3/2,-1/2) got the right factors didnt specifically right down the roots.
in the next part i didnt show that it was a factor, factored it wrong but did pick x,3,2,1 to get the desired polynomial.(so hoing for a method mark here)

What do you think ill score on this problem?
7. (Original post by physicsmaths)
I wont. The tripos will.

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I am doing lots of mech and complex numbers this week for STEP III. I feel like Siklos might flood it with those nasty geometry/complex numbers this week so I need to get confident with doing the mech section and also be ready to attempt some complex numbers. What do you think?

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8. Just realised I did a bit more in q4 than I thought. Can someone estimate what I might get for proving the very first inequality, the 'hence' part of part (i), and showing the equality when y = (4 + sqrt(7))/3.

Well? I am hoping it is worth a couple of marks at least, to make up for my error in q2.

In q2, if I did it correctly right up to choosing the right values of a,b,d,e (x,1,2,3) and found the first factor but messed up the other factors, and hence the final values (except for x = 0 and possibly x = 2), what would I likely get?

Also, in q7, I did it all right and in the last part I even got to trying to integrate secx/(cosx + sinx) but then didn't make the link to multiple by secx again so didn't manage it. What would this likely get me?

Thanks.
9. Anyone know which colleges reject offer holders with 2,1 more often and which ones accept them? Also will it work in my favour if I come from a background with low progression rates? I'm a little panicky haha

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10. (Original post by fa991)
Anyone know which colleges reject offer holders with 2,1 more often and which ones accept them? Also will it work in my favour if I come from a background with low progression rates? I'm a little panicky haha

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Not sure about first one, but they look at everything when deciding whether to reject you, which includes your background.

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11. (Original post by Insight314)
Not sure about first one, but they look at everything when deciding whether to reject you, which includes your background.

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Oh thanks, I guess not all hope is lost, as long as i destroy step 3

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12. @Zacken or anyone else that knows, I remember one was linked for STEP II a while back that I used a bit, but is there that spreadsheet that has all the questions labelled by what topic of maths they are for the STEP III papers? Want to try and focus on a couple topics
13. (Original post by ComputerMaths97)
@Zacken or anyone else that knows, I remember one was linked for STEP II a while back that I used a bit, but is there that spreadsheet that has all the questions labelled by what topic of maths they are for the STEP III papers? Want to try and focus on a couple topics
No, sorry. We haven't made any for III. I was considering doing it, but given how STEP II went, I don't really want anything to have to do with STEP. Will let you know if I/we do it anyway.
14. (Original post by Zacken)
No, sorry. We haven't made any for III. I was considering doing it, but given how STEP II went, I don't really want anything to have to do with STEP. Will let you know if I/we do it anyway.
I can just tell from some papers that in STEP III you don't actually need to answer any further maths content really to get a 1 or 2 a lot of the time - is this the same in more recent years?
15. (Original post by fa991)
Anyone know which colleges reject offer holders with 2,1 more often and which ones accept them? Also will it work in my favour if I come from a background with low progression rates? I'm a little panicky haha
I read your reply earlier and was going to give you an estimate, but then realised that (if I'm correct) you applied to the same college as me, which made me want to strangle myself a little bit because of badly I'd done, anywho - you definitely got a mid/high 1 from what you've said. Congratulations.
16. (Original post by fa991)
Anyone know which colleges reject offer holders with 2,1 more often and which ones accept them? Also will it work in my favour if I come from a background with low progression rates? I'm a little panicky haha

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Have a look at Freedom of Information requests on whatdotheyknow; I have seen a few cambridge colleges supply information on acceptance by STEP grades
17. (Original post by physicsmaths)
Indeed.
I am feeling ok though since my 1 is rather high. I doubt my college will reject since they take loads of 1,3 and 1,2 from pool.
The perks of being at a shite college.

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Don't diss Homerton, it gives you the opportunity of being the first person ever in your college to get a first
18. (Original post by Zacken)
I read your reply earlier and was going to give you an estimate, but then realised that (if I'm correct) you applied to the same college as me, which made me want to strangle myself a little bit because of badly I'd done, anywho - you definitely got a mid/high 1 from what you've said. Congratulations.
Really? Honestly expected a mid 2. (You are correct about me btw)

Zain, it's obvious you are miles ahead of most people mathematically so all you need to do is smash Step 3 and there's no way they'll let you go

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19. (Original post by sweeneyrod)
Don't diss Homerton, it gives you the opportunity of being the first person ever in your college to get a first
Haha i seen some class lists out of all the years of mathmos at homerton(a period of 3 years) only like 1 guy got a first.
20. How many marks would I lose for this(be as harsh as possible please I really don't want false hope of getting in):
Q2 Got the first part fine, second part I got the values but my factorisation or algebra must have been slightly incorrect as I got the wrong solutions.
Q3 got to the last part but for the n is even/odd I just checked the case n=2 and then used that to guess that it has no solutions when n is even and 1 when n is odd.
Q6 did it up to the last part but couldn't do any of the last part of the Q, did not even attempt it.
Q8 I got all of the last part wrong, but got the first part fine. My sketch was a little dodgy, dock a mark for that.
Q4 I got the first part, but not the deduce y^2 +1, then solved for y and showed the equality for y in the second part but did not find x or tan(theta).
I'm borderline and I really don't know what mark to give this. Think I am likely a high 2.
EDIT: Fulled 7. To clarify 2 was arithmetic slips.

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