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# MAT Prep Thread - 2nd November 2016 watch

1. (Original post by danielhx)
does it have anything to do with the right angles?
TBH, I thought it was "obvious" that those triangles were going to work and now I'm not quite seeing it. Unfortunately I don't have time to look at it properly now so I thought I'd better 'fess up so you had an appropriate level of scepticism,
2. Hey all, so as you all know past papers are quite limited and so I barely spend any time doing preparation for the MAT (maybe 1 day per week) which I'm slightly worried about. I'm just wondering what other stuff are you guys looking at to prepare?
3. (Original post by DylanJ42)
Hey all, so as you all know past papers are quite limited and so I barely spend any time doing preparation for the MAT (maybe 1 day per week) which I'm slightly worried about. I'm just wondering what other stuff are you guys looking at to prepare?
Do BMO and STEP, it will help with all types of problem solving abilities.
Learn how to count aswell.
Count as in some nice Combinatorics.

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4. (Original post by physicsmaths)
Do BMO and STEP, it will help with all types of problem solving abilities.
Learn how to count aswell.
Count as in some nice Combinatorics.
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I'm noticing my STEP preparation from last year helping, is it worthwhile doing full STEP papers a few times per week, or just do the odd question here and there?

I thought you were taking a jab at how easy the MAT is or something

Will do thank you
5. Can someone explain part (iv) in question 2 of the 2012 MAT? I get that
Spoiler:
Show
4k+2j+i = 4m

But from there I don't really understand what the mark scheme's suggesting.
6. I may be the only one, but I'm finding the MAT Graph Sketching questions really difficult! Anyone have any tips or resources? or even tips on approaching the question???
7. (Original post by QueenOfCaffeine)
I may be the only one, but I'm finding the MAT Graph Sketching questions really difficult! Anyone have any tips or resources? or even tips on approaching the question???
Work out key x and y values.
Work out stationary points
Work out tangents
Know shape of common functions
8. (Original post by QueenOfCaffeine)
I may be the only one, but I'm finding the MAT Graph Sketching questions really difficult! Anyone have any tips or resources? or even tips on approaching the question???
Do you mean the questions where you have to sketch a graph, or the ones where to have to recognize which of 4 or 5 sketches is the correct one? With the latter it's much more about looking at the function and recognizing its properties, e.g. evenness/oddness, how it changes with large x, whether it's always positive etc.
9. (Original post by RichE)
Do you mean the questions where you have to sketch a graph, or the ones where to have to recognize which of 4 or 5 sketches is the correct one? With the latter it's much more about looking at the function and recognizing its properties, e.g. evenness/oddness, how it changes with large x, whether it's always positive etc.
Recognising is okay, it's the sketching I'm really struggling with!
10. (Original post by QueenOfCaffeine)
Recognising is okay, it's the sketching I'm really struggling with!
Can you post an example of the sort of question you're talking about? Hopefully some of us can talk you through it and make it clearer.
11. I thought about the minimum values for the RHS and then the LHS and then thought about the possible values for X once you have that
12. (Original post by DylanJ42)
I'm noticing my STEP preparation from last year helping, is it worthwhile doing full STEP papers a few times per week, or just do the odd question here and there?

I thought you were taking a jab at how easy the MAT is or something

Will do thank you
If you are able to do a few full STEP papers each week then I may hazard a guess that you will be fine for the MAT . However, in terms of preparation I would definitely recommend giving STEP questions a proper shot, you will get a lot from sitting down and tackling a question full on than you will skimming them over and attempting them a bit till you hit a wall. Your problem solving skills will be enhanced greatly by it!

I strongly agree with Physics Maths about learning some combinatorics, I personally have never been any good at it but it is an extremely useful skill to have for papers in the style of the MAT and STEP. Plus, if you are already familiar with the basics and understanding of some more intermediate topics in the subject, seemingly challenging questions will become some of the easiest on the paper. That is the benefit on unseen topics in exams, take STEP for example, they are a fan of the floor function, the difficulty of questions relating to that function is the understanding how the function itself behaves and its graphing, rarely the actual maths involved, but if you have encountered the floor function before, those STEP questions are simply gifts.

But, as the MAT encroaches upon you, it would be best to attempt MAT papers and get used to their style of question, unless of course you've done them all before, but even then it doesn't hurt to look over them for questions which have a habit of popping up over the years.
13. (Original post by Jai Sandhu)
x
thank you for the detailed reply

Yea I don't have much MAT papers left so ill definitely be going some STEP 1 papers, to keep my pure maths ability up if nothing else

I have some university lecture notes on combinatorics so I will work my way through those as if it gets me 15 marks in the paper it'll be worth it. I am feeling that most of the MAT questions have a "floor function"-esque style that you refer to, where none of the maths is hard but understanding of the topics is key, the working out itself is very short and usually not too messy eg I haven't found myself drowning in an algebraic mess yet with the MAT.

Ill save 2014 or 2015 for a proper mock, most likely 2014 as I will remember 2015 too much from last year
14. For the question about deducing the sine rule, I did it by using soh cah toa instead of manipulating the areas of the triangles in the mark scheme. is this still correct?
15. Hello all, any changes to the rules from last year?
16. Hi!

Can anyone help me with Q4 of 2011?

I get the first part but I am stuck on part ii and iii

Any help would be appreciated!
17. (Original post by XxsciencemathsxX)
Hi!

Can anyone help me with Q4 of 2011?

I get the first part but I am stuck on part ii and iii

Any help would be appreciated!
for part iii you need to turn it into an equation of a circle through factorisation
for the next part of part iii, you can use the equation of a circle to find its centre, and then you can see that that circle touches that quarter circle and you can find the points where they touch and work it out

for part ii, you know x^2+y^2 =1 at the very edge of the shaded area, so across that boundary, you need to find where the x and y values are largest for 4xy
for the next part you want to minimise 6xy using points at the boundary of the shaded area
18. Can anyone help I'm really confused how the MAT is actually marked?
19. (Original post by Moogle679)
Can anyone help I'm really confused how the MAT is actually marked?
I'm no expert but here's what I think.
Q1 is either right or wrong so you'd get either 4 marks or 0 for each question A-J for a max of 40 marks.

Then for the other 4 Q's you answer you can get up to 15 marks. As shown in the solutions each part of the questions has a number of marks assigned to it. You get marks for both working and the correct answer (as they're interested in how you think about the problem etc.). The methods shown in the solutions aren't often the only valid method (unless stated to use a particular method in the question) and so you can get full marks for a question using another method as long as it fully answers the question.

It's different to normal A level papers in that the mark scheme isn't totally specific for each mark. However it is being marked by mathematicians so any valid method should gain full credit.
20. MAT 2011 Q3 part v help?

I realise that as a increases, R also increases. But I don't understand why a = -1. Surely a should equal (b- small change) as that's when the tangent line will have the greatest gradient?

Sorry if this is a silly question

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