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# MAT Prep Thread - 2nd November 2016 watch

1. (Original post by theaverage)
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

Posted from TSR Mobile
Given what you wrote (in bold), then surely a = -1 as that's the largest it can be.
2. (Original post by theaverage)
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

Posted from TSR Mobile
yes, and the largest a can be is -1 which is touching b on the x axis, and the curve intersects the x axis at -1/
3. I have done quite a few of the papers - getting around 7/8 out of 10 on the multiple choice questions. Anyone know what the best way of preparing for these questions or any tips?
4. (Original post by ComputeiT)
I have done quite a few of the papers - getting around 7/8 out of 10 on the multiple choice questions. Anyone know what the best way of preparing for these questions or any tips?
In general, here's a few tips:

* Manage your time well - often it can be easier to get 4 more marks in the longer questions rather than getting one of the later multiple choice questions. Give the questions a good attempt on your first run-through, but don't dwell for ages on a question you don't get - come back to it with a fresher mind.
* But don't underestimate the multiple choice - it's more than double a long question in total. In some ways, I actually find them more difficult than long questions - there's such a variety of topics, and you don't get led into it in the way long questions do.
* Know your background knowledge well. In particular, make sure you really understand the underlying concepts. For example, I've seen quite a few questions based on the general idea of integration (an area under a curve), rather than any significant calculations.
* If you need to, remember it's a multiple choice section. Try eliminating things that don't make sense, and substituting in simple values like 0 and 1 - if nothing else, it makes a correct guess more likely.
* Also, there's a few "tricks" that often come up. Things like squaring something to make it positive, the maximum and minimum of sinx and cosx making subsitutions for powers like 9^x = 3^2x, even things like multiplying negatives - they come up in a bunch of questions, and getting used to them can make questions a lot easier. You should recognise some after a few past papers. The 2012 paper has a bunch of them in particular.
5. Hi i dont mean to hijack this thread but im in need of an urgent reply from any mathematician. for my application I was wondering whether I should leave out my STEP grades being grade 1 in STEP 1 and grade 3 in STEP 2 obviously because of my mess up in STEP 2. I am not going to be applying to Cambridge. My choices are Oxford Imperial Bristol LSE UCL, so should I leave out the STEP grades or should I include them? Thank you
6. (Original post by danielhx)
Hi i dont mean to hijack this thread but im in need of an urgent reply from any mathematician. for my application I was wondering whether I should leave out my STEP grades being grade 1 in STEP 1 and grade 3 in STEP 2 obviously because of my mess up in STEP 2. I am not going to be applying to Cambridge. My choices are Oxford Imperial Bristol LSE UCL, so should I leave out the STEP grades or should I include them? Thank you
we are identical in STEP scores and almost in choices wow I think you have to put them in though

I put mines in and talked in my PS a little about how it was great to be challenged etc
7. (Original post by danielhx)
Hi i dont mean to hijack this thread but im in need of an urgent reply from any mathematician. for my application I was wondering whether I should leave out my STEP grades being grade 1 in STEP 1 and grade 3 in STEP 2 obviously because of my mess up in STEP 2. I am not going to be applying to Cambridge. My choices are Oxford Imperial Bristol LSE UCL, so should I leave out the STEP grades or should I include them? Thank you
I got 3,3 on STEP 2/3 last year and was told I had to put mine down much to my disliking.
8. (Original post by DylanJ42)
we are identical in STEP scores and almost in choices wow I think you have to put them in though

I put mines in and talked in my PS a little about how it was great to be challenged etc
hahah what a coincidence man. what are your choices if i may ask? Putting down those STEP scores wont put us at a disadvantage when it comes to Imperial/Oxford would it?
9. (Original post by danielhx)
hahah what a coincidence man. what are your choices if i may ask? Putting down those STEP scores wont put us at a disadvantage when it comes to Imperial/Oxford would it?
Oxford, Imperial, Bristol, Durham and Manchester (for maths and compsci though)

I hope not although I think you have to put them on. I imagine if the MAT goes well neither uni will care much
10. (Original post by DylanJ42)
Oxford, Imperial, Bristol, Durham and Manchester (for maths and compsci though)

I hope not although I think you have to put them on. I imagine if the MAT goes well neither uni will care much
yeah let's hope for that then. All the best for your university application!
11. How do you get started on spec a question 4ii
12. (Original post by Bruhh)
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.
Awesome thank you, I really wasn't sure how it all worked as you mentioned it's really not specific at all. Does it show anywhere rough marks for longer questions?
13. How do you do 2v on 2009?

Also as for marks, I've noticed oxford's marking scheme has markings for each part of question s so it's really useful. Hope that helps.

Edit: Think it might just be for the older papers actually
14. (Original post by Moogle679)
Awesome thank you, I really wasn't sure how it all worked as you mentioned it's really not specific at all. Does it show anywhere rough marks for longer questions?
It's difficult to say for sure, but in general I've been giong under the assumption that each logical "step" is roughly 1 mark. So for a logic question (an introductory parts are normally 3 marks), splitting it up into different cases gets you 1 mark, evaluating each case gives you a mark in total, and coming to a conclusion gets you another mark.

But honestly, it's probably not worth worrying too much about the exact mark when doing past papers. What's way more important is making sure that you've understood the question after looking through the marking sheme and perhaps trying it again,.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that the MAT has large amounts of discretion. Those marking your paper will see your working and the different ideas you've tried, even if they weren't correct. The MAT's only a part of your application, not the be all end all. There's no fixed cutoff for scores or anything like that - a great MAT score can make up for a not-so-great personal statement, and vice-versa.

tl;dr: roughly 1 logical step/ark, but an exact score isn't as important as other exams.
15. (Original post by lewman99)
It's difficult to say for sure, but in general I've been giong under the assumption that each logical "step" is roughly 1 mark. So for a logic question (an introductory parts are normally 3 marks), splitting it up into different cases gets you 1 mark, evaluating each case gives you a mark in total, and coming to a conclusion gets you another mark.

But honestly, it's probably not worth worrying too much about the exact mark when doing past papers. What's way more important is making sure that you've understood the question after looking through the marking sheme and perhaps trying it again,.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that the MAT has large amounts of discretion. Those marking your paper will see your working and the different ideas you've tried, even if they weren't correct. The MAT's only a part of your application, not the be all end all. There's no fixed cutoff for scores or anything like that - a great MAT score can make up for a not-so-great personal statement, and vice-versa.

tl;dr: roughly 1 logical step/ark, but an exact score isn't as important as other exams.
Personal statement can never make up for low marks in anything. It counts for literally nothing unless you started swearing in your PS.

Posted from TSR Mobile
16. For question 3 MAT 2010 (iv) why does the y=c line coincide with the second hump? It has to give exactly 5 solutions right? Is it because when it touches the line we count that as either 1/2 solutions?
17. (Original post by danielhx)
For question 3 MAT 2010 (iv) why does the y=c line coincide with the second hump? It has to give exactly 5 solutions right? Is it because when it touches the line we count that as either 1/2 solutions?
4 solutions - as 0 won't be a solution in this case. Touching the second hump is the only way to get 4 solutions.
18. (Original post by RichE)
4 solutions - as 0 won't be a solution in this case. Touching the second hump is the only way to get 4 solutions.
oh right! thank you but in general when it touches it can be considered as a repeated root hence 2 roots?
19. (Original post by danielhx)
oh right! thank you but in general when it touches it can be considered as a repeated root hence 2 roots?
Well that depends on how the question would be phrased. You might call such a case "2 solutions counting multiplicities".
20. (Original post by KloppOClock)
How do you get started on spec a question 4ii
..

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