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# Oxford MAT 2013/2014 Watch

1. question 5 on 2009 is just the weirdest thing ive ever read, i dont understand what i dont understand. i dont even know what it means by the rules it feels like its just mixed up and its a bit of a panic really.

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/fil...e/0/speca5.pdf
2. (Original post by cem101)
question 5 on 2009 is just the weirdest thing ive ever read, i dont understand what i dont understand. i dont even know what it means by the rules it feels like its just mixed up and its a bit of a panic really.

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/fil...e/0/speca5.pdf
It is a bit weird.

To try and consider it in a different way.

You are looking for songs.
A sequence of 0 notes is a song (ie _ is a song)
A sequence of x followed by a song repeated followed by y is a song.
(ie xSSy is a song)
A sequence where x and y's are swapped is a song
(ie ySSx is a song).

Now consider that the first song would have no 0 notes.
The second song would be x__y which would be 0 notes. This has 2 variants (you can swap the x and y). Lets call this song either N or M.

for a song with 6 notes you'd be looking at
xnny, xmmy ynnx ymmx

ii) Consider that earlier for a song of 6 notes, N or M are repeated twice and then x and y are added, and use this to deduce the fact.
Then you can prove it via induction or other means.

iii) When you have the fourth rule, Try considering a song of lets say 14 notes, and then try and use that to create a song of 13, then 12 and so on.
3. hi sorry for this but on question 2 on spec paper 2 (linked) when 16=b^2 why cant we put b=+-4 as it doesnt say a,b>0 if you do this you end up with 8 solutions. how are we to know if we only take b as positive.
http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/fil...e/0/specb5.pdf
4. (Original post by cem101)
hi sorry for this but on question 2 on spec paper 2 (linked) when 16=b^2 why cant we put b=+-4 as it doesnt say a,b>0 if you do this you end up with 8 solutions. how are we to know if we only take b as positive.
http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/system/fil...e/0/specb5.pdf

Posted from TSR Mobile
It doesn't matter if b= 4 or -4.

the question asks for ONE factorization.

5. (Original post by BankOfPigs)
Posted from TSR Mobile
It doesn't matter if b= 4 or -4.

the question asks for ONE factorization.

oh ye, thanks :P
6. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I have just come to accept that question 5 is absolute bulshi* t- its not even maths- q5 should be the computer science question- Im focusing all my time on q1-4 and grab the easy marks from q5.
I find that in most cases, question 5 is easy marks.

It's not the sort of question where you utterly screwed mid way through. I find as long as you have the time, you can ultimate get about 10 marks or so from just trial and erroring your way through the question.

The maths it tests is quite different but I quite enjoy it personally and it's quite a refreshing end to the paper after doing a ridiculous amount of algebra.

Although that question was the worst q5 i've seen as the deducing bit requiring induction was a lot of effort.
7. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I have just come to accept that question 5 is absolute bulshi* t- its not even maths- q5 should be the computer science question- Im focusing all my time on q1-4 and grab the easy marks from q5.
It's quite possibly the best test of mathematical ability in the entire paper, because university subjects (Maths, Comp Sci, Philosophy) rely very heavily in being able to understand an abstract set of principles and manipulate them using logic to deduce something worthwhile.

Just because you don't like the type of question doesn't mean its crap.
8. (Original post by shamika)
It's quite possibly the best test of mathematical ability in the entire paper, because university subjects (Maths, Comp Sci, Philosophy) rely very heavily in being able to understand an abstract set of principles and manipulate them using logic to deduce something worthwhile.

Just because you don't like the type of question doesn't mean its crap.
have to agree. from my experience it requires clear logical thinking an an appreciation of how to effectively apply simple maths
9. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I have just come to accept that question 5 is absolute bulshi* t- its not even maths- q5 should be the computer science question- Im focusing all my time on q1-4 and grab the easy marks from q5.
Omg I agree hahaha I thought I was stupid basically what with everyone getting it, why can't it just be a test with calculus and algebra and just C1-C4 stuff and not abstract thinking. I've not been taught to think like that. School has taught me to memorize formulas and that's been enough for good grades and all of a sudden this comes up.

Posted from TSR Mobile
10. (Original post by cem101)
Omg I agree hahaha I thought I was stupid basically what with everyone getting it, why can't it just be a test with calculus and algebra and just C1-C4 stuff and not abstract thinking. I've not been taught to think like that. School has taught me to memorize formulas and that's been enough for good grades and all of a sudden this comes up.

Posted from TSR Mobile

Which is exactly why it's such an excellent question. A university Maths degree requires you to be able to think abstractly, not memorize formulas. Also, do some further reading. The school curriculum should not be the only maths you know when you apply.
11. (Original post by cem101)
Omg I agree hahaha I thought I was stupid basically what with everyone getting it, why can't it just be a test with calculus and algebra and just C1-C4 stuff and not abstract thinking. I've not been taught to think like that. School has taught me to memorize formulas and that's been enough for good grades and all of a sudden this comes up.

Posted from TSR Mobile
lol you're going to have a bit of a shock doing undergrad maths.
12. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I have just come to accept that question 5 is absolute bulshi* t- its not even maths- q5 should be the computer science question- Im focusing all my time on q1-4 and grab the easy marks from q5.
13. (Original post by cem101)
Omg I agree hahaha I thought I was stupid basically what with everyone getting it, why can't it just be a test with calculus and algebra and just C1-C4 stuff and not abstract thinking. I've not been taught to think like that. School has taught me to memorize formulas and that's been enough for good grades and all of a sudden this comes up.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Lol and you're trying to get into Oxford/Imperial for a maths degree with that attitude?
14. (Original post by CD315)
Lol and you're trying to get into Oxford/Imperial for a maths degree with that attitude?
I suspect it might be an ironic statement.
15. (Original post by shamika)
It's quite possibly the best test of mathematical ability in the entire paper, because university subjects (Maths, Comp Sci, Philosophy) rely very heavily in being able to understand an abstract set of principles and manipulate them using logic to deduce something worthwhile.

Just because you don't like the type of question doesn't mean its crap.
(Original post by Jooooshy)
I apologise to myself for being so anti-problem-solving. Had an extremely bad week and getting stuck on a MAT paper was just the icing on the cake. I guess it is certainly more of an intelligence test than any of the previous questions which is why I find it the trickiest usually.

Do you find out your score in the MAT anyway?
16. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I apologise to myself for being so anti-problem-solving. Had an extremely bad week and getting stuck on a MAT paper was just the icing on the cake. I guess it is certainly more of an intelligence test than any of the previous questions which is why I find it the trickiest usually.

Do you find out your score in the MAT anyway?
No, I don't think you do officially
17. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I apologise to myself for being so anti-problem-solving. Had an extremely bad week and getting stuck on a MAT paper was just the icing on the cake. I guess it is certainly more of an intelligence test than any of the previous questions which is why I find it the trickiest usually.

Do you find out your score in the MAT anyway?
Not until they've made their decision.. But even then you have to request it
18. 1-4 is so much easier, if I actually fully understood what the last question wanted I don't have a problem with the maths it's just the understanding of the problem.
19. (Original post by cem101)
1-4 is so much easier, if I actually fully understood what the last question wanted I don't have a problem with the maths it's just the understanding of the problem.
If you have a problem with the concept of Q5 then you're not going to get on with maths at Oxford (or Cambridge or Imperial or Warwick or any other top maths university)

80% of the work/course/questions feel more like Q5 and about 20% like Q1-Q4.

All the work is less structured than a-level and most of the time you will be doing questions where you are seeing things for the first time and have to make sense of it yourself.
20. (Original post by nahomyemane778)
I apologise to myself for being so anti-problem-solving. Had an extremely bad week and getting stuck on a MAT paper was just the icing on the cake. I guess it is certainly more of an intelligence test than any of the previous questions which is why I find it the trickiest usually.

Do you find out your score in the MAT anyway?

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