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#1
I've looked at some past questions from the papers and I just can't seem to do them very well! I know that the paper is supposed to be challenging and not easy, but I'm worried I'll only get like 20% or something like that (from not being able to do certain questions or by approaching them in the wrong way). It's because I've focused so hard on trying to get high marks in the exams that I haven't had lots of time to do lateral thinking maths problems.

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11 years ago
#2
I felt that way last year, so it's perfectly natural. This was ontop of failing my driving test a couple of times before so I wasn't really confident. You've got about a month to get in gear, so just keep looking at example questions, making sure you understand the fundamentals of each topic.
You don't need to be super confident, even I got a place, so just give it your best!
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11 years ago
#3
here is some advise : do some papers with the help of your teacher

initially i didn't understood anything of the questions but after my teacher helped me with two of the papers i managed to do the third almost by myself

you'll see that the type of questions is similar in each one and will just get used to it

they are not so hard if you manage to understand what exactly they are asking

don't worry
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11 years ago
#4
How long do you get for the test?
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11 years ago
#5
(Original post by Katie Kennedy)
How long do you get for the test?
2.5 hours. Details are at

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/prospectiv...specimen-tests
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11 years ago
#6
(Original post by RichE)
2.5 hours. Details are at

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/prospectiv...specimen-tests
Thank you
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#7
How many marks is the paper out of? Is it 100?
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11 years ago
#8
(Original post by OL1V3R)
How many marks is the paper out of? Is it 100?
The link RichE gave would have answered this for you. The multiple choice section is out of 40 and the 4 longer questions are each out of 15. So yes, it's out of 100.
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11 years ago
#9
I think that doing papers with a teacher would be a good idea, but try to have a go at them before you do, because, as they so often say, you get the most out of a problem if you think it through yourself. Maybe look at Stephen Siklos' STEP booklet after you've done the papers - it goes beyond the C2 stuff, but the style of thinking is the same.

Good luck everyone!
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11 years ago
#10
(Original post by BJack)
The link RichE gave would have answered this for you. The multiple choice section is out of 40 and the 4 longer questions are each out of 15. So yes, it's out of 100.

... 40 + (15 * 4) = ...

hmmm

40 + 30 + 30 =

Damn. This test is harder than I thought

I suppose doing past Step 1 questions could be helpful, but remember the step questions are supposed to take much longer than on the oxford test.

I have to make sure that my school has entered me for the test
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11 years ago
#11
I'm not sure STEP would be all that helpful for the Oxford test, since a lot of STEP I will be based on C3/4 — you won't know what you need to improve wrt C1 and C2.

(Original post by ShortRef)
... 40 + (15 * 4) = ...

hmmm

40 + 30 + 30 =

Damn. This test is harder than I thought
Why on earth would you say 15*4 = 30+30?
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11 years ago
#12
(Original post by BJack)
I'm not sure STEP would be all that helpful for the Oxford test, since a lot of STEP I will be based on C3/4 — you won't know what you need to improve wrt C1 and C2.

Why on earth would you say 15*4 = 30+30?
I think it would be helpful. Some of the questions (on the oxford test) are based on differentiation and integration (improve your understanding by doing relevant question), some are on series, sketching graphs ect.

But you should already have a very good understanding of c1 and c2 before you start doing step questions (after you have finished with the oxford tests).
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11 years ago
#13
(Original post by Popa Dom)
I also wouldn't stress too much about struggling now, you'll be surprised about how much of a difference it makes to be sat in an actual exam as opposed to just looking at the questions in your spare time. I mean I just had a look at one of the past papers and would struggle to answer many of the questions, but im pretty sure i could (and did) rise to the challenge if i had to sit it timed and invigilated.
On the other hand, I found it easy to do the papers in untimed conditions and panicked horribly in the actual test. It goes both ways.
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11 years ago
#14
dont worry dude, i didn prepare at all, came out of the test almost crying thinking it was the worst maths test i ever sat and i still got the interview.
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11 years ago
#15
I would recommend doing STEP papers as preparation for the Oxford MAT, as after doing a STEP paper, a MAT paper suddenly looks friendly and simple.
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11 years ago
#16
(Original post by danny111)
dont worry dude, i didn prepare at all, came out of the test almost crying thinking it was the worst maths test i ever sat and i still got the interview.
Getting an interview is not the same as being on an equal footing with the other applicants, though.
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11 years ago
#17
i personally found the AEA maths papers quite helpful with dealing with the last 4 questions

for the first 10 i would reccomend going over c1 and 2 and actually read the intro to each chapter, it'll help you think a bit more about the maths and deal with some of the stranger questions

oh and learn everything you've used a formula sheet for- trig/ trapezium rule/ bionomial etc as if you get the wrong formula/forget it you won't be able to get any further- particularly sin cos and tan of 30/60/45 degrees

don't worry, i was convinced i failed- but something evidently went ok
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#18
So maybe is it worth just revising (or maybe even rote-learning) the very basic fundamentals and proofs? (e.g. proof of the sine rule, quadratic formula, geometrical results, etc.)
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11 years ago
#19
(Original post by OL1V3R)
So maybe is it worth just revising (or maybe even rote-learning) the very basic fundamentals and proofs? (e.g. proof of the sine rule, quadratic formula, geometrical results, etc.)
I wouldn't say rote learnings the best, the test looks at how you can apply and understand your knowledge. But knowing those things certainly won't hinder you, but the best strategy really is looking at unfamiliar problems like Step 1.
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11 years ago
#20
The key to the test (I got 85, according to a tutor, in the 2006 admissions cycle) is to know - as in understand everything and forget nothing - C1 and C2 inside-out, back-to-front, as well as being algebraically fluent and mathematically accurate. This way, you should be able to whizz through the multiple choice (obviously, try and analyse if direct calculation, a process of elimination, or a combination of the two are the best way to tackle the problem - you should be able to picture what 'problems' you could encounter just from reading the question). Then this leaves more time for the longer questions, which is important, as the test is time pressured.

You definitely need to know C1/C2 fully for the interviews, otherwise you might not be able to use the hints tutors drop you to the best of your advantage, so you might as well start revising them for the test.

Do the past papers once, under timed conditions, and then again, going through each question with a teacher (where possible). I think this is probably the best way to get used to they style. There aren't any ways that you can prepare especially well for this sort of test (that's the point!), so just make sure you know C1 and C2, and then you can start to build on that.
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