You are Here: Home >< Maths

# Is it worth learning proofs of specific concepts in A-level maths? watch

1. E.g sine rule/m1m2=-1/power rule in differentiation etc

I love seeing how things came about and doing the proof is aesthetically pleasing however I books generally don't contain proofs and teachers don't have a clue. Is it even worth learning them?
2. (Original post by UKBrah)
E.g sine rule/m1m2=-1/power rule in differentiation etc

I love seeing how things came about and doing the proof is aesthetically pleasing however I books generally don't contain proofs and teachers don't have a clue. Is it even worth learning them?
Depends on what worth you are looking for

You will not gain exam marks

You will extend your maths skills by studying and understanding (not learning) proofs and other basic concepts
3. It's definitely worth looking at them and understanding them, and most of them are in the book (it just says "you will not need to know this"). As for 'learning' them off by heart, there's no need, and not even the finest mathematicians will bother, as there are proofs for everything in maths, so you'd never be able to learn them all. As long as you've seen it and are convinced that 'the proof is nice, it can be proven' then your mind will accept it.

e.g. I remember looking at the power rule for differentiation in the C1 book, accepting it as a nice proof, but I can't remember the proof itself.
4. (Original post by TenOfThem)
Depends on what worth you are looking for

You will not gain exam marks

You will extend your maths skills by studying and understanding (not learning) proofs and other basic concepts
Ye, where can I find such proofs? Is there a book dedicated to proofs? I want to be a better mathematician!

(Original post by The Polymath)
It's definitely worth looking at them and understanding them, and most of them are in the book (it just says "you will not need to know this"). As for 'learning' them off by heart, there's no need, and not even the finest mathematicians will bother, as there are proofs for everything in maths, so you'd never be able to learn them all. As long as you've seen it and are convinced that 'the proof is nice, it can be proven' then your mind will accept it.

e.g. I remember looking at the power rule for differentiation in the C1 book, accepting it as a nice proof, but I can't remember the proof itself.
Yeah the power rule proof is sick, but how does one expand a binomial to the power of n?!?
5. (Original post by UKBrah)
Ye, where can I find such proofs? Is there a book dedicated to proofs? I want to be a better mathematician!
Yeah the power rule proof is sick, but how does one expand a binomial to the power of n?!?
Binomial expansion?
6. (Original post by The Polymath)
Binomial expansion?
How far out would you have to expand before being able to apply the limit?
7. Buy a decent text book

Bostock and chandler probably still have a few proofs
8. (Original post by UKBrah)
How far out would you have to expand before being able to apply the limit?
Expand it fully, but you wouldn't need to write out all the terms, just the first few and the final few.
9. (Original post by TenOfThem)

Bostock and chandler probably still have a few proofs
(Original post by Dark Lord of Mordor)
Expand it fully, but you wouldn't need to write out all the terms, just the first few and the final few.
Then you would use the limit as delta x -> 0 and the middle terms would cancel yeah cheers
10. (Original post by UKBrah)
E.g sine rule/m1m2=-1/power rule in differentiation etc

I love seeing how things came about and doing the proof is aesthetically pleasing however I books generally don't contain proofs and teachers don't have a clue. Is it even worth learning them?
For C1, they may ask you to prove that the sum of an arithmetic series is "Sn = n/2[1a+(n-1)d]" and the proof is quite easy to learn and it's in the core textbook. Check the specification: http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocu...e 2 180510.pdf if you're still not sure.
11. (Original post by gaffer dean)
For C1, they may ask you to prove that the sum of an arithmetic series is "Sn = n/2[1a+(n-1)d]" and the proof is quite easy to learn and it's in the core textbook. Check the specification: http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocu...e 2 180510.pdf if you're still not sure.
Im on MEI atm so I dont have to, but I will when im doing C2 after jan.
12. (Original post by UKBrah)
Im on MEI atm so I dont have to, but I will when im doing C2 after jan.
Alright, I heard MEI's a lot harder than edexcel?
13. (Original post by gaffer dean)
Alright, I heard MEI's a lot harder than edexcel?
Considerably, there's a proof chapter.
14. (Original post by gaffer dean)
Alright, I heard MEI's a lot harder than edexcel?
I do MEI but as I haven't studied any other boards I can't judge the relative difficulty.

But put it this way: my friend, who graduated from Oxford in Theoretical Physics years back, was surprised at my 97 in C2 saying "Especially in MEI, wow that is good!".

So apparently there is a difference? :')
15. It simply isn't true that one Awarding Body has more difficult A Levels than another. It is Ofqual's job to make sure the standards are exactly the same. If they weren't the same, all schools and colleges would immediately switch to the easier exam in order to maximise their position in League Tables.
16. (Original post by UKBrah)
Considerably, there's a proof chapter.
We didn't even learn the proof chapter, just logic and luck really, it's only ever 2-3 marks on the paper, and sometimes does even crop up..
17. (Original post by Mr M)
It simply isn't true that one Awarding Body has more difficult A Levels than another. It is Ofqual's job to make sure the standards are exactly the same. If they weren't the same, all schools and colleges would immediately switch to the easier exam in order to maximise their position in League Tables.
Or some schools want to teach the exam board that requires to learn and apply methods, rather than simply regurgitate what they've learned.
But your way makes more sense generally.
18. (Original post by MissBetBet)
Or some schools want to teach the exam board that requires to learn and apply methods, rather than simply regurgitate what they've learned.
It would be lovely to think that might happen (and I suppose it might in some independent schools) but state education is now a marketplace and League Table positions are everything.
19. (Original post by Mr M)
It would be lovely to think that might happen (and I suppose it might in some independent schools) but state education is now a marketplace and League Table positions are everything.
That is unfortunately very true..
But that is the reasoning my maths teachers have given us for choosing MEI for my school (a good state school). Can't think of any other reason really, because it is a good department..
20. (Original post by MissBetBet)
We didn't even learn the proof chapter, just logic and luck really, it's only ever 2-3 marks on the paper, and sometimes does even crop up..
I tried a go at it but it just doesnt make sence even with livemaths.
I've learnt the logic which is simple as it gets but proving if something is divisible by 9 leaves me clueless.

Regardless what did you get in C1?

### Related university courses

TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

This forum is supported by:
Updated: April 20, 2014
Today on TSR

### Exam Jam 2018

Join thousands of students this half term

Poll
Useful resources

### Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here

### How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

### Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams