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Getting to Cambridge: STEP by STEP! Watch

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    (Original post by imsoanonymous123)
    ur joking right? I thought they dont interview for maths
    Honest to god.



    Oh wait, just scrolled back up the group chat to double check - it was Aeronautics my bad

    Got muddled up because it was in the FM group chat

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by Insight314)
    How is it that you were able to sit most of your exams in January, and the others in June?
    International. :yep:
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    (Original post by Jordan\)
    wow unfollowed
    wot?
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    Zacken what questions do you usually attempt on the papers? Pure pure or pure splashed with mechanics?
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    (Original post by imsoanonymous123)
    Zacken what questions do you usually attempt on the papers? Pure pure or pure splashed with mechanics?
    STEP I - Pure + dip into mech and stat (if they're easy) for the lulz and occasionally because necessity.

    STEP II - Pure + dip into mech and stat when I'm struggling to get 7 questions, especially if the mech is an easy projectiles or a speed-time thing that requires no knowledge and the stats is something easy like normal approximations or so: e.g: II, 2002, Q12.

    STEP IIi - Pure and then cry a lot and hope I scrape a good grade without even looking at mech and stats.
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    Nice to hear your story. Good luck with your goals.
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    (Original post by Kvothe the arcane)
    Nice to hear your story. Good luck with your goals.
    Thank you.
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    Thus you are have the level of an average Cambridge students .

    That word .... average ; it hurts.

    I suffer from the same complex , so I can really understand you mate

    When my (greek) classmates learnt that I have an offer from Cambridge and that I'm currently sitting IAL (not from me) :
    1) Noone was impressed , 2) they thought panhellenic(greek) exams were much more difficult than meeting my offer (STEPs + IAL physics)
    without even knowing what I'm studying , 3) some even thought that I was failing the greek exams and that's the reason I was applying to Cambridge; a university that it passes everyone who can afford the fees, 4) one of my teachers told me that professors in this university are stupid (she used that word) and claimed that French unis are way better.

    Just think what this can cause to my superiority complex . The thing is that everybody thinks he/she is the center of the world and that he/she is so terribly special ,while that is not the case at all. We'd better get rid of this idea or we won't survive in Cambridge .Because there the best you can is good enough.
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    Update:

    Woke up really late. I really need more discipline. Anyway, worked through the first chapter in FP3: Hyperbolics. It seemed fairly easy and straightforward? Moving on to further coordinate systems now.
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    Zacken inspiring story Well done !!!
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    esp 4 a levels in 4 months
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    (Original post by Duke Glacia)
    Zacken inspiring story Well done !!!
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    esp 4 a levels in 4 months
    Thank you. It's more like 2.5 A-Levels though. :-)
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    Update:

    Had dinner, took a break, finished learning FP3 further coordinate systems. I don't feel as confident with it as I did when finishing hyperbolics so I'll spend another half an hour or so doing some questions to deepen and solidify my understanding. I might look for a tasty STEP III question based on it as well, depending on what I'm feeling like after, probably should but probably won't.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Update:

    Had dinner, took a break, finished learning FP3 further coordinate systems. I don't feel as confident with it as I did when finishing hyperbolics so I'll spend another half an hour or so doing some questions to deepen and solidify my understanding. I might look for a tasty STEP III question based on it as well, depending on what I'm feeling like after, probably should but probably won't.
    Whoah. How did you finish 2 chapters in one day? Do you do all of the questions in the textbooks? Two chapters take me at least 1 week (finished further coordinate systems today). Also, how come you are more behind on FP3 than me, and yet you nail STEP III? Doesn't STEP III require FP3 material, or do you not do those questions?
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Update:

    Woke up really late. I really need more discipline. Anyway, worked through the first chapter in FP3: Hyperbolics. It seemed fairly easy and straightforward? Moving on to further coordinate systems now.
    I also have trouble waking up early. How do you think you are going to work on it?
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    I am not sure if this is a place to ask questions, so let me know if it is not.
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    (Original post by Insight314)
    Whoah. How did you finish 2 chapters in one day? Do you do all of the questions in the textbooks?
    FP3 is the first module that I've used a textbook to learn, so the following applies only to that: I do a few of the exercises at the end, but definitely skip all the ones that are mindless and trivial grinds and are basically the same thing over and over again with slightly different numbers.

    Two chapters take me at least 1 week (finished further coordinate systems today). Also, how come you are more behind on FP3 than me, and yet you nail STEP III? Doesn't STEP III require FP3 material, or do you not do those questions?
    I started my A-Levels in September 2015, I've been busy trying to learn and practice for my January modules since then and hence left FP2/3 for after my exams. Most of the STEP III (1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) papers I've been doing so far don't require any FM material and even if they do, I either skip the question (e.g: 1997 Q2) or the knowledge is sufficiently easy to derive and muddle through it without knowing it properly.
    (Original post by Insight314)
    I also have trouble waking up early. How do you think you are going to work on it?
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    I am not sure if this is a place to ask questions, so let me know if it is not.
    Regrading your spoiler: no need to apologise, it's fine - feel free to ask anything. I'm hoping that I'll end up sleeping earlier and hence waking up earlier. :yep:
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    I'm a bit confused
    You said you're writing all your A levels this year.. and IB's are a two year thing... and I'm guessing you haven't written STEP yet..
    So what exactly did you apply to Cambridge with? Test results from your first year of IB? Sorry if this is an obvious question
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    FP3 is the first module that I've used a textbook to learn, so the following applies only to that: I do a few of the exercises at the end, but definitely skip all the ones that are mindless and trivial grinds and are basically the same thing over and over again with slightly different numbers.
    PRSOM (as always)

    Okay, I see. I am thinking of doing the same thing but I have one more question. Don't you think that you will not remember some techniques such as \frac{d}{dx}(arsinh x) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{x^2+1}} if you do not grind through the "mindless and trivial" exercises? This is my fear. Although it will save me a lot of time, I feel like I might not remember well enough the stuff that requires memorisation for the exam. Also, some of the exercises (such as the ones in further coordinate systems, take Question 4 Exercise 2F for example) are not that "mindless" and actually prepare you for the exam (and not for learning the content).

    I am also self-studying my A-levels. Which exam board are you taking Physics on? I am with OCR (for Chemistry as well).

    (Original post by Zacken)
    Regrading your spoiler: no need to apologise, it's fine - feel free to ask anything. I'm hoping that if I get yelled at enough by tinkerbella, I'll end up sleeping earlier and hence waking up earlier.
    Haha, yeah. You two are quite the cat and mouse.
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    (Original post by Insight314)
    PRSOM (as always)

    Okay, I see. I am thinking of doing the same thing but I have one more question. Don't you think that you will not remember some techniques such as \frac{d}{dx}(arsinh x) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{x^2+1}} if you do not grind through the "mindless and trivial" exercises? This is my fear. Although it will save me a lot of time, I feel like I might not remember well enough the stuff that requires memorisation for the exam. Also, some of the exercises (such as the ones in further coordinate systems, take Question 4 Exercise 2F for example) are not that "mindless" and actually prepare you for the exam (and not for learning the content).
    Those sort of things are in the formula booklet, in my experience. The things that aren't aren't things I commit to memory per se, for example: I don't know the exponential definition of tanh x off the top of my head. But, I know it involves e^2x, and +-1, I remember that much. Now I use some deductive reasoning: tanh x is always between -1 and 1, hence the denominator needs to always be larger then the numerator, so it clicks: \frac{e^{2x} - 1}{e^{2x} + 1}. Ta-da.

    I don't skip aaaall the exercises. Certain ones that look fun, I go for it, but I won't do them all obsessively like some people do.

    I am also self-studying my A-levels. Which exam board are you taking Physics on? I am with OCR (for Chemistry as well).
    Edexcel. I'm doing everything with Edexcel. It has plenty of resources available, which makes it great for self study.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
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    What about techniques which require rigorous practice? Different methods of integration, for example.

    I think I am one of those people who do all of the questions "obsessively". But the thing is that I have no idea which questions I should do, and which I shouldn't. I am currently on 3D, about to finish third chapter, and then I will be on Chapter 4: Integration. That chapter is gonna take extremely long if I do every single question but I also feel like if I don't do all the questions I won't be as good as if I did them all. How do you think I should approach (for example) this Integration chapter that I am gonna start today? If I skip questions, I feel like I am missing stuff.

    (Original post by Zacken)
    Edexcel. I'm doing everything with Edexcel. It has plenty of resources available, which makes it great for self study.
    Oh, I am self-studying OCR Chemistry/Physics, because this is the one my school offers.
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    (Original post by Insight314)
    What about techniques which require rigorous practice? Different methods of integration, for example.
    I agree with you here, but... doing textbook exercises are fairly useless for that, in my opinion. You've just covered the chapter on IBP, for example, you know each question they're asking you is based on IBP. Half the battle with integration is knowing what approach to use, reduction, substitution, IBP, etc... plus the ones in the textbook don't require much though and lead you through it.

    I'd prefer finding a third party resource that throws a ton of integrals at me and I've got to figure out what to do from there. Some of the textbook exercises at the very end of the chapter when they throw everything together at once is undoubtedly helpful as well, and I will attempt them.
 
 
 
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