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# What's up with this? Error in AQA's Past Paper? Watch

1. Why is it that whenever I've tried to calculate that particular sum I never get the same answer?

I'd like you all to try it to see if you manage to get the same answer! :unimpressed
2. 23030.30333
3. I get 23030.30333
4. (Original post by the bear)
23030.30333
Beat me to it
5. Hey guys, thanks for replying but for some odd reason I keep getting -245925.6967.
6. (Original post by nemanuel96)
Hey guys, thanks for replying but for some odd reason I keep getting -245925.6967.
Typing it into your calculator wrong.
7. Sorry guys, I've managed to get it now. I tried to do it like this: (1692.6^2/3)+(1970.4^2/3)... - (7121.8^2/12)
8. But that was obviously the wrong way to do it.
9. This thread reminds me of a pet peeve of mine - people who can't use their own bloody calculators. They buy a decent Casio Graphical (or TI whatever) and then spend almost zero time learning to use it. There is a lot of power and quite a bit of borderline cheating you can do with the thing if only you learn how to use it. There are certainly a lot of ways of verifying calculations you have to show by hand in the exam that in moments can identify where/if you have gone wrong.

I prefer my HP50g but I cannot use that in A level because of the CAS on it - so I bought a Casio fx9860-gII - but I made sure I put a lot of time into learning how to use it - amazing how many do not.
10. (Original post by kc_chiefs)
This thread reminds me of a pet peeve of mine - people who can't use their own bloody calculators. They buy a decent Casio Graphical (or TI whatever) and then spend almost zero time learning to use it. There is a lot of power and quite a bit of borderline cheating you can do with the thing if only you learn how to use it. There are certainly a lot of ways of verifying calculations you have to show by hand in the exam that in moments can identify where/if you have gone wrong.

I prefer my HP50g but I cannot use that in A level because of the CAS on it - so I bought a Casio fx9860-gII - but I made sure I put a lot of time into learning how to use it - amazing how many do not.
Some people actually prioritise learning the maths over fancy calculator tricks.
11. (Original post by Zacken)
Some people actually prioritise learning the maths over fancy calculator tricks.
To use a tool properly is not a fancy trick, it is just sensible.

It used to be the case that you could use a sliderule for GCE O-levels. If you had not managed to generate a 3sf answer because you had not bothered to learn how to use the slide rule properly, you would have lost a mark.

The current crop of Casios will do a nice table of substitutions for a function which is brilliant for checking answers in exams. I have met very few students who realised this was the case.
12. (Original post by nerak99)
...
There's a reason that top universities don't allow calculators in maths degrees. You speak of checking answers using a calculator? Pshh. Nonsense, you've got a brain - use that. Is this integral positive over the entire interval? Does getting a negative answer make sense here? If I compare this sum to another I know is always smaller, why is my answer bigger? etc...
13. (Original post by Zacken)
There's a reason that top universities don't allow calculators in maths degrees. You speak of checking answers using a calculator? Pshh. Nonsense, you've got a brain - use that. Is this integral positive over the entire interval? Does getting a negative answer make sense here? If I compare this sum to another I know is always smaller, why is my answer bigger? etc...
That may be true because in many, if not most Maths exams, a calculator is not much use and in most (if not all) Maths exams I have taken, the decimal value of the answer was not required. However, I would question (still) whether your brain could cope with spotting the roots of all the functions I could put into a Casio function generator.

Equally, valuing the maths that you can do without a calculator over that which you can do with one is, arguably, a social construction.

Even though the vast bulk of what I do is without a calculator, in the context of an exam where you can use a calculator such as GCSE / GCE, actively NOT learning what your calculator can do shows a lack of inquisitiveness that is rare in bright students as well as being rather silly.
14. (Original post by Zacken)
Some people actually prioritise learning the maths over fancy calculator tricks.
Using a calculator when you are allowed to do so is not a fancy trick. Bear in mind - about 90% of the people doing A level Maths/Further Maths have little ability at the subject and need all the help they can get.

And using a calculator wisely is a key thing to learn. What is the point of having it if you can't use the tool properly.

So I take it you'll do the entire Maths/Further Maths A levels sans calculator? An awful lot of it can be done without but some of the statistics etc. would be very time consuming without.
15. (Original post by Zacken)
There's a reason that top universities don't allow calculators in maths degrees. You speak of checking answers using a calculator? Pshh. Nonsense, you've got a brain - use that. Is this integral positive over the entire interval? Does getting a negative answer make sense here? If I compare this sum to another I know is always smaller, why is my answer bigger? etc...
No **** Sherlock.

But for certain things particularly stats regression questions and the like no amount of heuristics or function behaviour will help in the time frame of an exam.
16. (Original post by nerak99)
...
I think the real problem lies within the fact that at A-Level maths exams require the use of calculators. (What is the point of doing an exam that tests mindless computation over actual thinking?) In any case, my post was more in jest than anything - hence the emoticon at the end.

(Original post by kc_chiefs)
..
See above.
17. (Original post by Zacken)
Some people actually prioritise learning the maths over fancy calculator tricks.
Cute, smart and witty

I like it
18. (Original post by Zacken)
I think the real problem lies within the fact that at A-Level maths exams require the use of calculators. (What is the point of doing an exam that tests mindless computation over actual thinking?) In any case, my post was more in jest than anything - hence the emoticon at the end.

See above.
I agree with you in principle. But in practice - certainly for most - the need to learn to use them properly. I am just as capable as you of doing without a calculator - from reading your posts I would guess you expect to get 99 - 100% UMS in all modules of Maths/Further Maths. I also am sure I will get that in all modules. But hell, I'll still use a calculator as a numerical checker if nothing else.
19. (Original post by kc_chiefs)
I agree with you in principle. But in practice - certainly for most - the need to learn to use them properly. I am just as capable as you of doing without a calculator - from reading your posts I would guess you expect to get 99 - 100% UMS in all modules of Maths/Further Maths. I also am sure I will get that in all modules. But hell, I'll still use a calculator as a numerical checker if nothing else.
Me? 99-100% naaaah. But yeah, I use a TI-Nspire to checks things in exams myself, so we're on the same page.
20. (Original post by nerak99)
That may be true because in many, if not most Maths exams, a calculator is not much use and in most (if not all) Maths exams I have taken, the decimal value of the answer was not required. However, I would question (still) whether your brain could cope with spotting the roots of all the functions I could put into a Casio function generator.

Equally, valuing the maths that you can do without a calculator over that which you can do with one is, arguably, a social construction.

Even though the vast bulk of what I do is without a calculator, in the context of an exam where you can use a calculator such as GCSE / GCE, actively NOT learning what your calculator can do shows a lack of inquisitiveness that is rare in bright students as well as being rather silly.
I agree with you. The "bright" students - those who plan not only their exam strategy but also the meals and caffeine doses they take on exam day in minute detail - rarely ignore learning or appreciating how their Cal can be best exploited in exams.

I wouldn't have got 100% in more than half of my Maths exams if not for the comforting thought that my Cal was always available to help me detect and correct any careless mistakes.

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