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# Maths exam technique watch

1. I posted this question before, but it got buried.

How difficulties it to get full marks in an a level maths exam, edexcel specifically. Is it sufficient to get the right answer and show a reasonable amount of working? Can full marks be achieved without quoting formulas? If formulas are necessary, should they be quoted in a specific way, using specific symbols? For example, can sin(2A)=2cos(A)sin(A) be written as sin(2theta)=2cos(theta)sin(theta )?

Just nervous about the exams. I'm well practised, but I haven't got anyone to mark past papers for me, so I'd just like to know how strict the marking scheme really is.
2. (Original post by jpepsred)

How difficulties it to get full marks in an a level maths exam, edexcel specifically.
Not at all.

Is it sufficient to get the right answer and show a reasonable amount of working?
Yes.

Can full marks be achieved without quoting formulas?
You'll need to clarify what you mean.

If formulas are necessary, should they be quoted in a specific way, using specific symbols? For example, can sin(2A)=2cos(A)sin(A) be written as sin(2theta)=2cos(theta)sin(theta )?
As long as they are correct, your example is perfectly fine.

Just nervous about the exams. I'm well practised, but I haven't got anyone to mark past papers for me, so I'd just like to know how strict the marking scheme really is.
They're not overly strict. You'll be fine. The marks schemes are quite explicit on how marks are awarded, so not having anybody to mark them isn't really a problem.
3. If you look at some mark schemes, they're pretty much a barren wasteland (M1 springs to mind). However, in some mark schemes (particularly FP2/3), there's a lot going on because there are so many ways to answer a question. As such, if your method is not quoted in the mark scheme, you will still be given credit for a valid method in reaching the required solution.

As for formulae, it is better to use the symbols and notation that you're given in the question (e.g., use theta rather than A if the question is in terms of theta). But its OK if you don't because you'll just be substituting values in anyway.

You tend not to need to quote them in order to gain the marks (the mark schemes rarely do). However, it is far easier and best practice to quote the formula, double-check you've copied it or recalled it correctly, then substitute your values in.

I know in some mark schemes (an FP2 Taylor Series question, I forget the year), you can lose a mark if you write f(x) rather than y=... If the question is defined as y=..., stick with that unless you explicitly say let f(x)=y. This also follows for writing f'(x) if the question is defined in terms of y=...

I always make sure that my notation is correct, because there's nothing stopping the examiners dropping you an accuracy mark.
4. Thanks. That's reassuring.

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Updated: March 29, 2016
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