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2017/2018 Road to A*A*A*A and Oxford pls Watch

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    1 November 2017
    Today after school, I tried to do a fair bit of MAT prep ie cramming in 2015 and 2016 papers (now writing this I regret not doing these sooner since these were the more recent papers so the 2017 paper was more likely to be similar to those!). I ended up not even completing the 2015 paper after the multiple choice, Q2 and Q3 because I wanted to start on the 2016 paper. I did the multiple choice questions but after that it was getting kinda late and I was aiming to go to bed by 11pm, so I just marked my answers and read through the mark scheme with the longer questions (obviously the worst way to go about it but because I had left everything until last minute I had no more time left). I then had a quick (late) shower before going to bed afterwards. I had quite a rough night's sleep as well - although I fell asleep quite fast, I kept waking up in the middle of the night, so not sure how much decent sleep I actually got...

    (I wrote this post yesterday but didn't actually end up posting it because I was so stressed about the MAT - just posting this today before I post today's post, so it's in chronological order )
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    2 November 2017
    After having sat the MAT I can honestly say that there is no chance of me getting into Oxford - I guessed over half of the multiple choice, and could barely answer any of the long questions. If I got my script back I'd be surprised to see what I got right more than wrong to be honest. My nerves were also intensified by the fact that I was told I was not allowed a pencil or ruler (which was completely wrong!!!!)! Also the typo in question 4 got me incredibly anxious about the rubrics and how I could make it clear which part of the question I was answering (if I could even answer it which I'm pretty sure I could not!) Because I just could not answer the majority of the paper, I was skipping to and from questions, that I completely forgot about Q3 (which proved to be the easiest out of the long questions in my opinion) - I won't say too much about it but I'll update this once I'm allowed to say more about the questions in detail. Because of all this I might have to change the title of this thread -_- Please tell me if you took it and how you found it if you did!

    EDIT: Even if I have a physics test tomorrow I'm gonna treat myself to a nice evening of Netflix (new episode of Riverdale yaaas)
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    (Original post by gw07mcgheerachel)
    <span class="emoji-outer emoji-sizer"><span class="emoji-inner" style="background: url(chrome-extension://immhpnclomdloikkpcefncmfgjbkojmh/emoji-data/sheet_apple_64.png);background-position:45.833333333333336% 72.91666666666667%;background-size:4900%" data-codepoints="1f602"></span></span>I'm sure you'll do great, mind checking my blog out? X
    Sure!
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    (Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
    2 November 2017
    After having sat the MAT I can honestly say that there is no chance of me getting into Oxford - I guessed over half of the multiple choice, and could barely answer any of the long questions. If I got my script back I'd be surprised to see what I got right more than wrong to be honest. My nerves were also intensified by the fact that I was told I was not allowed a pencil or ruler (which was completely wrong!!!!)! Also the typo in question 4 got me incredibly anxious about the rubrics and how I could make it clear which part of the question I was answering (if I could even answer it which I'm pretty sure I could not!) Because I just could not answer the majority of the paper, I was skipping to and from questions, that I completely forgot about Q3 (which proved to be the easiest out of the long questions in my opinion) - I won't say too much about it but I'll update this once I'm allowed to say more about the questions in detail. Because of all this I might have to change the title of this thread -_- Please tell me if you took it and how you found it if you did!
    Hope you did okay in the end
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    (Original post by gw07mcgheerachel)
    Hope you did okay in the end
    I hope so too but I know inside I'm not getting an interview Oh well, time to move on I suppose!
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    (Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
    I hope so too but I know inside I'm not getting an interview Oh well, time to move on I suppose!
    Aw, think positive and remember there's always another way!
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    3 November 2017
    Instead of a day log (not much happened today) I thought I'd do a more detailed review of this year's MAT paper. Today I was excited/depressed?idk to find that people had started to post their MAT solutions and discuss the questions in detail (or at least the multiple choice). I compared my answers with someone else's and I think I got about 6-7 multiple choice right, but because of my absolutely shambolic answers to the long questions, I honestly doubt I'll get higher than 35ish which is absolutely horrific and nowhere near Oxford interview level! I thought I might as well discuss each section in a bit of detail just to give you a perspective of my feelings on the paper (even though it's pretty obvious that I hated it!):

    Question 1: Multiple Choice
    My adrenaline was beating so incredibly fast, that when I opened the paper I skipped past the page where we were supposed to enter all my details (oops), so didn't fill it out until after I had attempted to answer parts of all the long questions. The first multiple choice was an absolute gem, just a common AS level type inequalities question that you'd expect to find in a bog standard C1 paper! Unfortunately I had no idea of what was yet to come... I can remember absolutely mind blanking on how to approach b), where you had to find the minimum value of the trigonometric expression, even though I knew that I had come across so many of these types of questions before, so I panicked and naively thought it was minimum when x was equal to 0, therefore leading me to put 4 instead of 3! Aww man I'm so annoyed with myself - that was an easy 4 marks. Another multiple choice question I seem to remember that had me absolutely stumped was the question about A(theta) and how many solutions there were to it - I just looked over the letters I had chosen so far and decided it was more likely to be a) than e), so put a) when my gut instinct was telling me there were two solutions! Argh! I also ended up with a whole blank column for e) so I was constantly questioning whether I had missed something out! I have to have to say, half of the multiple choice I ended up guessing because I just completely panicked, oops

    Question 2:
    I think it was about 45 minutes in that I realised I couldn't do anymore of the multiple choice (the ones that I completely guessed were towards the end of the exam), so I thought it'd be a good idea to come back to them later and try and tackle the long questions! I was so demoralised by the fact that I couldn't even see how to approach the very first part - I tried factorising and got 1 and 0, but I had no idea how that linked in with forming the inequality so I just completely fudged it! I then panicked and thought I'd start on one of the other long questions and come back, but I was horrified to see question 4 and 5 (skipping out 3 because I just completely forgot I was supposed to do 4 long questions instead of 3, which proved to be the easiest question in my opinion!) so I came back to question 2 and looked at the later parts. The a^-1 had me completely stumped and I was too stupid to realise I could've just divided a^2 by a^3, which annoyed me because then I would've been able to do the third one which related back to this expression! I managed to spot how I could've found the infinite sum, but again, instantly blanked when I saw 'infinite product'! So although I don't think this was such a difficult question, I think the pressure really got to me and I made a complete mess of things!

    Question 3:
    Like I said, I completely skipped this question at first because I completely forgot I had to answer 4 long questions instead of 3, but I came to this one at the end! I think this was also quite an okay question - I remember seeing the graph of x^0.5 the night before, so I just tried to sketch it as accurately as I could! However I mentioned in the previous post that I was told by the adjudicator that I was not allowed to take a pencil, eraser and ruler in (argh I'm so annoyed, I should've argued more), so I had to sketch this graph in one go which obviously meant it went horribly wrong. So wrong, that I attempted to draw another set of axes so I could redo the sketch again, and then realised I drew one line too many so I had to scribble it out AGAIN, and... you get the idea! I was tempted to write a note to the marker saying that I had not been allowed to take in a pencil, but didn't in the end because I was scared it would've seemed like I was criticising the admissions people if I really wasn't allowed to take in a pencil and ruler! Totally regret not doing that now! But oh well, it's not like I'm going to do well anyway :bawling:

    Question 4:
    This was the question I think I ended up doing the most of (actually no, it was just the question I used the most paper for :'D) ? Which is strange considering I usually HATE the geometry questions! But I was in the mood for some radians and area of sectors type work (basically I was desperate to get any marks I could) so I decided to attempt most of it! (Oh dear...) I think the explanation question about why the area that both horses could reach was equal to the area that neither could reach, I completely fudged, what I wrote was literally just a random mash of words and equal signs that I don't think even made any sense! I also don't think I finished that bit either so they've probably got some random nonsensical looking equation that means absolutely nothing! I then saw that there were two part iii)s which I also spent 5 minutes questioning (literally no idea why) and I tried circling it and renumbering all the questions (because I didn't know what else to do)! I think by the time I reached the goats part I just ended up abandoning the question completely because I had enough of it all! I did way too much algebra that didn't even get to the final results the question had asked me to show! It went absolutely terribly!

    Question 5:
    AUGH. I recognised the formula given was the sum of the first k natural numbers, or the nth term of a triangular number, but had no idea how to link it into the question! I tried writing out who would get the first 15 sweets but I must've made an error somewhere because I couldn't spot any pattern - this then basically made the rest of the question impossible since I had no idea what I was doing and what the question was trying to get at. Even though modular arithmetic was constantly at the back of my head I refused to use it? (I don't even know why, I was just being dumb ) and now looking back, out of all the long questions, I'm most mad about not getting this one! I usually find Q5 the easier question of the paper, so it just annoys me augh!

    So overall you can probably tell that I didn't do very well, in fact I did absolutely horribly, and it's definitely not enough for an interview (as I doubt there's anything spectacular about the rest of my UCAS app that will compensate for this tragedy), but the exam prep and experience has definitely gotten me in the mindset for the TMUA next Wednesday! I just hope I can redeem myself in some way because this has really knocked my confidence

    Please tell me how you found the MAT and any of the questions - I'd love to hear I've literally been monitoring the MAT discussion/prep thread 24/7
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    (Original post by gw07mcgheerachel)
    Aw, think positive and remember there's always another way!
    I'll try Thank you for reminding me, I always forget this! :heart:
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    Subbing good luck!
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Subbing good luck!
    Thank you!!
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    Wow, from art and music to maths! What prompted the swap? Well done for putting yourself through the MAT. Maybe you've done better than you thought :hugs:
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    (Original post by AmeliaLost)
    Wow, from art and music to maths! What prompted the swap? Well done for putting yourself through the MAT. Maybe you've done better than you thought :hugs:
    Yup! It has certainly been a journey As I gradually progressed throughout the A Level Art course I found myself dreading doing coursework more and more and more, so much so that I tried to procrastinate from doing art by doing maths! It became so ridiculous that I started to question whether I'd really enjoy doing art as a full time career, and made me realise that I preferred doing maths by far! I especially like how with maths I find there's always a set goal (finding the solution or communicating a proof), whereas with art I could find myself continuing on for decades on end and still not be satisfied with the final product - I prefer the structural kind of element of maths and how there are rules to follow! I guess that's just how I prefer to work Thank you so much! I hope that's the case :daydreaming:
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    (Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
    3 November 2017
    Instead of a day log (not much happened today) I thought I'd do a more detailed review of this year's MAT paper. Today I was excited/depressed?idk to find that people had started to post their MAT solutions and discuss the questions in detail (or at least the multiple choice). I compared my answers with someone else's and I think I got about 6-7 multiple choice right, but because of my absolutely shambolic answers to the long questions, I honestly doubt I'll get higher than 35ish which is absolutely horrific and nowhere near Oxford interview level! I thought I might as well discuss each section in a bit of detail just to give you a perspective of my feelings on the paper (even though it's pretty obvious that I hated it!):

    Question 1: Multiple Choice
    My adrenaline was beating so incredibly fast, that when I opened the paper I skipped past the page where we were supposed to enter all my details (oops), so didn't fill it out until after I had attempted to answer parts of all the long questions. The first multiple choice was an absolute gem, just a common AS level type inequalities question that you'd expect to find in a bog standard C1 paper! Unfortunately I had no idea of what was yet to come... I can remember absolutely mind blanking on how to approach b), where you had to find the minimum value of the trigonometric expression, even though I knew that I had come across so many of these types of questions before, so I panicked and naively thought it was minimum when x was equal to 0, therefore leading me to put 4 instead of 3! Aww man I'm so annoyed with myself - that was an easy 4 marks. Another multiple choice question I seem to remember that had me absolutely stumped was the question about A(theta) and how many solutions there were to it - I just looked over the letters I had chosen so far and decided it was more likely to be a) than e), so put a) when my gut instinct was telling me there were two solutions! Argh! I also ended up with a whole blank column for e) so I was constantly questioning whether I had missed something out! I have to have to say, half of the multiple choice I ended up guessing because I just completely panicked, oops

    Question 2:
    I think it was about 45 minutes in that I realised I couldn't do anymore of the multiple choice (the ones that I completely guessed were towards the end of the exam), so I thought it'd be a good idea to come back to them later and try and tackle the long questions! I was so demoralised by the fact that I couldn't even see how to approach the very first part - I tried factorising and got 1 and 0, but I had no idea how that linked in with forming the inequality so I just completely fudged it! I then panicked and thought I'd start on one of the other long questions and come back, but I was horrified to see question 4 and 5 (skipping out 3 because I just completely forgot I was supposed to do 4 long questions instead of 3, which proved to be the easiest question in my opinion!) so I came back to question 2 and looked at the later parts. The a^-1 had me completely stumped and I was too stupid to realise I could've just divided a^2 by a^3, which annoyed me because then I would've been able to do the third one which related back to this expression! I managed to spot how I could've found the infinite sum, but again, instantly blanked when I saw 'infinite product'! So although I don't think this was such a difficult question, I think the pressure really got to me and I made a complete mess of things!

    Question 3:
    Like I said, I completely skipped this question at first because I completely forgot I had to answer 4 long questions instead of 3, but I came to this one at the end! I think this was also quite an okay question - I remember seeing the graph of x^0.5 the night before, so I just tried to sketch it as accurately as I could! However I mentioned in the previous post that I was told by the adjudicator that I was not allowed to take a pencil, eraser and ruler in (argh I'm so annoyed, I should've argued more), so I had to sketch this graph in one go which obviously meant it went horribly wrong. So wrong, that I attempted to draw another set of axes so I could redo the sketch again, and then realised I drew one line too many so I had to scribble it out AGAIN, and... you get the idea! I was tempted to write a note to the marker saying that I had not been allowed to take in a pencil, but didn't in the end because I was scared it would've seemed like I was criticising the admissions people if I really wasn't allowed to take in a pencil and ruler! Totally regret not doing that now! But oh well, it's not like I'm going to do well anyway :bawling:

    Question 4:
    This was the question I think I ended up doing the most of (actually no, it was just the question I used the most paper for :'D) ? Which is strange considering I usually HATE the geometry questions! But I was in the mood for some radians and area of sectors type work (basically I was desperate to get any marks I could) so I decided to attempt most of it! (Oh dear...) I think the explanation question about why the area that both horses could reach was equal to the area that neither could reach, I completely fudged, what I wrote was literally just a random mash of words and equal signs that I don't think even made any sense! I also don't think I finished that bit either so they've probably got some random nonsensical looking equation that means absolutely nothing! I then saw that there were two part iii)s which I also spent 5 minutes questioning (literally no idea why) and I tried circling it and renumbering all the questions (because I didn't know what else to do)! I think by the time I reached the goats part I just ended up abandoning the question completely because I had enough of it all! I did way too much algebra that didn't even get to the final results the question had asked me to show! It went absolutely terribly!

    Question 5:
    AUGH. I recognised the formula given was the sum of the first k natural numbers, or the nth term of a triangular number, but had no idea how to link it into the question! I tried writing out who would get the first 15 sweets but I must've made an error somewhere because I couldn't spot any pattern - this then basically made the rest of the question impossible since I had no idea what I was doing and what the question was trying to get at. Even though modular arithmetic was constantly at the back of my head I refused to use it? (I don't even know why, I was just being dumb ) and now looking back, out of all the long questions, I'm most mad about not getting this one! I usually find Q5 the easier question of the paper, so it just annoys me augh!

    So overall you can probably tell that I didn't do very well, in fact I did absolutely horribly, and it's definitely not enough for an interview (as I doubt there's anything spectacular about the rest of my UCAS app that will compensate for this tragedy), but the exam prep and experience has definitely gotten me in the mindset for the TMUA next Wednesday! I just hope I can redeem myself in some way because this has really knocked my confidence

    Please tell me how you found the MAT and any of the questions - I'd love to hear I've literally been monitoring the MAT discussion/prep thread 24/7

    good luck!
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    how much time do you spend to write that massiive post?
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    4 November 2017
    Today I have to admit, again I did not do much work at all I think I'm just trying to catch up on my social life after all that MAT prep, so even if I have the TMUA coming up, I've tried to be more relaxed about it! I'll try and get some more work done tomorrow though! Anyway, here's a quick run down of my day:
    8:30am - I don't think I've ever woken up this early on a weekend by choice! But I woke up, had some nice cheese on toast for breakfast, and got ready to go out and get my hair cut (since it was literally so long)
    9:00am - I waited for my mum to get ready to leave the house with me, so I tried starting the TMUA spec paper 1, and got around 10 questions done before we left, partly because I was also watching an old episode of University Challenge on YouTube as well... oops
    10:00am - We arrived at the hairdressers, where I met this pretty eccentric lady! She cut so much hair off I was literally speechless when she showed me how short my hair had become! All throughout the haircut I couldn't see the length at which my hair was at, because it was behind my head (obviously... lol) so it was a huge surprise when she brought it forward! I don't think I've ever had my hair this short since when I was a child and my hair was growing out for the first time :laugh: I hope I get used to it but honestly I'm not sure I am o.o If I tie my hair up I literally look like I have no hair :bawling:
    12:00pm - We got some lunch at Kokoro, where I had some sweet and sour chicken with noodles! It was very sweet though
    1:00pm - We looked in House of Fraser for a dress for the school ball this year - found some dresses I liked but none of them fit -_- Will have to keep looking!
    2:00pm - We returned home!
    3:00-6:00pm - I don't even know what I did during this time - I finished the TMUA spec paper 1, but I think I ended up getting distracted by more University Challenge on YT
    7:00pm-11:00pm - I went out and watched the fireworks for bonfire night!
    12:00pm - I'm back at home, writing this blog post!
    Hope you enjoyed this little summary of my day - it probably wasn't very interesting to read, especially as I basically have no work to talk about :' Hopefully tomorrow I'll be more productive academic-wise! Thanks for reading this though
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    (Original post by Qer)
    good luck!
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    how much time do you spend to write that massiive post?

    Thank you so much! I think just over an hour loool
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    (Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
    Thank you so much! I think just over an hour loool
    i spend my half revision time on TSR lol!!!
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    (Original post by Qer)
    i spend my half revision time on TSR lol!!!
    Sameeee! (Perhaps even a little more than half :') )
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    (Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
    Sameeee! (Perhaps even a little more than half :' )
    And it is not terrible to wake up 11 I think because there are many people INCLUDING ME who wake up at 12 on weekends .......lol
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    I'm applying to St. John's at Durham too! I'm also doing the senior maths challenge this Tuesday (again my own willl!) so that will be fun! Loving your blog so far, I'm definitely going to follow along
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    (Original post by Qer)
    And it is not terrible to wake up 11 I think because there are many people INCLUDING ME who wake up at 12 on weekends .......lol
    Thank goodness I'm not the only one! At school I always hear how people get up at like 6am on the weekends and I'm always like howww???
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