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    (Original post by anonymityplease)
    If we had last year’s paper i’d get in, this year i didn’t get a single question right. even multiple choice half were guesses. i panicked and now i’ve ruined my life
    this is exactly how i feel lol, a horrific paper - multiple choice was all so complicated and none of the long questions played to my strengths fully ha ha love life
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    (Original post by SP98)
    How did you all find the longer questions?
    thought 2 and 3 started okay so hopefully got a chunk of marks there, 4+5 were soooo bad lol
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    I've genuinely ruined my life bye

    question 3 was goals but I legit got 0 on every other question
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    (Original post by lwittgenstein)
    Yeah I'm actually in college (not doing maths) applying for the accelerated version of the course (2 years long, entering in second year). In fairness, I have been exposed to higher maths, although it wasn't much use here. I did take part in Olympiad style training when I was in school although that was in Ireland (I'm not in the UK). That might help. Although to be honest, I feel like all the questions are approachable with high school material (maybe q5 is a little easier if you've done Olympiad style problems). I think the main thing the test is testing is how familiar you are with those rules and how fast you can apply them.
    This is kind of true, and kind of not true. I don't generally answer MAT questions using off syllabus techniques (although I may sometimes be mistaken about what is actually in C1/C2), but my knowledge of off syllabus techniques still helps a lot in terms of seeing what to do. [With your chess analogy - everyone uses the same moves, but if you hear a GM commentate on a game they play, you'll often find they knew specific theory for maybe 20+ ply into the opening they played].

    The other thing is that with mathematics, you don't generally get good at using a technique until you've had to solve "unrelated" problems that use it. E.g. seeing \displaystyle \int \dfrac{1}{x^2+4x+5} \,dx and immediately thinking "I'll rewrite that as \displaystyle \int \dfrac{1}{(x+2)^2+1} \,dx" is considerably more difficult than answering "complete the square for the quadratic x^2+4x+5".

    Getting used to that process of looking at a problem and deciding which technique to use is something that only comes with experience, and it is very useful in the MAT.

    More specific to the MAT, I'd say the MC section lends itself to fairly specialised exam technique; because there was a MC section in M/FM A-level when I took it, I'm quite used to "sometimes you answer the question, sometimes you use elimination, etc" but I think candidates now are often not so aware that there are other approaches than "solving the posed problem and seeing which letter it matches". Certainly for me, it makes a huge difference in time (I'd say I'd take at least twice as long to do the MC section if I had to give actual answers).
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    Did anybody notice that in Q4 there were 2 questions named as (iii)? Or it was just me?

    Having done 2001-2016 papers I'd say this one was the hardest of them all for me.
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    (Original post by anonymityplease)
    i’m verging on suicide
    (Original post by Hannzzaaa)
    I found it all horrendous tbh. Could do half the multiple choice but only one of the longer ones. Bye bye oxford
    (Original post by perspirationting)
    I've genuinely ruined my life bye
    I know it sucks if you do badly on an exam, but trust me, in the overall scheme of things it's pretty small beans. Doing well at whatever university you do get into (which might still be Oxford) is more important than which university you go to.
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    Multiple choice was a tad harder than usual.
    Didn't really finish any long questions. I ran out of space for everything (yes including extra pages) so was forced to cramp and that didn't go well.

    Didn't even start the last question. This is because the invigilator put the wrong finishing time up and so glancing up at the clock I thought I could spend a bit longer on other Qs when it got near the end.

    Probably got 60%. What are imperial looking for?
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    (Original post by Titelio)
    Did anybody notice that in Q4 there were 2 questions named as (iii)? Or it was just me?

    Having done 2001-2016 papers I'd say this one was the hardest of them all for me.
    yeah i saw that!
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    (Original post by ithinkitslily)
    thought 2 and 3 started okay so hopefully got a chunk of marks there, 4+5 were soooo bad lol
    Personally found 2 and 5 the nicest
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    (Original post by Gunjo)
    Have you seen the paper yet mate, what do you think overall?
    Haven't seen it.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Haven't seen it.
    It was probably the worst paper I've seen
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    It was hard but i know i got 100% on one of the LWA's but then one i couldn't start and the other two i probably got 8 or 7 and the multiple choice if found find bar 2 of them so i most likely got 7*4 for MCQ's + 15+8+7+7 if i'm being conservative which come to 65/100 which im happy with as most of the years people got 40-50 and still got offers
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    That was bloody terrible - got thrown off too because of the two part iii)s and was told I wasn't allowed to take in a ruler and pencil and rubber!
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    This is kind of true, and kind of not true. I don't generally answer MAT questions using off syllabus techniques (although I may sometimes be mistaken about what is actually in C1/C2), but my knowledge of off syllabus techniques still helps a lot in terms of seeing what to do. [With your chess analogy - everyone uses the same moves, but if you hear a GM commentate on a game they play, you'll often find they knew specific theory for maybe 20+ ply into the opening they played].

    The other thing is that with mathematics, you don't generally get good at using a technique until you've had to solve "unrelated" problems that use it. E.g. seeing \displaystyle \int \dfrac{1}{x^2+4x+5} \,dx and immediately thinking "I'll rewrite that as \displaystyle \int \dfrac{1}{(x+2)^2+1} \,dx" is considerably more difficult than answering "complete the square for the quadratic x^2+4x+5".

    Getting used to that process of looking at a problem and deciding which technique to use is something that only comes with experience, and it is very useful in the MAT.

    More specific to the MAT, I'd say the MC section lends itself to fairly specialised exam technique; because there was a MC section in M/FM A-level when I took it, I'm quite used to "sometimes you answer the question, sometimes you use elimination, etc" but I think candidates now are often not so aware that there are other approaches than "solving the posed problem and seeing which letter it matches". Certainly for me, it makes a huge difference in time (I'd say I'd take at least twice as long to do the MC section if I had to give actual answers).
    Totally, I agree with all of this. My chess analogy isn't great, but what I was trying to emphasize is that the superior wisdom of the chess master doesn't consist in knowing more ground-rules, but having the innate knowledge of what to do in particular situations given all the previous experience, which might be in the form of general "rules" like knowledge of common fork situations, or how to win the game with just a king and a rook, etc, or it may consist in some pattern recognition that the master couldn't put into words very easily. Knowledge of what technique to try first is extremely important. I also find that it takes a bit of experience with any technique for someone to become confident enough applying it that they can be sure that they are actually carrying it out correctly. Ie that if you make a mistake you can go back through different parts and be 100% sure that you did the differentiation/integration correctly, etc. I find when helping others that they often do not have enough confidence to say they are sure they are doing something correctly (e.g. the chain rule), even when they are.

    And yes, I don't believe I've ever seen a problem that exposure to more advanced pure maths has offered a neater solution, apart from maybe one of the game Q5s where I think you could basic group theory to prove one of the parts, and another q about a series, where background knowledge that the sum of reciprocal squares is pi^2 / 6 allowed one to avoid a small amount of series manipulation. What I mostly mean is that if someone had an inventory of 1000s of MAT style questions, you probably would gain most from doing them over studying stuff that's off the syllabus like ring theory, measure theory or multivariable calculus.
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    When is it possible to ask Oxford for MAT feedback?
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    Do you guys know how the system works hereon? Will a low enough score totally rule you out? Do you think around 40-45 will scrape it?:bricks:
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    (Original post by lwittgenstein)
    Totally, I agree with all of this.
    I also largely agree with what you wrote.

    What I mostly mean is that if someone had an inventory of 1000s of MAT style questions, you probably would gain most from doing them over studying stuff that's off the syllabus like ring theory, measure theory or multivariable calculus.
    This is the one bit I do somewhat disagree with, if only from the perspective of the typical MAT candidate who has just completed C1/C2. If that's where you are on the syllabus, your knowledge of the MAT material is still very raw. I think you'd be in a much stronger position having done C3, C4 and FP1/2; even if they are technically "off syllabus", they force you to get a lot better at applying the C1/C2 content.

    [Edit: to be clear, if it was just you and me chatting in a pub, I doubt I'd be disagreeing at all - but it's perhaps misleading to the typical poster on here].
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    (Original post by Titelio)
    When is it possible to ask Oxford for MAT feedback?
    Early January, as far as I know.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    I also largely agree with what you wrote.

    This is the one bit I do somewhat disagree with, if only from the perspective of the typical MAT candidate who has just completed C1/C2. If that's where you are on the syllabus, your knowledge of the MAT material is still very raw. I think you'd be in a much stronger position having done C3, C4 and FP1/2; even if they are technically "off syllabus", they force you to get a lot better at applying the C1/C2 content.

    [Edit: to be clear, if it was just you and me chatting in a pub, I doubt I'd be disagreeing at all - but it's perhaps misleading to the typical poster on here].
    I guess, yes. I was more referring to university style maths, which might help in some way (I think we both agree) but the most important thing is how much practice you have with the material, so you automatically know which trig identity to use, etc. I would imagine a good secondary school maths teacher would do reasonably well, even if they haven't studied much advanced maths, purely because they've been going over the techniques involved in C1/C2 for decades.

    The main reason I'm saying this is to try to say that it's not like my exposure at university has taught me these advanced, arcane methods of solving the questions that make the entire thing unfair. I mean in fairness it does give me an advantage, but I find the time I spent giving students lessons at the weekends was a better help than the university maths. Also, Oxford treat people based on their exposure - they'll expect more from me because I had the extra years, so despite probably doing reasonably well relative to students, the other students who did as well as I did would be offered a place sooner than I did as they did the same without as much time for practice.
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    (Original post by lwittgenstein)
    The main reason I'm saying this is to try to say that it's not like my exposure at university has taught me these advanced, arcane methods of solving the questions that make the entire thing unfair. I mean in fairness it does give me an advantage, but I find the time I spent giving students lessons at the weekends was a better help than the university maths. Also, Oxford treat people based on their exposure - they'll expect more from me because I had the extra years, so despite probably doing reasonably well relative to students, the other students who did as well as I did would be offered a place sooner than I did as they did the same without as much time for practice.
    Yes, I'd expect you to be give a lot tougher time at interview, to be honest.
 
 
 
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