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The new A-Level maths is badly preparing students for study at Oxford? watch

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    (Original post by usfbullz)
    Was that a pun?
    You tell me.
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    I'm surprised someone wanting to go to Oxford Maths can't use logic to tell that if they don't use a calculator at university maths it's not because they want you to use maclaurin series to approximate various functions or a binomial expansion to approximate a square root but is instead because the emphasis is not on being competent numerically and is more proof based etc
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    Exactly. I think the OP is probably doing GCSE's or AS Levels, where calculators are used much more heavily than in A2. In FP2 and FP3, you rely a lot less on calculators, and most answers need to left in exact terms (for example as a surd or a combination of logs rather than as a decimal). There are chapters in FP3 where no numbers are seen at all, which may be a foreign concept for someone who hasn't done further maths (certainly was for me).
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    (Original post by mehmehmeh01)
    Exactly. I think the OP is probably doing GCSE's or AS Levels, where calculators are used much more heavily than in A2. In FP2 and FP3, you rely a lot less on calculators, and most answers need to left in exact terms (for example as a surd or a combination of logs rather than as a decimal). There are chapters in FP3 where no numbers are seen at all, which may be a foreign concept for someone who hasn't done further maths (certainly was for me).
    True - I remember one of the answers in FP2 last year being

    (1/2) + (35/8)sqrt(3),

    and they wanted the answer left in exact form. Calculators usually help the most in applied maths modules (statistics especially, with all of the chi-squared, t-test and F-test stuff). At higher levels, pure maths rarely requires a calculator, and the UKMT maths challenges actually prohibit the use of a calculator. Lots of complex maths problems don't actually have any complex arithmetic in them.
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    (Original post by mupsman2312)
    True - I remember one of the answers in FP2 last year being

    (1/2) + (35/8)sqrt(3),

    and they wanted the answer left in exact form. Calculators usually help the most in applied maths modules (statistics especially, with all of the chi-squared, t-test and F-test stuff). At higher levels, pure maths rarely requires a calculator, and the UKMT maths challenges actually prohibit the use of a calculator. Lots of complex maths problems don't actually have any complex arithmetic in them.
    I use my calculator mostly for checking my answers though. Your example about the answer being 1/2 + 35/8 sqrt(3), I would work the answer out by myself, then plug the question into my calculator to see if I get a decimal that is the same as the answer I got by myself.
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    I've stopped watching this thread now, as I don't think I can get any more out of it.
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    The calculator really is the least of your worries
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    (Original post by purpleunicorns)
    Eh maybe I'm more concerned than I need to be then
    People did maths degrees long before calculators were invented. People even sat O level and A level without them <shock> ... I think you need to research what a Maths degree involves.
 
 
 
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