Edexcel A Level Maths Discussion Thread  2018 Edition
Hey guys, I thought I'd make this niiiiiice and early so we can all share how we're preparing for our Maths exams this year?
Mechanics 2
Date: Friday 15th June 2018
Time: Afternoon
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Days to go?: 31
Probably the most important way to prepare for maths is to do plenty of past papers! You can find all Edexcel Maths past papers here.
Also, Physics & Maths Tutor has some good resources for revision  everything from revision notes to questions on specific topics. Materials for M2 can be found here.
Good luck with the preparations everyone, let the countdown commence!
Other Edexcel Exam Threads:
Edexcel AS Core Maths C1
Edexcel AS Core Maths C2
Edexcel A2 Core Maths C3
Edexcel A2 Core Maths C4
Edexcel AS Mechanics M1
Edexcel AS Statistics S1
Edexcel A2 Statistics S2
Edexcel AS Decision Maths D1
Edexcel A2 Decision Maths D2
Edexcel AS Further Pure FP1
Edexcel A2 Further Pure FP2
Edexcel A2 Further Pure FP3
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Edexcel A2 Mathematics: Mechanics M2 6678 01  15 June 2018 [Exam Discussion] watch

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Last edited by Protostar; 14052018 at 10:12. 
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I'll post the same tips as I did last year. I'll have another look and add to them at some point:
Edexcel M2 Tips
Get used to trying some projectile questions by considering energy since you won't be used to this after doing so many Chapter 1 questions. Often the easier method for Edexcel projectile questions is to use energy and the question may or may not tell you this. And other question types e.g. particle on slope may not tell you to use energy but try not to use old M1 methods  the question writers often design the question so that considering energy is the quickest and easiest method.
Work/Energy questions can sometimes ask for the work done e.g. in dragging a particle up a slope. The common mistake is to only calculate the work done against resistance (usually friction) but you have to add this to the work done against gravity, which is the same as the change in GPE.
Remember that impulse is a vector and some questions won't explicitly give you the vectors but will give you magnitudes/directions instead. If you are asked to find or use impulse in a question like this then I recommend putting the initial velocity, final velocity and impulse in vectors form before you do any calculations. For example, if you are told a particle before the impulse is moving horizontally to the right with speed 30 then write this write . Once you've done this then these questions are often just a simple application of the formula . I'm mainly talking here about impulse seen outside of collisions questions. For collision questions you can use impulse in the same way as you did in M1.
For centre of mass questions, draw big diagrams and spend a few seconds thinking about where the COM will lie before you do any work. Then check if your answer seems correct once you've found the COM. For uniform laminas, the COM will always lie on lines of symmetry so there's no point wasting time finding e.g. the xcoordinate of the COM if it's obvious. Follow up questions can often involve new forces acting and for these questions it can be useful to treat the question as a Chapter 5 moments question. A lamina may be hanging from a point and you can treat this point as the hinge. Also for COM questions make sure you know whether you're dealing with a lamina or a framework before you start  it isn't always obvious by looking at the diagram.
For collisions questions, if the question doesn't tell you and it's not obvious which way one of the particles will move after a collision, you need to choose a direction for the velocity and it's often simpler to choose the same direction as the other particle which has velocity say, remembering that could be positive or negative. Then for the relative speed you can use and this will work if is positive or negative. If you are told which way the particle will move then choose this direction for your . In a case like this you know that so you can use that information in inequalities questions which are common in M2 papers. Also for inequalities questions, the fact that and whether a particle catches up with another (e.g. ) can be useful.
For calculating moments it can be a good idea to get used to the two methods : 1) Directly multiply the force by the perp. distance of the line of action to the point, 2) First resolve the force into components. This will give you a choice in the exam so you can revert to a different method if you're struggling.
For variable acceleration questions where you are asked for distance and you have an equation for velocity, it's always best to sketch the velocity/time graph assuming it's a simple graph like a quadratic. If the curve goes above and below the axis then you may need to split the area like you're used to in C2.
Remember your M1 knowledge : for friction and only when there is limiting equilibrium or the particle is moving. Don't always assume that .
Look out for "constant speed" in M2 questions, which of course means that there is no acceleration/resultant force. I find it surprising how many students miss this.
For people aiming for the top grade, once you have tried a lot of the standard Edexcel papers I recommend looking at the IAL papers which are harder. Also, have a go at AQA and OCR to get a feel for different style questions. You'll sometimes be doing questions that would never be in Edexcel but it's good practice to use your knowledge to try something a bit different.
Last edited by Notnek; 08062018 at 11:25. 
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 09042018 20:07
(Original post by Notnek)
I'll post the same tips as I did last year. I'll have another look and add to them at some point:
Edexcel M2 Tips
Get used to trying some projectile questions by considering energy since you won't be used to this after doing so many Chapter 1 questions. Often the easier method for Edexcel projectile questions is to use energy and the question may or may not tell you this. And other question types e.g. particle on slope may not tell you to use energy but try not to use old M1 methods  the question writers often design the question so that considering energy is the quickest and easiest method.
Work/Energy questions can sometimes ask for the work done e.g. in dragging a particle up a slope. The common mistake is to only calculate the work done against resistance (usually friction) but you have to add this to the work done against gravity, which is the same as the change in GPE.
Remember that impulse is a vector and some questions won't explicitly give you the vectors but will give you magnitudes/directions instead. If you are asked to find or use impulse in a question like this then I recommend putting the initial velocity, final velocity and impulse in vectors form before you do any calculations. For example, if you are told a particle before the impulse is moving horizontally to the right with speed 30 then write this write . Once you've done this then these questions are often just a simple application of the formula . I'm mainly talking here about impulse seen outside of collisions questions. For collision questions you can use impulse in the same way as you did in M1.
For centre of mass questions, draw big diagrams and spend a few seconds thinking about where the COM will lie before you do any work. Then check if your answer seems correct once you've found the COM. For uniform laminas, the COM will always lie on lines of symmetry so there's no point wasting time finding e.g. the xcoordinate of the COM if it's obvious. Follow up questions can often involve new forces acting and for these questions it can be useful to treat the question as a Chapter 5 moments question. A lamina may be hanging from a point and you can treat this point as the hinge. Also for COM questions make sure you know whether you're dealing with a lamina or a framework before you start  it isn't always obvious by looking at the diagram.
For collisions questions, if the question doesn't tell you and it's not obvious which way one of the particles will move after a collision, you need to choose a direction for the velocity and it's often simpler to choose the same direction as the other particle which has velocity say, remembering that could be positive or negative. Then for the relative speed you can use and this will work if is positive or negative. If you are told which way the particle will move then choose this direction for your . In a case like this you know that so you can use that information in inequalities questions which are common in M2 papers. Also for inequalities questions, the fact that and whether a particle catches up with another (e.g. ) can be useful.
For calculating moments it can be a good idea to get used to the two methods : 1) Directly multiply the force by the perp. distance of the line of action to the point, 2) First resolve the force into components. This will give you a choice in the exam so you can revert to a different method if you're struggling.
Remember your M1 knowledge : for friction and only when there is limiting equilibrium or the particle is moving. Don't always assume that .
Look out for "constant speed" in M2 questions, which of course means that there is no acceleration/resultant force. I find it surprising how many students miss this.
For people aiming for the top grade, once you have tried a lot of the standard Edexcel papers I recommend looking at the IAL papers which are harder. Also, have a go at AQA and OCR to get a feel for different style questions. You'll sometimes be doing questions that would never be in Edexcel but it's good practice to use your knowledge to try something a bit different.
Last edited by MathQS; 09042018 at 20:11. 
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 09042018 20:52
(Original post by MathQS)
How diffiuclt would you rate this module (and M3) to grasp. I hadn't noticed that M3 was so early (16th May), so I need to learn this module within a week, to give myself a month to get comfortable with M3.
Why are you learning it in a week? I'm assuming your ability level is high because most students wouldn't be able to do this. 
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 15052018 06:00
(Original post by Notnek)
I rate Edexcel M2 as the hardest A Level module and then M3 is a step above this. M2 requires good past paper practice to get used to the types of questions that you may not see in a textbook. Me rating it as the hardest doesn't mean much though. If a student is good at mechanics then they might think that M2 is the second easiest module after M1.
Why are you learning it in a week? I'm assuming your ability level is high because most students wouldn't be able to do this. 
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 28052018 19:26
mekanix

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 08062018 03:47
can some one help me with this q please
m2 edexcel january 2008
After the collision between P and Q, the particle Q collides directly with a particle R
of mass m which is at rest on the plane. The coefficient of restitution between Q and Ris e.
(c) Calculate the range of values of e for which there will be a second collision betweenP and Q. 
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 10062018 17:19
Hi! I made some predictions  I have no clue how accurate they'll be, but I made them anyway
https://gyazo.com/cd341b1b620707bdd08a470246078038 
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 10062018 18:19
(Original post by plklupu)
Hi! I made some predictions  I have no clue how accurate they'll be, but I made them anyway
https://gyazo.com/cd341b1b620707bdd08a470246078038 
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 11062018 21:14
(Original post by plklupu)
Hi! I made some predictions  I have no clue how accurate they'll be, but I made them anyway
https://gyazo.com/cd341b1b620707bdd08a470246078038 
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 11062018 21:17
(Original post by loginrunner)
Thank you for this! I will definitely use this table and try to do every different type of question, so hopefully there won't be any too nasty surprises in the real thing. 
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 11062018 21:19
(Original post by Notnek)
M2 has a habit of throwing in surprises even if you've practiced every paper! But the more papers you do, the easier you'll find the standard questions so you'll have more time to think about the harder problems in the exam. 
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 11062018 21:23
(Original post by loginrunner)
Yes, that's very true! What topics do you think are more likely to contain these surprise questions, if any? 
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 11062018 21:31
Really need to up my M2 revision/practice, have neglected it for so long Was confident with it absolutely ages ago but my ability has gone down loads haha

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 11062018 22:15
(Original post by okayplease)
can some one help me with this q please
m2 edexcel january 2008
After the collision between P and Q, the particle Q collides directly with a particle R
of mass m which is at rest on the plane. The coefficient of restitution between Q and Ris e.
(c) Calculate the range of values of e for which there will be a second collision betweenP and Q.
If P was still going towards Q, then Q must either go back towards P or away from P but more slowly than P's speed.
Use momentum and restitution to get an expression for Q's velocity and then use one of the above to write down an inequality. 
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 11062018 22:22
(Original post by loginrunner)
Thank you for this! I will definitely use this table and try to do every different type of question, so hopefully there won't be any too nasty surprises in the real thing.(Original post by loginrunner)
Yes, that's very true! What topics do you think are more likely to contain these surprise questions, if any?
Edit: they could also continue with the philosophy of this year's M1  retest us all on things that went badly in 2017, which I imagine includes the nastierthanusual folded lamina and moments questions.Last edited by plklupu; 11062018 at 22:24. 
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 11062018 22:27
(Original post by plklupu)
No probs at all! Honestly if you do June 20102017 I think you'll be fine, I don't think they'll be mean with this exam. They were super nice with S3 and FP2 this year, so hopefully the trend continues. If anything this year is gonna be a curveball, I reckon collisions, suvat or CoM  I think the pattern from the past years indicates the rest will be fairly mild, especially impulse and equations of particle motion, which tend to be consistently easy.
Edit: they could also continue with the philosophy of this year's M1  retest us all on things that went badly in 2017, which I imagine includes the nastierthanusual folded lamina and moments questions. 
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 11062018 22:56
(Original post by Protostar)
What do you mean by folded lamina? 
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 11062018 23:02

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 11062018 23:10
(Original post by Protostar)
Oh so would the mass in the "folded" section be twice the area?
The best way to do this one is to just think of it as two areas : the triangle ADE and the trapezium BDEC (which you'd have already dealt with in a)) then just find the COM in the normal way and you can kind of ignore the fact that it's folded.
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