# TMUA: how to get quicker?

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#1
I'm starting to prepare for the test of mathematics for university admission, and at first I was feeling pretty okay because I was getting most of the questions right when I was doing it untimed, but I just tried to a timed question paper and I got 6/20 because I only managed to get to the first 10 questions in the 75 min given! I don't know how to get quicker? I think I must be writing too much down, as I'm conditioned to show all my working from A-levels :/ Should I be doing most of the maths in my head instead of writing it?? Any tips for getting quicker would be really helpful!
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1 year ago
#2
(Original post by algoko)
I'm starting to prepare for the test of mathematics for university admission, and at first I was feeling pretty okay because I was getting most of the questions right when I was doing it untimed, but I just tried to a timed question paper and I got 6/20 because I only managed to get to the first 10 questions in the 75 min given! I don't know how to get quicker? I think I must be writing too much down, as I'm conditioned to show all my working from A-levels :/ Should I be doing most of the maths in my head instead of writing it?? Any tips for getting quicker would be really helpful!
There are model solutions at
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1 year ago
#3
(Original post by mqb2766)
There are model solutions at

They have substituted x = -1 in (px-1) to get -p+1 instead of -p-1.

They then calculate 8p - 8 = 24 (correct as a follow on answer, but actually incorrect because of the earlier error).

They then somehow deduce(*) that 8p = 16, and so get the (correct) final answer that p = 2.

It does show that these questions aren't actually easy, particularly under time pressure.
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1 year ago
#4
(Original post by algoko)
I'm starting to prepare for the test of mathematics for university admission, and at first I was feeling pretty okay because I was getting most of the questions right when I was doing it untimed, but I just tried to a timed question paper and I got 6/20 because I only managed to get to the first 10 questions in the 75 min given! I don't know how to get quicker? I think I must be writing too much down, as I'm conditioned to show all my working from A-levels :/ Should I be doing most of the maths in my head instead of writing it?? Any tips for getting quicker would be really helpful!
You should make use of the fact that it is a multiple choice test. It is not always necessary to do the question properly. Question 6 in the specimen mentioned above can be answered as shown here. This takes just a few seconds. I don't know how many questions are like this though.
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1 year ago
#5
I never understood with the TMUA how people actually had enough time to get the grade they need. Especially looking at the worked solutions - there's so much working for some questions.

I did the test last year, and honestly it was so horribly rushed for time. The only thing I can suggest is make sure you're quick at basic things and make no mistakes. Also be selective with your questions.
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1 year ago
#6
(Original post by BuryMathsTutor)
You should make use of the fact that it is a multiple choice test. It is not always necessary to do the question properly. Question 6 in the specimen mentioned above can be answered as shown here. This takes just a few seconds. I don't know how many questions are like this though.
Totally agree that you should make use of the multiple choices (where applicable). On the other hand, have to say that approach wouldn't have occurred to me here.

In this case, I would have gone:

Spoiler:
Show
A quick sketch gives a right angled triangle at the origin, tangent point and (20, 0) with sides 20, 16 and 12. Extending the tangent to the y-axis gives a similar (but smaller) triangle, and a little consideration gives the scale factor as 12/16 = 3/4. Then the distance required is 20 x 3 / 4 = 15.

Just goes to show that the given solutions aren't always optimal, or indeed particularly close to it.
2
1 year ago
#7
(Original post by algoko)
I'm starting to prepare for the test of mathematics for university admission, and at first I was feeling pretty okay because I was getting most of the questions right when I was doing it untimed, but I just tried to a timed question paper and I got 6/20 because I only managed to get to the first 10 questions in the 75 min given! I don't know how to get quicker? I think I must be writing too much down, as I'm conditioned to show all my working from A-levels :/ Should I be doing most of the maths in my head instead of writing it?? Any tips for getting quicker would be really helpful!
Which uni are you sitting the exam for?
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#8
(Original post by _Alchemist_)
Which uni are you sitting the exam for?
Mainly for LSE (Math with Econ), but most of my other unis consider it in the application (Bath, Warwick, etc). I guess because I don't need it for my application (like the MAT for Oxford), I can always get my result and not add it to my UCAS if I do badly?
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#9
(Original post by DFranklin)
Totally agree that you should make use of the multiple choices (where applicable). On the other hand, have to say that approach wouldn't have occurred to me here.

In this case, I would have gone:

Spoiler:
Show
A quick sketch gives a right angled triangle at the origin, tangent point and (20, 0) with sides 20, 16 and 12. Extending the tangent to the y-axis gives a similar (but smaller) triangle, and a little consideration gives the scale factor as 12/16 = 3/4. Then the distance required is 20 x 3 / 4 = 15.

Just goes to show that the given solutions aren't always optimal, or indeed particularly close to it.
This was so helpful, thank you! I don't think I would have ever thought about doing that way myself, so I definitely need some practise. Do you have any good resources for the TMUA? I heard using the multiple choice questions in the MAT is a good one, and some UKMT questions?
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1 year ago
#10
Has a decent summary of problem solving techniques which underpin the books by him, zeitz, ...

Mat would be decent related practice. The ukmt stuff is good for problem solving, but only has some overlap with the tmua syllabus. Will help with timing etc.
Last edited by mqb2766; 1 year ago
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1 year ago
#11
(Original post by algoko)
This was so helpful, thank you! I don't think I would have ever thought about doing that way myself, so I definitely need some practise. Do you have any good resources for the TMUA? I heard using the multiple choice questions in the MAT is a good one, and some UKMT questions?
So for this particular question, it's really just GCSE geometry. It's worth making sure you're still familiar with that stuff, because it's not that uncommon in Oxbridge entrance exams to get questions that are essentially impossible if you don't remember things like what properties hold for a cyclic quadrilateral.

I can't say I've ever really seen an exam with the same "feel" as the TMUA, but MAT and UKMT are the closest fits that come to my mind as well.

It does seem to have a higher speed requirement that any other exam I can think of really - the questions aren't *that* difficult, but doing the questions in the time allotment is tough. I'd definitely suggest putting some thought into the kind of thing BuryMathsTutor suggests - ways to get the correct answer (or guess it with a good chance of success) without properly solving the question. Even getting to a choice of 2 viable answers may not be a "bad" result if you can do it quickly.
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