Sir Cumference
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Mathematics Admissions Test 2019 Preparation Thread


(Based on r_gup's 2018 post which was based on previous year's posts. Any recommendations for stuff to be added to this post are welcome!)

If you need help with any MAT questions then please post the question in this thread (or link to it) along with your full working and explain where you're stuck.


Key Dates:

Registration deadline : 15th October 2019
MAT exam date : 30th October 2019
Interview shortlist decisions (for Oxford) : Early December 2019
Offer decisions (for Oxford) : January 2020


Advice:

\star It's worth studying the second year single pure content before beginning MAT preparation for a better understanding of the concepts behind trigonometry/calculus. However, as noted in the syllabus, the only 100% necessary part of this for the MAT is sequences and series

\star Start with the earliest papers you can find and ideally try and complete them all by the exam. The papers before 2007 are of an older style and do not follow the same specification as current papers but are good practice nonetheless. The papers up to 2017 are also now of an old specification, however will be more similar to our specification than the older ones.

\star The earlier papers are somewhat easier than current papers so be careful to not become complacent when scoring highly on early papers

\star Aim to do as many past papers as possible as timed mocks, exam technique is essential to success in the MAT

\starNote the following changes of the specification from 2018: In order to reflect the new syllabus of AS-level Mathematics, we will be removing the following topics from the syllabus: the remainder theorem, radians, the trapezium rule. We will be adding the following topics to the syllabus: combinations and binomial probabilities, derivative of e^{kx}, differentiation from first principles, graphs of loga(x).

Resources:

Exam Syllabus
2016 MAT Prep Thread
2017 MAT Prep Thread
2018 MAT Prep Thread
MAT/AEA/STEP Past Papers
Official Webpage
MAT Preparation Powerpoint
MAT Section B Tips PDF
MAT 1992-1995 Solutions
MAT 1996-2006 Solutions

Exam Information/Layout:

\star The exam is 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) long

\star There are 5 specific questions to be completed depending on your course

\star The first question consists of 10 multiple choice questions all worth 4 marks each

\star All answers to questions are submitted on plain paper

\star Formulae sheets and calculators are not permitted

\star Compasses are permitted


Graph Sketching:

Spoiler:
Show
\star Find the asymptotes of the curve

\star Determine if and where the curve intercepts the coordinate axis

\star Determine if there exist turning points/points of inflection for the curve

\star Find the limits (if they exist) of the curve


Things to Look for:

Spoiler:
Show

\star Opportunities to use the discriminant conditions for a quadratic equation, for example:

\Diamond Any equation representing the x or y coordinate of the point of intersection of a tangent to a curve must have one repeat real root:
 \therefore b^2 - 4ac = 0

\star It is also worth noting that the gradient of the tangent and the curve at the above point are the same

\star The shortest distance between a point and a line is found by taking the normal to the line which passes through the point

\star When asked to find the correct graph for a function, try substituting important values into the function to rule out possibilities. For example, 2013 Q1D.

\star Be aware of useful inequalities:

 (a-b)^2 \geq 0 \Rightarrow a^2 + b^2 \geq 2ab

Something important: Please register for the MAT as soon as possible because many centres have a limited number of seats and stop accepting applications for the MAT.


Last edited by Sir Cumference; 1 year ago
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Red’s the name?
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Does anybody have access to any revision worksheets that could help with preparation?
Last edited by Red’s the name?; 1 year ago
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RavenclawOwl
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This is going to be really useful!

Was waiting for my A Level maths result this summer and had convinced myself I'd gotten an A, luckily I was completely wrong and got the A* but now I've done almost no prep for this exam since June!

My last week of summer is gonna be busy...
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Rohan77642
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in
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by Red’s the name?)
Does anybody have access to any revision worksheets that could help with preparation?
Dr. Frost maybe
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by RavenclawOwl)
This is going to be really useful!

Was waiting for my A Level maths result this summer and had convinced myself I'd gotten an A, luckily I was completely wrong and got the A* but now I've done almost no prep for this exam since June!

My last week of summer is gonna be busy...
good luck!
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I hate maths!
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Good luck everyone!! So glad I don't have to do these types of exams anymore even if they're fun to prepare for.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Notnek)

\star Compasses are permitted


Why would anyone need a compass? Surely they know how to get to school by now ....
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Sir Cumference
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Why would anyone need a compass? Surely they know how to get to school by now ....
Haha that was just copied from last year’s thread
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Mluo
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I'm an international student and planning to take mat this year. I'm kinda confused with "the number of roots". For British math, if delta=0, would you say the equation has two roots of the same value, or just one root?
Thx!
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by Mluo)
I'm an international student and planning to take mat this year. I'm kinda confused with "the number of roots". For British math, if delta=0, would you say the equation has two roots of the same value, or just one root?
Thx!
I think you would say that it has a repeated root.

Saying it has one root doesn't seem like the correct terminology.

So like if we have (x - 2) ^ 2 = 0 then I would say that x = 2 is a repeated root, but I wouldn't say it has a single root.

But I might be wrong.
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Mluo
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(Original post by Rohan77642)
I think you would say that it has a repeated root.

Saying it has one root doesn't seem like the correct terminology.

So like if we have (x - 2) ^ 2 = 0 then I would say that x = 2 is a repeated root, but I wouldn't say it has a single root.

But I might be wrong.
Ok thanks a lot!
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cxs
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Is there any thread containing the solutions to the questions from 1996 to 2006?
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Angel_Chen
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Has anyone done specimen paper 2 q5 i'm intrigued how you would explain part iv.

Also any tips for writing explanations because i can do the maths not the writing. lol
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LiveOnTSR
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My school has a two week october half term which MAT is in the middle of. Does this mean I'll have to take it at a test centre or something? I know my school offers STEP but they haven't mentioned MAT.
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Lemur14
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(Original post by LiveOnTSR)
My school has a two week october half term which MAT is in the middle of. Does this mean I'll have to take it at a test centre or something? I know my school offers STEP but they haven't mentioned MAT.
My college is opening up for people to sit the MAT, it's worth checking if your school is too
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DanielT11
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Hi,

Can someone please help me with Question 4(ii) from the Specimen Paper A.
I understand, what process, that they're doing, trying to work out the area of triangle RQP in the middle by subtracting the smaller triangles, ARQ, BRP, QCP from the main triangle. I also understand how they start doing
AQ/C X AR/b. However, I don't understand how this process is then equal to cos2a.

Many thanks for any help!
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tiny hobbit
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(Original post by LiveOnTSR)
My school has a two week october half term which MAT is in the middle of. Does this mean I'll have to take it at a test centre or something? I know my school offers STEP but they haven't mentioned MAT.
There will be lots of other admissions tests on that day too, such as the BMAT, so I would expect your school to be open. Ask them as soon as your term starts.
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I hate maths!
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(Original post by DanielT11)
Hi,

Can someone please help me with Question 4(ii) from the Specimen Paper A.
I understand, what process, that they're doing, trying to work out the area of triangle RQP in the middle by subtracting the smaller triangles, ARQ, BRP, QCP from the main triangle. I also understand how they start doing
AQ/C X AR/b. However, I don't understand how this process is then equal to cos2a.

Many thanks for any help!
Let's look at triangle ARQ first. Hint: can you show that the length of AR is b \cos \alpha and the length of AQ is c \cos \alpha? What is the area of triangle ARQ?

Visual aid:
Spoiler:
Show
Image
Last edited by I hate maths!; 1 year ago
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DanielT11
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(Original post by I hate maths!)
Let's look at triangle ARQ first. Hint: can you show that the length of AR is b \cos \alpha and the length of AQ is c \cos \alpha? What is the area of triangle ARQ?

Visual aid:
Spoiler:
Show
Image
So, I understand now, because then the sides are cos2a smaller and, than the sides for the larger triangle. Then, repeating this for the other triangles, I'll reach the final answer.

Thank you that really helped. For some reason, I had looked at this problem many times and never considered, that I should use the smaller right angles triangles.
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