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    I'd be interested to look at finals exams from various universities to get a feel for how different they really are.

    Problems:

    * Not many universities give public access to their papers.
    * Some context is useful so as to judge expectations. (e.g. Cambridge exams are very hard, but you're not expected to get that many questions out).
    * My expertise is probably not *really* up to judging at finals level (but I'm less interested in comparing 1st year exams).

    If anyone has any suggestions or information (papers!) they're happy to provide, I'd be interested in having a look.

    However, please don't get yourself into trouble, and don't break copyright laws. (If that means I don't get any answers, so be it).

    Also: I have a reasonable idea of Oxford/Cambridge, so no real need to chip in there. To be honest, I'm more interested in what the exams at a "sub-50" university look like.
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    Well, I only think I have access to Cambs(I could possibly find St Andrews if pushed), but don't know the legality, but I fancy having a look at your thoughts on this, so subbing
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    I could find out about copyright issues et cetera and possibly upload a big .rar of 1st-4th year Bristol past papers, but it would be mostly pure stuff for the later years.
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    I'd also be interested to compare! The Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial papers are either totally or partially publicly available online for those who want to see them. (Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial). I saw one of my friend's UCL paper's and I was a little disappointed at the difficulty of the exam, even if they covered a lot of the same material we'd covered at Oxford - she herself said that it was easy to score full marks, or close enough, on certain papers...

    EDIT: And Manchester and Swansea too...
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    Thanks HenryT.

    Having looked at a few papers, I think I've bitten off more than I (personally) can chew - I don't remember enough maths to really judge many questions at third year level. But we can probably have some sort of discussion where everyone chips in expertise.

    One thing with the papers you found: it's difficult to judge them without knowing how many papers people typically study, and what kind of mark is expected. So if anyone has that info and can provide it that would be great.
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    Here are some Bristol past papers zipped up for the sake of convenience, sans solutions. Expected mark varies from paper to paper, but apart from Theory of Inference and Algebraic Number Theory in 3rd year (which are short units) they're all 20cp units and so make up a sixth of the year.
    edit: I can't see the harm but if anyone wants me to take these down, I will.
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    Warwick's past exam papers are not publicly available but I saved a finalist past exam paper (Theory of PDEs). You are expected to fully answer 4 out of 5 questions in order to get 100%.

    http://rs344.rapidshare.com/files/263659470/ma3g10.pdf

    Typically a Warwick student will have 8 exams in the third/final year, in April (term 1 modules) and in May/June (term 2 modules). All third year exams are 3 hours long.


    My second year Metric spaces exam seems harder than Imperial's third year Metric and Topological spaces exam.
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    (Original post by Krush)
    My second year Metric spaces exam seems harder than Imperial's third year Metric and Topological spaces exam.
    http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/s...MIATH20122.pdf

    Is it harder than manchester second year Metric spaces exam?

    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Also: I have a reasonable idea of Oxford/Cambridge, so no real need to chip in there. To be honest, I'm more interested in what the exams at a "sub-50" university look like.
    Why?
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/s...MIATH20122.pdf

    Is it harder then manchester second year Metric spaces exam?
    Manchester's exam comes across as being easier.
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    (Original post by Krush)
    My second year Metric spaces exam seems harder than Imperial's third year Metric and Topological spaces exam.
    I'm surprised: I'd say the Imperial exam is noticably harder than the Cambridge 2nd year exam (back when I did it).

    (I'd say there's a pretty huge difficulty gap between the Imperial exam and the Manchester one).
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    (Original post by Krush)
    Manchester's exam comes across as being easier.
    Have you got the warwick exam paper online?

    (Original post by DFranklin)
    (I'd say there's a pretty huge difficulty gap between the Imperial exam and the Manchester one).
    http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/s.../MATH41051.pdf

    This is a third year paper. How does this compared to Imperials Metric and Topological spaces exam?

    P.S. Why don't Warwick and stuff have it online. I think I can get Imperials of there website. I don't know about Cambridge and Oxford and other unis. I will try.
    P.P.S. This might be a good way to rank unis as you could suppose that the harder the exam paper is then the better the uni. But, then some papers are hard then get scaled up a lot. So I don't know how you can take that into account.

    Yeah, I think this is pretty useless. Even if a exam was harder that proves nothing as things will be scaled up. For example, I heard that warwick algebra 2 exam is evil, however as pointed out the marks will get scaled up so it doesn't really reflect that it was hard.
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    @Simplicity: If you look at a "sub-50" university then you'd expect more noticeable differences that will be easier to see and discuss. Conversely, if there aren't noticeable differences, then that will be interesting in it's own right.
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    ^^ Hm. I could do Q4 of the Mancs paper, and I didn't even take Topology...
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    Have you got the warwick exam paper online?
    No two hours. And I agree with DFranklin that there's a pretty big gap between Imperial's third year paper and Manchester's 2nd year paper.

    @ DFranklin: I realised after a second glance at the paper that some of the non bookwork questions are actually quite involved. I can't remember much/anything from my metric spaces/topology course though.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    This is a third year paper. How does this compared to Imperials Metric and Topological spaces exam?
    The material is quite different, and I'm not as familiar with some of the Manchester stuff (the simplicial complexes). For the questions where I know the material, it's still a fair bit easier than the Imperial exam.
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    (Original post by Krush)
    @ DFranklin: I realised after a second glance at the paper that some of the non bookwork questions are actually seem quite involved. I can't remember much/anything from my metric spaces/topology course though.
    As a particular point, I'd say there's quite a difficulty jump from "metric space" to "topological space", so if your 2nd year course only covers metric spaces (which is probably typical for a 2nd year course) then it will tend to be easier than a course covering top. spaces as well.

    [As for bookwork: the proof that a finite product of compact spaces is compact is fairly tricky - I don't think it was examinable at Cambridge (but we did it in the 2nd year)].
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    @Simplicity: If you look at a "sub-50" university then you'd expect more noticeable differences that will be easier to see and discuss. Conversely, if there aren't noticeable differences, then that will be interesting in it's own right.
    I don't know about that. You're sort of trying to prove the obvious.

    The material is quite different, and I'm not as familiar with some of the Manchester stuff (the simplicial complexes). For the questions where I know the material, it's still a fair bit easier than the Imperial exam.
    Didn't you do algebraic topology?

    P.S. Okay, comparing top unis could work. However, most of the courses will be different I guess you could compare lets say topology exams?
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    As a particular point, I'd say there's quite a difficulty jump from "metric space" to "topological space", so if your 2nd year course only covers metric spaces (which is probably typical for a 2nd year course) then it will tend to be easier than a course covering top. spaces as well.

    [As for bookwork: the proof that a finite product of compact spaces is compact is fairly tricky - I don't think it was examinable at Cambridge (but we did it in the 2nd year)].
    My second year "Metric spaces" course was divided into five sections: metric spaces, topological spaces, compactness, connectedness and completeness. They were all covered in reasonable depth though Warwick covers Topology significantly more in a third year module.

    Regarding the finite product of compact spaces being compact: this was covered in my second year as a special case of "Tychonov's Theorem" and it was proved in lectures. Though it was examinable, I don't think anyone expected it to be in the exam and I don't think it ever has.
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    Mm, have just looked through the 2nd year Bristol material - the questions don't, in general, seem to be too involved, and a lot of the material was stuff that we covered during the first year, though, the Analysis is completely different - all to do with connectedness and compactness, very little to do with the Complex Analysis course we studied (which basically featured the life works of Cauchy, along with some basic Topology). That said, I could probably have a good shot at the questions with my limited knowledge!
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    (Original post by henryt)
    Mm, have just looked through the 2nd year Bristol material - the questions don't, in general, seem to be too involved, and a lot of the material was stuff that we covered during the first year, though, the Analysis is completely different - all to do with connectedness and compactness, very little to do with the Complex Analysis course we studied (which basically featured the life works of Cauchy, along with some basic Topology). That said, I could probably have a good shot at the questions with my limited knowledge!
    You get to do complex analysis in the first year at Bristol.


    P.S. Has anyone noticed that some unis have a biased towards pure or applied or mathematical physics? it seems that warwick has a very strong bias away from mathematical physics. Although, that could be the impression from some comments made by Totally Tom about mathematical physics students.
 
 
 
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