STEP 2009 Examiners Report

STEP 2009 Examiners Report - STEP Examiners Report 2009...

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STEP Examiners’ Report 2009 Mathematics STEP 9465, 9470, 9475
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Contents Step Mathematics (9465, 9470, 9475) Report Page STEP Mathematics I 3 STEP Mathematics II 13 STEP Mathematics III 18 Explanation of Results 21 2
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STEP 2009 Paper I Principal Examiner’s Report There were signifcantly more candidates attempting this paper again this year (over 900 in total), and the scores were pleasing: Fewer than 5% oF candidates Failed to get at least 20 marks, and the median mark was 48. The pure questions were the most popular as usual; about two-thirds oF candidates attempted each oF the pure questions, with the exceptions oF question 2 (attempted by about 90%) and question 5 (attempted by about one third). The mechanics questions were only marginally more popular than the probability and statistics questions this year; about one quarter oF the candidates attempted each oF the mechanics questions, while the statistics questions were attempted by about one fFth oF the candidates. A signifcant number oF candidates ignored the advice on the Front cover and attempted more than six questions. In general, those candidates who submitted answers to eight or more questions did Fairly poorly; very Few people who tackled nine or more questions gained more than 60 marks overall (as only the best six questions are taken For the fnal mark). This suggests that a skill lacking in many students attempting STEP is the ability to pick questions effectively. This is not required For A-levels, so must become an important part oF STEP preparation. Another “rubric”-type error was Failing to Follow the instructions in the question. In particu- lar, when a question says “Hence”, the candidate must make (signifcant) use oF the preceding result(s) in their answer iF they wish to gain any credit. In some questions (such as ques- tion 2), many candidates gained no marks For the fnal part (which was worth 10 marks) as they simply quoted an answer without using any oF their earlier work. There were a number oF common errors which appeared across the whole paper. These included a noticeable weakness in algebraic manipulations, sometimes indicating a serious lack oF understanding oF the mathematics involved. As examples, one candidate tried to use the misremembered identity cos β = sin p 1 - β 2 , while numerous candidates made deductions oF the Form “iF a 2 + b 2 = c 2 , then a + b = c ” at some point in their work. ±raction manipulations are also notorious in the school classroom; the effects oF this weakness were Felt here, too. Another common problem was a lack oF direction; writing a whole page oF algebraic manip- ulations with no sense oF purpose was unlikely to either reach the requested answer or gain the candidate any marks. It is a good idea when Faced with a STEP question to ask oneselF, “What is the point oF this (part oF the) question?” or “Why has this (part oF the) question been asked?” Thinking about this can be a helpFul guide.
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2012 for the course MATH 1016 taught by Professor Rotar during the Spring '12 term at Central Lancashire.

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STEP 2009 Examiners Report - STEP Examiners Report 2009...

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