STEP 2010 Examiners Report

STEP 2010 Examiners Report - STEP Examiners Report 2010...

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STEP Examiners’ Report 2010 Mathematics STEP 9465/9470/9475 October 2010
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Contents STEP Mathematics (9465, 9470, 9475) Report Page STEP Mathematics I 3 STEP Mathematics II 15 STEP Mathematics III 19 Explanation of Results 22
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STEP 2010 Paper I: Principal Examiner’s Report Introductory comments There were significantly more candidates attempting this paper than last year (just over 1000), and the scores were much higher than last year (presumably due to the easier first question): fewer than 2% of candidates scored less than 20 marks overall, and the median mark was 61. The pure questions were the most popular as usual, though there was much more varia- tion than in some previous years: questions 1, 3, 4 and 6 were the most popular, while question 7 (on vectors) was intensely unpopular. About half of all candidates attempted at least one mechanics question, and 15% attempted at least one probability question. The marks were unsurprising: the pure questions generally gained the better marks, while the mechanics and probability questions generally had poorer marks. A sizeable number of candidates ignored the advice on the front cover and attempted more than six questions, with a fifth of candidates trying eight or more questions. A good number of those extra attempts were little more than failed starts, but suggest that some candidates are not very effective at question-picking. This is an important skill to develop during STEP preparation. Nevertheless, the good marks and the paucity of candidates who attempted the questions in numerical order does suggest that the majority are being wise in their choices. Because of the abortive starts, I have often restricted my attention below to those attempts which counted as one of the six highest-scoring answers, and referred to these as “significant attempts”. The majority of candidates did begin with question 1 (presumably as it appeared to be the easiest), but some spent far longer on it than was wise. Some attempts ran to over eight pages in length, especially when they had made an algebraic slip early on, and used time which could have been far better spent tackling another question. It is important to balance the desire to finish the question with an appreciation of when to stop and move on. Many candidates realised that for some questions, it was possible to attempt a later part without a complete (or any) solution to an earlier part. An awareness of this could have helped some of the weaker students to gain vital marks when they were stuck; it is generally better to do more of one question than to start another question, in particular if one has already attempted six questions. It is also fine to write “continued later” at the end of a partial attempt and then to continue the answer later in the answer booklet.
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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 2010 Examiners Report - STEP Examiners Report 2010...

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