## Synthetic division

Synthetic division can be used to divide a polynomial by a linear divisor, which is commonly required in H2 math and Amath.

It is faster than the traditional long division.

How to do Synthetic division

## Not being offered Amath in school? Don’t give up yet

Some schools require their students to score at least 75% in their Sec 2 end of year exam, before they are allowed to take additional maths in Sec 3.

For students who are not offered Amath in school and still want to take Amath in O level, they can get the following textbook and assessment book, and self study on their own or find a private tutor to teach them.  Talk to the school and request that the school help you register Amath in O level. The school will probably require you to pass sec 3 end of year examination before they allow you to take Amath at O level.

I have a student who was not offered Amath in school. She wanted to take Amath at O level so she could have more options in future. Her school only allowed her to take the subject on condition that she passed her Sec 3 End of Year A Math exams. The student was not given any opportunity by the school to attend A Math classes. I tutored her and within a short span of 3.5 months, the student had obtained 64 marks (high B4), better than her cohort average of 60.

Though the school now allow her to take Amath at O level, she still cannot take Amath lesson in school, because it clashed with her Principle of Accounts. So I continue to teach her Amath and finished the entire O level syllabus in another 3 months. Eventually she scored A1 in her school sec 4 mid year exams and B3 in O level.

So don’t give up if you really wish to do Amath 🙂

## Calculator skills for O level math

These skills in using the calculator fx-96 SG PLUS are useful to check your answers in O level Amaths and Emaths:

1. Round off to number of decimal places (Fix)
2. Round off to number of significant digits (Sci)
3. Using the memory A, B, C, D, E, X, Y to store the answers for intermediate steps so the final answer is accurate
4. Using statistics mode to calculate the mean and standard deviation (for both grouped and ungrouped data)
5. Using statistics mode A+BX linear regression to calculate the intercept and gradient of transformed linear graph. ( When keying in the data, do not key in the data that you ignored in your graph plotting)
6. Using DRG to convert between radians and degrees
7. Using fraction to determine Highest Common Factor
8. Solving simultaneous linear equations of 2 to 3 unknowns, quadratic and cubic equations of 1 unknown
9. Finding the gradient of a curve with known equation without differentiating, or checking the differentiation results by substituting a small number such as 0.001 as delta x.
Gradient or dy/dx = [f(x+ delta x)- f(x)]/ (delta x)

Eg. Find the gradient of the curve for y = (2x^2 – 1/x) at x=3
Find y at x= 3.001. Call it f(b)
Find y at x = 3. Call it f(a)
Gradient at x = 3 = [f(b)- f(a)] / 0.001

f(b) = 2 X 3.001^2 – 1/3.001 = 17.6788
f(a) = 2 X 3 ^2 – 1/3 = 17.6667

[f(b)-f(a)] / 0.001 = 12.1 (3 sig fig)

Compared with differentiation

dy/dx = 4x + 1/x^2
gradient at x= 3, = 109/9 = 12.1 (3 sig fig)

For Emaths students who have not learnt differentiation, the calculator approach is an alternative way to check the gradient.