Many students commented that 2018 alevel is very difficult. There are many non-routine questions that require students to think on their feet.
Trends from 2017 and 2018 alevel:
Recommended Learning to familiarize
Drilling ten year series is no longer enough to get A in alevel. Students need to think on their feet to solve non-routine questions. To train their problem solving skills, students should train to solve non-routine questions. If they are stuck on a problem, do not look at the solution immediately. Sleep over it. Let the subconscious work on it. Give yourself two days to solve a problem. After that, if still stuck, can glance at the solution for hints. Once understand how to do, close the solution and solve the question. And then try a similar problem. Problem solving skills and speed will improve and eventually students can solve non-routine questions in exams.
Don’t have to worry about the paper getting more difficult. The grade boundaries for A will be lowered accordingly. Easy paper requires 75 to 80 to get A. In 2018, the grade required to get A is lowered to around 72. % of students getting A remains the same about 1 in 2. To get A, students need to make sure they are in the better half of the whole cohort taking the national exams.
A good way to predict grades is percentile. For example, since about 68% of VJC students get A in alevel, if a VJC student get above 32 percentile in major school exams, that student is on track for alevel distinction. So if student is below that “A percentile”, work hard and/or get a tutor to improve to be on track for alevel distinction.
Example 1: Volume of revolution in 2017 alevel P2 4b
Let a=2 so we can visualise the shape of the graph
Example 2: Solution curve for Differential equation. 2014 alevel P1
This is solution for part iv.
It can be sketched without expressing the solution in the form x=f(t)
DHS J1 2018 Aug Test
Suppose we want to sketch the curve C and the line y=-2x+2 on the same graph
Note how the line y-2x+2 is entered.
Adjust the Tmax to 1% more so the graph displays correctly.
2011 alevel P1 Q11
Usually the sequence of transformation can be found by the replacement method. However, it can be tough to find the replacement for complicated functions. For such cases, we can use the general linear transformation c f(bx+a)+d to find the sequence.
cf(bx+a)+d = Translate by a units in the negative X direction, then scale by a factor of 1/b parallel to the X-axis, then scale by a factor of c parallel to the Y-axis, then translate by d units in the positive Y direction.
Example 1: 2015 P1 8ii
Example 2: 2015 P1 2ii
Graphical approach will yield x> 1.732. Notice Cambridge answer is not rounded to x>1.74 to satisfy the non-rounded inequality but rounded to 3 s.f.
Considering example 1 and example 2, we conclude that in real life applications questions, when rounding off your answer to 3 s.f, round off such that the rounded off answer still satisfies the non-rounded off inequality.
Vector distance questions are common in alevel and carries 5 or 6 marks. Knowing the vector distance formulas can help to solve such questions easily and quickly.