More general questions on 2201 exam

Hi

I was just wanted to ask you about the structure of the exam next week? (as I missed the revision session during Easter)

1) what will the layout be like? similar to 2008 paper?

2) how come the 2008 paper is different from previous years, the notation and the method of asking the questions seems different?

3) are there any key areas that will come up?

4) there are 5 chapters in the notes, will there be a question from each chapter? which chapter will have 2 questions from it?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to your reply

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Reply:

I believe most of questions 1 and 3 have been answered in previous blog entries and the course summary. Regarding question 5, the questions will be reasonably well-distributed across the chapters as you might expect from any exam of this nature. Surely, I can’t tell you that some specific chapter will have two questions from it! I will say that about three of the questions may be distributed across roughly two of the chapters.

Regarding your question 2, you should look at the blog entries from around exam time last year to get some insight on this issue. The short answer is that if the 2008 exam looks very different from previous years, then you haven’t studied enough. This I mean quite seriously. At the level of scientific research, of course a conceptual breakthrough occurs when disparate phenomena are seen to be manifestations of the same principle. But even in a basic course, sufficient understanding is pretty well measured by the ability to see that rather large collections of problems are actually minor variations on the same theme. Certainly, don’t expect that the exam problems will be the same as the coursework or those of previous years with just the numbers changed!

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