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The following is based on a typical examination question.

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A similar question appeared on the Edexcel A-Level exam in 2005.


MathsNet imageThe above question will be based on recent examination questions from a variety of examination boards. You must not assume that this is all that you can be asked. There are various types of questions on this topic. Usually an on-line timer is included which gives you a guide to the appropriate amount of time you should take in completing the question. You should practice as many past examination questions as you can, writing out specimen answers and checking them thoroughly against the mark scheme. It is an ideal form of revision. You could print out a collection of exam questions and mark schemes from this site to use at a later date when you are away from the computer.

Normally examinations are marked using a code. The following describes the codes used on this site:
  • Marks are awarded in the first place for knowing a correct method for solving the question and attempting to apply that method (M marks).
  • In general no accuracy marks (A marks) can be obtained until a valid method has been established. Accuracy marks may be given for the correct answer only (c.a.o.) or for answers correctly followed through from an incorrect previous answer.
  • Some questions may also gain explanation marks (E) where further explanation is required.
  • Method marks cannot be lost for arithmetic errors. Sometimes, e.g. in curve sketching, marks are awarded independently of method marks; these are called B marks.
  • Care is taken in marking schemes to see that a slip does not attract an excessive penalty. Nevertheless, high grades cannot be achieved on method marks alone and accuracy is essential for the award of higher grades.
  • Orderly and logical presentation is of considerable advantage to candidates in making the best use of their time. However, long methods are not directly penalised as candidates using such methods have already penalised themselves by using up the time that could have been more profitably spent on other questions.

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This question appears in the following syllabi:

SyllabusModuleSectionTopicExam Year
AP Calculus AB (USA)1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
AP Calculus BC (USA)1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
AQA A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
AQA AS Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraSolving with Discriminants-
AQA AS/A2 Maths 2017Pure MathsAlgebraSolving with Discriminants-
CBSE X (India)AlgebraPolynomialsZeros-
CCEA A-Level (NI)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
CIE A-Level (UK)P1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Edexcel A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving2005
Edexcel AS Maths 2017Pure MathsQuadraticsSolving with Discriminants-
Edexcel AS/A2 Maths 2017Pure MathsQuadraticsSolving with Discriminants-
I.B. Higher Level2Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
I.B. Standard Level2Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Methods (UK)M1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
OCR A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
OCR AS Maths 2017Pure MathsEquations and QuadraticsSolving with Discriminants-
OCR MEI AS Maths 2017Pure MathsQuadraticsSolving with Discriminants-
OCR-MEI A-Level (UK - Pre-2017)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Pre-U A-Level (UK)1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Scottish (Highers + Advanced)HM1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Scottish HighersM1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
Universal (all site questions)AAlgebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-
WJEC A-Level (Wales)C1Algebra and FunctionsQuadratic solving-