UPDATE (31/12/20) The exam is now online.
UPDATE (21/11/20) A link to a parent complaining about the Methods Exam 2 on 774 is here.
UPDATE (24/11/20 – Corrected) A link to VCAA apparently pleading guilty to a CAS screw-up (from 2010) is here. (Sorry, my goof to not check the link, and thanks to Worm and John Friend.)
We’ve now gone through the multiple choice component of the exam, and we’ve read the comments below. In general the questions seemed pretty standard and ok, with way too much CAS and other predictable irritants. A few questions were a bit weird, generally to good effect, although one struck us as off-the-planet weird.
Here are our question-by-question thoughts:
MCQ1. A trivial composition of functions question.
MCQ2. A simple remainder theorem question.
MCQ3. A simple antidifferentiation question, although the 2x under the root sign will probably trick more than a few students.
MCQ4. A routine trig question made ridiculous in the standard manner. Why the hell write the solutions to other than in the form ?
MCQ5. A trivial asymptotes question.
MCQ6. A standard and easy graph of the derivative question.
MCQ7. A nice chain rule question. It’s easy, but we’re guessing plenty of students will screw it up.
MCQ8. A routine and routinely depressing binomial CAS question.
MCQ9. A routine transformation of an integral question. Pretty easy with John Friend’s gaming of the question, or anyway, but these questions seem to cause problems.
MCQ10. An unusual but OK logarithms question. It’s easy, but the non-standardness will probably confuse a number of students.
MCQ11. A standard Z distribution question.
MCQ12. A pretty easy but nice trigonometry and clock hands question.
MCQ13. The mandatory idiotic matrix transformation question, made especially idiotic by the eccentric form of the answers.
MCQ14. Another standard Z distribution question: do we really need two of these? This one has a strangely large number of decimal places in the answers, the last of which appears to be incorrect.
MCQ15. A nice average value of a function question. It can be done very quickly by first raising and then lowering the function by units.
MCQ16. A routine max-min question, which would be nice in a CAS-free world.
MCQ17. A really weird max-min question. The problem is to find the maximum vertical intercept of . It is trivial if one uses the convexity, but that is far from trivial to think of. Presumably some Stupid CAS Trick will also work.
MCQ18. A somewhat tangly range of a function question. A reasonable question, and not hard if you’re guided by a graph, but we suspect students won’t do the question that well.
MCQ19. A peculiar and not very good “probability function” question. In principle the question is trivial, but it’s made difficult by the weirdness, which outweighs the minor point of the question.
MCQ20. All we can think is the writers dropped some acid. See here.
And, we’re finally done, thank God. We’ve gone through Section B of the exam and read the comments below, and we’re ready to add our thoughts.
This update will be pretty brief. Section B of Methods Exam 2 is typically the Elephant Man of VCE mathematics, and this year is no exception. The questions are long and painful and aimless and ridiculous and CAS-drenched, just as they always are. There’s not much point in saying anything but “No”.
Here are our question-by-question thoughts:
Q1. What could be a nice question about the region trapped between two functions becomes pointless CAS shit. Finding “the minimum value of the graph of ” is pretty weird wording. The sequence of transformations asked for in (d) is not unique, which is OK, as long as the graders recognise this. (Textbooks seem to typically get this wrong.)
Q2. Yet another fucking trig-shaped river. The subscripts are unnecessary and irritating.
Q3. Ridiculous modelling of delivery companies, with clumsy wording throughout. Jesus, at least give the companies names, so we don’t have to read “rival transport company” ten times. And, yet again with the independence:
“Assume that whether each delivery is on time or earlier is
independent of other deliveries.”
Q4. Aimless trapping of area between a function and line segments.
Q5. The most (only) interesting question, concerning tangents of , but massively glitchy and poorly worded, and it’s still CAS shit. The use of subscripts is needless and irritating. More Fantasyland computation, calculating in part (a), and then considering the existence of in part (b). According to the commenters, part (d)(ii) screws up on a Casio. Part (e) could win the Bulwer-Lytton contest:
“Find the values of for which the graphs of and ,
where exists, are parallel and where “
We have no clue what was intended for part (g), a 1-marker asking students to “find” which values of result in having a tangent at some with -intercept at . We can’t even see the Magritte for this one; is it just intended for students to guess? Part (h) is a needless transformation question, needlessly in matrix form, which is really the perfect way to end.