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Mathematics N3 Exam Paper April 2020 Memo Discussion

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Mathematics N3 | 1 comment

Mathematics N3 Exam paper April 2020 Memo discussion is meant to discus the paper and look at how the students could have approached it.

This page is meant to discus the Mathematics N3 question paper that was supposed to be written in April 2020 but ended up being written in July 2020.

The reason for the change of dates was the postponement of the April exams due to the Covid 19 lockdown or closure of colleges. The paper however ended up being written in July 2020.

The exam paper was a fair exam and students who wrote the exam managed to grab some marks on some of the questions that have been repeating over the years.

Question 1:

Question 1 of the paper was a fair question and required students to apply their routine methods and involved factorisation in question 1.1. The main thing the examiner wanted to bring was to check if the students understood the k-method kind of substitution as it complicates when worked on directly. The question also involved the product sum-method I use when factorising a quadratic polynomial.

Question 1.2 required a straight forward recall of the remainder and factor theorem and the student was expected to have understood complete factorisation of a cubic function.

Lastly question 1.3 of the first question  was a question on algebraic fractions and required students to recall addition. It also involved the knowledge of factorisation especially of the product-sum method that I always advise.

Question 2

Question 2 was also a fair question with question 2.1 being somehow needing students to apply expansion though using the knowledge of exponents.

Question 2.2 had two parts with 2.2.1 mainly a repeat question examiners like over the years of logarithms where a student is required to change the base of logarithm and match them in order to simplify the logs. it is also a routine problem and with good revision a student would have picked up all the 5 marks and to me an added bonus. Question 2.2.2 on the other hand was similar to question 1.1 in terms of student’s ability to use the  k-method. The only thing required of the student was the ability to simplify fractions and simplify a square root. Testing of the two answers was very important as they were also expecting a student not to submit both answers as correct. That is an area most students forget and from the 6 marks given to it, most end uo loosing a mark.

Question 3

Question 3 was also another question on algebra with question 3.1 focusing on word problems. The word problem given was a common one and a continuos problem solving question from Mathematics N1 and N2 and for a student who did their N1 and N2 it might have actually come out easier. This area most students struggle but can give them good marks if properly mastered. Question 3.2 was another reppeat question over the years of simplifying a subject of fromula where the unkown is an exponent and the student must use logarithms or natural logarithms (ln) to simplify. Frankly on this question, I think the 5 marks given to it was a big bonus as I think most students revise that part very well. Question 3.3 was in two parts and was a routine and a problem solving question and most students might have missed the instruction on 3.3.2 where they were supposed to give product of the two solutions. The marks given to it I think was mean by the examiner I expected a little more considering the other marks they were so generous. Well I guess the aim was to make students pass it well.

Question 4

Question 4 was a question on coordinate geometry (or analytical geometry) and had six questions in total. The good part of this section is that it gives students an opportunity to work their way down. The questions were more routine with no much problem solving but mainly recall. Question 4.1 was on the gradient of a line. Question 4.2 was on the angle of inclination. Question 4.3 was on the distance of a line. Qiestion 4.4 and 4.5 were on the equation of a line for a peperndicular and parallel lines respectively and with question 4.6 on the intersection of lines.

Question 5

Question 5 was mainly on calculus with 5.1 on a recall formula for sketching a circle. 5.2 exepcted students to perform differentiation and 5.3 was on sketching a cubic graph.

Question 6

Question 6 was on trigonometry and it is one section that had questions loaded with problem solving with question 6.1 requiring students to prove using trig identities. It is a question that required some problem solving for learners. Question 6.2 Was mainly a routine question on solving trig equations. Question 6.3 required some problem solving muscle as they studens had to interpret a diagram and answer questions based on their proper analyisis and it involved understanding the combination of using the sine rule and trig ratios.  The last question was 6.4 which required students to sketch a graph and the domain given was small making the points challenging to use but an experienced student with graph sketching might have picked it up.

In overall it was a paper that was indded fair to pass and get a distinction. If interested in the paper you can download the full paper here:

Memorandum of the question paper

I also made a memorandum of the question paper and the video of the question papers are shown below. You can use the videos to watch some suggested solutions on how you could have approached the paper. You can actually give your self a test and mark your answers against mine to see how you fared in the test. Good luck.

Find the videos below: