Personally, I find SEAB-Cambridge getting more and more creative these days. Looking at the recent practical exams, they seem to prefer students to think and perform on the spot. If we look elsewhere to O’levels, this seem to be the trend too. I will prefer to say that TYS are useful to get students used to the answering style, however students should not be over reliant on TYS. It is crucial for students to have a strong understanding of the content of H2 Mathematics. Other words, know what you are doing.
Looking at 2017, one example of think and perform would be the ratio test. This question also opens up the door to testing Maclaurin’s Series with sum to infinity, which is more like a university know-how. To quote a Friend, A’levels is Pre-U after all. Aside from this, would be the conditional probability application with regards to quick test. We also saw a handful of definition question which Cambridge was also very specific in their demands and were looking for certain keys. Examples we saw in 2017 are the definition of line, plane and random sample. Aside from these, the paper in general, was manageable, with a handful of constants to test students’ ability at an entry level.
Going into 2018, students should be aware of proper terminologies taught in H2 Mathematics, for instance, polar form of a complex number. The nitty gritty details. Definitions are very crucial, as I make my students memorise them. They are free marks if you can nail all the key words well. Given how the practicals were like, the papers can test anything. After all, application questions involves teaching a concept and having students apply on the spot.
If you are really running into a brick wall for preparation, make sure your concepts are strong. Review them again. Trust Cambridge to be Creative and not just test applications with vectors and DE. Piecewise functions are important to understand, composite functions too. Parametric equations, with unknowns or arbitrary parameter are good to understand, especially find definite integrals with them. Trigonometry is important to know, and students should do quick review on the assumed knowledge from secondary school.
Lastly, make sure you learn to manage your time well. If you observe the marks, the first five to six questions doesn’t really go more than 40 marks or so. The application questions, on the other hand, and there will be at least two, will weight at least 25% together. So make sure you get there.