## Maths Challenge

Hi, do feel free to try out our Maths Challenge (Secondary 4 / age 16 difficulty):

Source: Anderson E Maths Prelim 2011

If you have solved the problem, please email your solution to mathtuition88@gmail.com .

(Include your name and school if you wish to be listed in the hall of fame below.)

Students who answer correctly (with workings) will be listed in the hall of fame. 🙂

# Hall of Fame (Correct Solutions):

1) Ex Moe Sec Sch Maths teacher Mr Paul Siew

2) Queenstown Secondary School, Maths teacher Mr Desmond Tay

3) Tay Yong Qiang (Waiting to enter University)

## Mr Heng, however, noted that how well a child does in school depends on how motivated he is.

Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat has said parents should consider other factors apart from a school’s previous year cut-off point (COP) when helping their P6 children decide on which secondary school to choose.

Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat (Photo: MOE)

SINGAPORE: Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat has said parents should consider other factors apart from a school’s previous year cut-off point (COP) when helping their P6 children decide on which secondary school to choose.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Heng said it would be good for parents to have an open talk with their children to know what type of secondary school they are interested in.

Mr Heng, however, noted that how well a child does in school depends on how motivated he is.

So he encourages parents to carefully consider the kind of environment that will best motivate their children, and enable them to develop themselves fully in the next four to five years.

Some children, he said, are late developers and the right environment helps them thrive.

Mr Heng urged parents to think of how best they can help their children develop confidence and enjoy the space to discover his talents and passions.

## Recommended Maths Olympiad Books for Self Learning / Domain Test

Math Olympiad Books are useful for GEP/DSA preparation. It is also useful for the latest type of test called Domain Tests, which is basically a subject test (Math included) for entry into top secondary schools like the Raffles / Hwa Chong family. There are different subject domains (depending on the school), ranging from General domain / Academic domain / CCA domain.

The Art of Problem Solving, Vol. 1: The Basics

The first book is written by Professor Derek Holton. Prof Holton writes a nice column for a Math magazine, which gives out books as prizes to correct solutions.

If you are searching for GEP Math Olympiad Books to prepare for the GEP Selection Test, you may search for Math Olympiad Books for Elementary School. Note that Math Olympiad Books for IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad) are too difficult even for a gifted 9 year old kid!

A suitable book would be The Original Collection of Math Contest Problems: Elementary and Middle School Math Contest problems. It covers the areas of Algebra, Geometry, Counting and Probability, and Number Sense, over 500 examples and problems with fully explained solutions.

## Other Suitable Math Olympiad Books for GEP

These are some books that are very popular and highly rated on Amazon.

## Math, Science, Reading Scores Show U.S. Schools Slipping Behind

Math, Science, Reading Scores Show U.S. Schools Slipping Behind

Posted: December 10, 2010 PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION: PDF

The United States received a stark wake-up call this week with the release of international test results showing students in other countries are surpassing American students when it comes to math, science and reading. China and Australia outperformed the U.S. in each of the three subject areas tested.

The results of a major international education assessment show that American students are lagging behind many other countries in crucial skills like reading, math and science.

“The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Test compares U.S. to other countries

The PISA tests how advanced students are in science, math and reading compared to their peers around the world.

The test, known as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), directly assesses how prepared teenagers are in math, science and reading compared to their peers in other countries.
The test is translated into each country’s language, and officials from the participating countries are able to review questions before students take the exam to make sure each test is fair and unbiased.

In the U.S., the participating schools and students are randomly selected. On average, about 4,500 students are tested in each of the participating countries.

## China and Finland lead the way

Chinese and Finnish students scored highest on the PISA test.

Each PISA subject area is scored on a scale where 500 points is the average. The results announced this week show many countries outperforming the U.S. Here’s a sample:

Math: China 600, Germany 513, United States 487 (31st place)

Reading: China 556, Korea 539, United States 500 (17th place)

Science: China 575, Finland 554, United States 502 (23rd place)

 The results of a major international education assessment show that  American students are lagging behind many other countries in crucial skills like reading, math and science.

## Study Tips for Mathematics

Here are some useful study tips for Mathematics. The key to acing Maths is to understand that practice is key for Mathematics!

Sincerely hope these tips help.

Please do not study Maths like studying History, Literature or Geography, the study method for Maths is totally different and opposite from studying Humanities. Reading a Maths textbook without practicing is not very helpful at all.

Once a student understands the basic theory of a certain topic (usually just one or two pages of information), he or she can move on to practicing actual questions immediately. While practicing, the student will then learn more and more knowledge and question-answering strategies for that Maths topic.

Even if you already know how to do a question, it is useful to practice it to improve on speed and accuracy.

The study strategy for Maths and Physics are kind of similar, hence usually you will find that students who are good in Maths will also be good in Physics, and vice versa.

Students from China usually do very well in Maths exams because they understand the strategy for studying Maths (which works very well up till JC level), namely a lot of practice with understanding. The strategy is called “题海战术” in Chinese, which means “immersing oneself in a sea of questions”.

Source for diagram below: Email from JobsCentral BrightMinds

## In China, all parents know that maths is the number one subject in schools

‘Above all, it is a cultural thing.” Professor Lianghuo Fan is reflecting on the differences he has noticed between maths education in China and Singapore, where he lived and taught for 40 years, and in Britain, where he is now based. “In China, all parents know that maths is the number one subject in schools, and they expect that in a modern society everyone must be comfortable with maths, even if that means they have to work hard at it.“That attitude is passed on to their children. But here in Britain, you can feel students’ attitude about mathematics is different. They feel all right if they say they don’t like mathematics.”

Professor Fan is not alone in highlighting this national phobia of ours about maths. The government has this week shown itself determined to tackle the problem head on with the unveiling of a new “back-to-basics” primary school maths curriculum, with a renewed emphasis on times-tables, mental arithmetic, fractions and rote learning.

Most people over 40 will see the proposals as a return to the classroom practice of their childhood – but in its introductory remarks the Department for Education claimed inspiration from Asian model that Professor Fan knows so well: “I never heard a child in China or Singapore say that they don’t like maths’,” he stresses, “without a sense of embarrassment.”

We are sitting in a café near Southampton University – where 50-year-old Professor Fan has been head of the Mathematics and Science Education Research Centre since 2010 – as we try to decide if anything lies behind the popular stereotype that Asian children are “naturally” better at maths than those in the West. It is, for example, in the core storyline of Safe, the recent Hollywood blockbuster, starring Jason Statham. An 11-year-old girl, Mei (played by Chinese-born actress Catherine Chan), is a maths prodigy who can decode number sequences at a glance – and therefore has to be protected from the baddies.

## Latest Update: We have created a JavaScript App to Guess Birthday Month from NRIC

Here is a Math Formula trick to have fun with your friends, to guess their Month of Birthday given their NRIC, within two tries.

(only works for Singapore citizens born after 1970)

## The formula is: take the 3rd and 4th digit of the NRIC, put them together, divide by 10, and multiply by 3.

For an example, if a person’s NRIC is S8804xxxx, we take 04, divide by 10 to get 0.4

Then, 0.4 multiplied by 3 gives 1.2

Then, guess that the person is either born in January (round down 1.2 to 1) or February (round up 1.2 to 2). There is a high chance that you are right! Usually, round up for the first six months (Jan to Jun), and round down for the last six months (Jul to Dec).

This formula was developed and tested by me. There are some exceptions to the rule, but generally it works fine especially for people born from 1980 to 2000.

Hope you have fun with maths, and impress your friends!

## Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday: Google doodles a calculator for the human computer

New Delhi: Google is celebrating the 84th birth anniversary of mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi, nicknamed “human computer” for her ability to make complex mental calculations, with a doodle on its India home page.

The doodle salutes Shakuntala Devi’s amazing calculating abilities with a doodle that resembles a calculator.

Shakuntala Devi found a slot in the Guinness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like ‘Fun with Numbers’, ‘Astrology for You’, ‘Puzzles to Puzzle You’, and ‘Mathablit’. She had the ability to tell the day of the week of any given date in the last century in a jiffy. Coming from a humble family, Shakuntala Devi’s father was a circus performer who did trapeze, tightrope and cannonball shows.

## Mathematician gives evidence at the O.J Simpson trial, helped find diamonds and now is determining the cause of cancer.

Who says Mathematics is useless? It can be useful one day in your career, or just for increasing your general knowledge.

Mathematician Professor Terry Speed wins PM’s science prize

Professor Terry Speed, Head of Bioinformatics at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, who has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Science. Picture: Ray Strange Source: News Limited

The man who last night won the Prime Minister’s Science Prize agrees maths is “not sexy” but it saw him give evidence at the O.J Simpson trial, helped find diamonds and now is determining the cause of cancer.

Mathematician Professor Terry Speed was called as an expert witness for O.J. Simpson in the famous 1995 murder trial where he helped explain to the jury how statistics underpinning DNA worked.

Simpson was acquitted after a trial that lasted more than eight months because his lawyers were able to persuade the jurors that there was reasonable doubt about the DNA evidence.

Forty five years ago Professor Speed testified at the trial of Ronald Ryan, the last man to be hanged in Australia.

He had to explain the geometry of the trajectory of bullets in the case.

In an extensive career the 70 year old statistics whiz has helped determine the size and distribution of Argyle diamonds and looked at kangaroo genomics.

Right now he is working at the cutting edge of medical science helping scientists develop statistical tools to understand the huge volumes of information coming from the human genome.

Work he’s done for a company on a thyroid cancer diagnostic test could help prevent thousands of people from having their thyroids removed unnecessarily.

At present some thyroid tests are inconclusive and tumours are removed even though they turn out to be benign leaving the patient taking hormone replacement therapy for the rest of their lives.

Some of his work is in developing tools that find which genes or gene characteristics may cause cancer if they are switched on or off.

Professor Speed says part of the reason so many people don’t want to study maths and science is they don’t see its potential.

He’s spent his life applying mathematical theories to crime, farming, mining and medical science.

## What is the Difference between H1 Mathematics, H2 Mathematics and H3 Mathematics?

Note: Additional Mathematics is very helpful to take H2 Mathematics in JC!

## Curriculum

There are three mathematics syllabi, namely H1 Mathematics, H2 Mathematics and H3 Mathematics.

Students who offered Additional Mathematics and passed the subject at the GCE ‘O’ level examination may take up H2 Mathematics. Students posted to the Arts stream and did not offer Additional Mathematics at the GCE ‘O’ level examination are not allowed to take H2 Mathematics but may consider taking up H1 Mathematics. However, students who are posted to the Science stream but did not offer Additional Mathematics at the GCE ‘O’ level examination are advised to offer H2 Mathematics if they intend to pursue Science or Engineering courses at a university. Students who wish to offer H3 Mathematics must offer H2 Mathematics as well.

The use of a Graphing Calculator (GC) without a computer algebra system is expected for these Mathematics syllabi. The examination papers will be set with the assumption that candidates will have access to GCs.

#### H1 Mathematics

H1 Mathematics provides a foundation in mathematics for students who intend to enrol in university courses such as business, economics and social sciences. The topics covered include Graphs, Calculus and Statistics. A major focus of the syllabus would be the understanding and application of basic concepts and techniques of statistics. This would equip students with the skills to analyse and interpret data, and to make informed decisions.

#### H2 Mathematics

H2 Mathematics prepares students adequately for university courses including mathematics, physics and engineering, where more mathematics content is required. The topics covered are Functions and Graphs, Sequences and Series, Vectors, Complex Numbers, Calculus, Permutations and Combinations, Probability, Probability Distributions, Sampling, Hypothesis Testing, and Correlation and Regression. Students would learn to analyse, formulate and solve different kinds of problems. They would also learn to work with data and perform statistical analysis.

#### H3 Mathematics

H3 Mathematics offers students who have a strong aptitude for and are passionate about mathematics a chance to further develop their mathematical modeling and reasoning skills. Opportunities abound for students to explore various theorems, and to read and write mathematical proofs. Students would learn the process of mathematical modeling for real-world problems, which involves making informed assumptions, validation and prediction. Students may choose from the three H3 Mathematics modules, namely the MOE-UCLES module, the NTU Numbers and Matrices module and the NUS Linear Algebra module.

The MOE-UCLES module is conducted by tutors from our Mathematics Department. The three main topics to be investigated are Graph Theory, Combinatorics and Differential Equations. This module would be mounted only if there’s demand.

The NTU Numbers and Matrices module is conducted by lecturers from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Students would have to travel to Hwa Chong Institution to attend this module.

The NUS Linear Algebra module is conducted by lecturers at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Students who offer this module would have to attend lessons together with the undergraduates at the university.

## Maths Skills to be a Doctor

Doctor and Lawyer are the top two favourite careers in Singapore. Do doctors need to use Maths? Read the below to find out.

Even if Maths is not directly needed, the logical thinking skills learnt in Mathematics will definitely be of great use. 🙂

I am not a medical doctor, but my two younger siblings are medical students, and the Mathematical knowledge and thinking skills have definitely helped them in their medical studies.

Functional numeracy is as essential to an aspiring medical professional as functional literacy. As a physician, perhaps the most important mathematical skills you will need are:

1. Basic mathematical knowledge sufficient to calculate drug doses, concentrations, etc.

2. An understanding of the core statistical concepts most commonly represented in the medical literature.

3. Knowledge of algebra to understand calculations of acid–base status, etc.

4. Ability to appreciate whether or not results are mathematically plausible.    (Nusbaum, 2006)

The careful logical reasoning that is necessary for the study of mathematics is an essential element of clinical reasoning. Although you do not need higher mathematics to get through medical school, you will need the ability to manipulate numbers, including fractions, ratios, powers of 10 and logarithms. You will also need a basic understanding of probability, graphs and simple algebra. You will need to rearrange equations and convert between units of measure.

It’s often unclear from your interactions with a doctor how much math she is using in order to treat you. While not all doctors have to use math as directly and frequently as engineers do, all of them must understand the complex mathematical equations that inform different medical treatments in order to administer treatments correctly.

## Dosages and Half-Life

One of the most common ways in which doctors use mathematics is in the determination of medicine prescriptions and dosages. Doctors not only have to use basic arithmetic to calculate what dosage of a particular drug will be effective for your height and body type over a specific period of time, they will also have to be aware of the medicine’s cycle through the body and how the dosage of one drug compares with the dosage of a similar type of drug. Sometimes doctors have to use calculus to figure out the right dosage of a drug. Calculus is the study of how changing variables affect a system. In the human body, the kidney processes medicine. However, people’s kidneys are at varying levels of health. Doctors can designate the kidney as a changing function in a calculus equation known as the Cockroft-Gault equation. This equation uses the level of creatine in a patient’s blood to find the level of the kidney’s functioning, which allows the doctor to determine the appropriate dose.

## Cancer Treatment

When a doctor administers radiation therapy to a cancer patient, the radiation beams have to cross each other at specific angles, so that they harm the cancerous tumor without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. The precise numbers for these angles must be calculated mathematically. Cancer tends to respond to any drug by mutating so that its DNA is no longer affected by that drug. Oncologists and medical scientists have decided to target cancerous tumors with many different kinds of drugs at once so that the cancer is unable to respond adequately. They use complex mathematical models that plot the speed and timing of the cancer’s different mutations to figure out what combinations and dosages of different drugs should be used.

## Medical Images and Tests

Doctors in medical imaging use two-dimensional images of a patient’s body taken from thousands of angles to create a three-dimensional image for analysis. Determining what angles should be used and how they will fit together requires mathematics. Medical researchers who study disease will analyze the mathematical dimensions of these images. Neurologists who run EEGs on patients to measure their brain waves must add and subtract different voltages and use Fourier transforms to filter out signal static. Fourier transforms are used to alter functions in calculus.

## Treatment Research

Medical scientists working with cardiologists use differential equations to describe blood flow dynamics. They also build sophisticated computer models to find the ideal size of an artificial aorta and where to place it in an infant pending a heart transplant. Doctors have to read medical journals to keep up on the latest scientific findings for the benefit of their patients. In addition to describing the calculus used to model health conditions, medical journal studies also make heavy use of statistics and probability to describe the health conditions of whole populations and the likelihood that different treatments will be effective.

## Maths Skills to be a Good Lawyer

Doctor and Lawyer are the top two favourite careers in Singapore. On the surface, Lawyers seem not to need much maths, but recent research shows that Mathematics skills and thinking may be crucial to becoming a better Lawyer.

There is a “highly significant relationship” between law students’ math skills and the substance of their legal analysis, according to research from Arden Rowell, a professor of law and the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The stereotype of lawyers being bad with numbers may persist, but new research by two University of Illinois legal scholars suggests that law students are surprisingly good at math, although those with low levels of numeracy analyze some legal questions differently.

According to research from Arden Rowell and Jessica Bregant, there is a   “highly significant relationship” between law students’ math skills and the substance of their legal analysis, suggesting that legal analysis – and by extension, legal advice – may vary with a lawyer’s native math skills.

What the research shows is that math matters to lawyers more – and for different reasons – than people have realized,” said Rowell, a professor of law and the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at Illinois. “People are only now starting to pay attention to the fact that lawyers and judges who are bad at math can make mistakes that ruin people’s lives. That implicates numeracy as a neglected but potentially critical aspect of legal education, because it’s not something that law schools have traditionally focused on when selecting students.”

# JC Cut Off Points (COP)

To sign up for JC Tuition (subjects other than Math, e.g. GP Tuition): Check out this recommended tuition agency: StarTutor!

Aggregate Scores of Junior Colleges (JC)

Outliers: The Story of Success This is a very inspirational book on why do some people succeed, and what makes high-achievers different? Famous author Malcolm Gladwell reveals the secret and how it is possible for average ordinary people to achieve the same results. (Best Seller on Amazon.com)

#### Also check out our post on: Which JC is Good?

1. RJC Cut Off Points: Arts 3, Science 3
2. HCI Cut Off Points: Arts 3, Science 3
3. VJC Cut Off Points: Arts 5, Science 4
4. NJC Cut Off Points: Arts 5, Science 5
5. ACS(I) Cut Off Points: Science 5
6. ACJC Cut Off Points: Arts 7, Science 6
7. TJC Cut Off Points: Arts 7, Science 6
8. AJC Cut Off Points: Arts 10, Science 8
9. MJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
10. NYJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
11. SAJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
12. CJC Cut Off Points: Arts 10, Science 10
13. SRJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 13
14. TPJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 14
15. JJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 16
16. PJC Cut Off Points: Arts 16, Science 16
17. YJC Cut Off Points: Arts 20, Science 20
18. IJC Cut Off Points: Arts 20, Science 20

L1R5 aggregate scores/ Cut Off Points (with bonus points) of students admitted to JCs in the 2012 Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE).

 Junior College Arts Science/IB Anderson JC 10 8 Anglo-Chinese JC 7 6 Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) – 5 Catholic JC 10 10 Hwa Chong Institution 3 3 Innova JC 20 20 Jurong JC 13 16 Meridian JC 9 9 Nanyang JC 9 9 National JC 5 5 Pioneer JC 16 16 Raffles Institution 3 3 Serangoon JC 13 13 St. Andrew’s JC 9 9 St. Joseph Institution – – Tampines JC 13 14 Temasek JC 7 6 Victoria JC 5 4 Yishun JC 20 20

## JC Cut Off Points (Bonus Points)

 For students seeking admission to JC/Poly/ITE and with the following CCA grades:a. Grades of A1 – A2 (2 points)b. Grades of B3 – C6 (1 point)
 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in both their first languages (i.e. English and a Higher Mother Tongue). This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices.(2 points)
 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in Malay/Chinese (Special Programme) (MSP/CSP) or Bahasa Indonesia (BI) as their third language. This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices.(2 points)
 For students from feeder schools if they choose their affiliated Junior College course(s) as their:a. 1st choice, or b. 1st and 2nd choices. (2 points)

The bonus points can be deducted from their total points, and will be helpful to enter the JC (depending on the JC’s Cut Off Points). Theoretical Minimum Score is 0 points (if under CLEP or MLEP programme), otherwise minimum score is 2 points.

## Teachers have profound effect on students, says Heng Swee Keat

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said teachers “grow knowledge, instill beliefs, inculcate values, nurture passion, and in so doing, they shape the future” of students.

File photo: Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat

SINGAPORE: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Thursday “teachers affect all of us more deeply” than one can know.

In a Facebook post ahead of Teachers’ Day on Friday, Mr Heng sent his warmest thoughts and admiration to all teachers who dedicate themselves to bringing out the best in children.

In the tribute to all teachers, Mr Heng said they “grow knowledge, instill beliefs, inculcate values, nurture passion, and in so doing, they shape the future” of their students.

He added that every child who grows up confident and compassionate has been affected by a caring teacher in some way.

Mr Heng said in order to give every child a profound educational experience, every teacher must be a caring educator.

# E Maths Formula List / A Maths Formula Sheet

Attached below are the Formula Lists for E Maths and A Maths (O Level)

Do be familiar with all the formulas for Elementary Maths and Additional Maths inside, so that you know where to find it when needed!
Wishing everyone reading this all the best for their exams. 🙂

E Maths Formula List

A Maths Formula List

## Maths Tuition

For Mathematics Tuition, contact Mr Wu at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com