The Flying Colours Maths Blog: Latest posts

How to do… R-sin-alpha questions

There's a very typical question in C3 papers that looks something like: "Express $3 \sin (x) + 5 \cos (x)$ in the form $R \sin (x + \alpha)$." (Sometimes it's a different trig function, or it may have a minus sign in it, but the same principle works for any

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Free-for-all Friday

It's C1 day (and C2 for many)! I hope it's gone well if you were sitting it today. Anything that bothered you about the paper? It's your chance to pick my brain about whatever's on your mind about maths. Got a question you've been struggling with? Got a topic you

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Aces in the pack

Today's big question is about poker. For some reason, statistics books shy away from gambling, reasoning that it's somehow harmful or evil. It's true, it can be addictive (although so can, for instance, using the computer or reading books) but it's actually the whole reason statistics exists. (This Italian lad,

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Core 1 graphs: all you need to know

Part I: Basic shapes of Core 1 graphs There are a handful of basic shapes of graphs you need to know about for C1, namely: - reciprocal graphs ($y = \frac{1}{x}$) - reciprocal-square graphs ($y = \frac{1}{x^2}$) - straight line graphs ($y = x$) - you know this one, right?

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Core 1 graphs: all you need to know

Part I: Basic shapes of Core 1 graphs There are a handful of basic shapes of graphs you need to know about for C1, namely: - reciprocal graphs ($y = frac{1}{x}$) - reciprocal-square graphs ($y = frac{1}{x^2}$) - straight line graphs ($y = x$) - you know this one, right?

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Free-for-all Friday

Welcome to the first FFAF of the new year! It's your chance to pick my brain about whatever's on your mind about maths. Got a question you've been struggling with? Got a topic you just can't get your head around? Found a great maths resource I might not have seen?

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Don’t Panic! How to hold off maths anxiety in your exam

I turned over the paper and froze. Up until that point I'd been convinced that maths was, and always would be, easy. As such, I'd done next to no revision for this paper, which I needed to do well in to qualify for my next year of studies. This, I

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What you need to know for Core 1 maths – a checklist

If you're sitting your first AS-level maths modules next week, you're probably in one of two camps about Core 1: The not-worried camp, thinking "I'll just wing it - I understood most of the stuff from last term, so I should be OK" The frenzied panic camp, thinking "oh shit

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Free-for-all Friday

OK! This is the official first Flying Colours Free-for-all Friday! Cue fanfare! It's your chance to pick my brain about whatever's on your mind about maths. Got a question you've been struggling with? Got a topic you just can't get your head around? Found a great maths resource I might

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Seven ways to revise for a maths exam (plus one)

I never really learned how to revise for a maths exam at school. I'm sure people tried to teach me, but I generally wound up reading passively through my notes, maybe copying them out, and possibly writing big question marks on them in highlighter. It worked ok for me, at

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