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The number of students who sat for the 2008 examination was 4108. The overall quality of responses was similar to that of recent years but slightly improved on those in 2007. There were many very good responses and it was rewarding to see a substantial number of students who worked through to obtain full marks. There still appears to be a wide gap between students who understand course material and those who do not. Many students found difficulty in correctly carrying out simple arithmetic calculations especially involving decimals, or in correctly manipulating simple algebraic expressions. In Questions 7 and 8 answers were often left unsimplified. It was pleasing to see that few students dropped ‘dx’ from integral expressions. This was a marked improvement from recent years. Students need to be aware that the instruction to show working is applied rigorously when marking the papers. When more than one mark is available, and there is no working, students cannot gain full marks. Similarly, where there is incorrect or careless notation, students may not be able to gain full marks, for example, the lack or incorrect use of brackets in expressions and incorrect use of set notation for stating domains and ranges. Graphs should be drawn correctly, showing features such as smoothness and endpoints. Students are strongly advised to reread a question upon completion to avoid missing some of the required answer; for example, in Question 10a., many students made an attempt at f -1 ( x ) but did not specify the domain. Similarly, students should be discouraged from continuing to further engage with questions, especially in performing unnecessary algebraic manipulation, as errors can be made. As noted in previous Assessment Reports, there continues to be difficulty with algebraic skills, setting out, graphing skills and the proper use of mathematical notation.

Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2: Examination 1

SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Question 1 This was a straightforward differentiation question involving the use of the chain rule and the product rule, both of which were given on the formula sheet. Students need to be careful not to confuse the use of these rules. Question 1a. Marks 0 1 2 % 17 27 57 Let f(x) = (3x2 – 5x)5 = u5 , u = 3x2 – 5x then f 1(x) = 5(6x – 5)(3x2 – 5x)4 While generally well done, some students had difficulty with brackets in this question, either using them poorly or omitting them. Some students carried out unnecessary incorrect simplification of their answer. A small number of students attempted to expand the expression and then differentiate, but this was often not successful. The following expressions were commonly seen errors.

2 f 1(x) = 5 × 6 x − 5 × 3 x − 5 x

Average 1.5

(

)

4

2 = 30 x − 5 3 x − 5 x

(

)

4

2 or f 1(x) = 30 x − 25 3 x − 5 x

2 or f 1(x) = 6 x − 25 3 x − 5 x

(

)

4

(

)

4

Question 1b. Marks 0 % 29

1 5

2 9

3 57

Average 2.1

1

Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam

© VICTORIAN CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT AUTHORITY 2009

Some students left the answer as f 1(x). … 9 9 9 − x= 2π 2π or 9 9 Students were usually able to get one correct response or at least write down . ⎥ ⎝2⎠ 2 ⎣ 2 2⎦ = − ⎡ π π⎤ 3x 2 x= π π 5π .xε ⎢ . .3e3x + e3x f1(0) = 1 The product rule was needed to obtain an answer in this question.2 ⎛ 3x ⎞ ⎟= . Question 2 Marks % 0 13 1 8 2 7 3 15 4 57 Average 3. Occasionally students used incorrect values for cos-1(0. In this question students sometimes gave the wrong intercept (x = 3 was common). Students should label asymptotes and/or axial intercepts. A common incorrect response for the derivative was x3e3x. and did not evaluate f 1(0). Solving this expression caused 2 3 some students problems when the given domain was ignored.5). Rereading the question may have avoided this. although a number of students did not recognise this. 3 3 … −2π 2π 10π . It resulted in either only one solution or too many solutions. 3 .1 This question was generally well done with most students recognising a hyperbola.2008 Assessment Report f1(x) = x. 3x = π Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 2 . extra intercepts or no horizontal asymptote. Question 3 Marks % cos ⎜ 0 31 1 − 1 28 2 41 Average 1.

Some students correctly 4 2 4 navigated complicated expressions and their evaluation without recognising how much simply cancelled (for example.5 0 2− 2 2 Few students used symmetry of the probability density function to obtain the denominator. Marks 0 % 35 Pr(X ≤ ¼ | X ≤½) 1 Pr ( x ≤ ) 4 = 1 Pr( x ≤ ) 2 1 2 3 18 21 27 Average 1. there was a significant number of vanishing negative signs. while others.9 Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 3 . However. Question 4b. it appeared that many students found this question both difficult and complicated. Marks 0 % 31 ∫10 ksin(πx) dx = 1 1 2 Average 1. It was pleasing to see that only a few students left off the ‘dx’.2008 Assessment Report Question 4a. whose method was correct. incorrect indefinite integrals.5 ∫ ∫ = 1 4 0 1 2 k sin(π x ) dx k sin(π x ) dx = ∫ 1 4 0 k sin(π x ) dx 0. k). incorrect substitutions or incorrect algebraic manipulation. Question 5 Marks % 0 1 2 3 28 15 10 47 Average 1.3 20 49 [− k π k cos(πx) ]10 = 1 k − π k cos(π) + π cos(0) = 1 2 π =1 k= π 2 Although many students answered this question satisfactorily. were let down by poor manipulation skills and were left with π in the answer. Many recognised the need for conditional probability but thought the required intersection was between 1 1 1 and rather than between 0 and .

It was also common to see being incorrectly excluded from the domain. Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 4 . curly and square brackets. or missing the open circle at (1. 2} 5 2 and c.2008 Assessment Report ∫ c 0 e 2 x dx = c 0 5 2 =5 2 ⎡1 2x ⎤ e ⎥ ⎢ ⎣2 ⎦ e2c − 1 = 5 c= 1 2 lος (6) or lος ( 6) e e This question was generally quite well done. Common mistakes ⎛ 2 −17 ⎞ included not labelling stationary points or incorrectly labelling the right stationary point as ⎜ .4 Incorrect notation in various possible ways – incorrect use of round. and so on – meant that many students did not gain marks for this question. 0). I and U being confused. Marks 0 % 17 1 2 25 58 Average 1. A common error was to see the 1 40 Average 0. Some students interchanged the derivative in the place of the antiderivative.5 Most students realised the significance of the modulus sign and drew a graph on or above the x axis. The most common incorrect response was R\ {1}. expressions such as ‘ ∞ ] ’. with the 2 being overlooked as a point at which the function was not 2 differentiable. 3 Question 6b. Question 6a. Marks 0 % 60 df’ = R\{1 . ⎟ despite it being ⎝ 3 27 ⎠ obviously positive.

2008 Assessment Report Question 7 Students who obtained zero for Question 7a.4 = 0.2) + Pr(3.3) Average 1. a simpler approach would have been to only write down the three appropriate choices or list all possibilities and then select the three required. Question 7a.1² was variously calculated as 0. At times the four values were individually written down but no attempt was made to add them together. were often still able to correctly answer 7b. Some attempted to find the mean or median while others stated probability values or wrote Pr (X = 3) = 0.7 Some students found the instruction regarding the mode difficult.1 2 + 0.4 without specifying which part was the mode. Some students were unable to assign correct probabilities and a number had difficulty with completing the arithmetic calculation correctly. Question 8 Marks 0 1 2 % 24 21 16 Pr (2 of next 3 Fridays) = CCD + CDC + DCC 3 39 Average 1.02 and even 0. 0. For example.4 2 = 0. Question 7b.6 x 0.5 + 0.1) + Pr(2. Question 9a.0) + Pr(1.8 = 0. 3x 2 .3 Most students realised what was required to answer the question but the difficulty for some was in correctly performing arithmetic calculation involving decimals.1 (as expected) but also 0.4² came out as 0. Marks 0 % 24 V = 1000 = x 2 .2.6 + 0.y 1 2 42 35 Average 1. Marks 0 % 32 mode = 3 1 68 Average 0.2 Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 5 . However.3 2 + 0.6 x 0. and 0.016 at times.1 = 0. A small number of students attempted to use binomial probability.336 Nearly all students drew a tree diagram.4 x 0.5 x 0.4 x 0.2 2 + 0. 0.4 x 0. Marks 0 1 2 % 41 10 49 Pr(0.

3 Solve dA dx = −4000 3 1 gives x = 103 4 or 3 4000 or 4000 3 Most students realised that to solve the question they needed to differentiate A and then solve equal to zero. Most particularly challenging. some used the volume of the triangular pyramid given on the formula sheet. did equate their volume expression with 1000. but neglected to give the domain. often with x as both the angle and the side. Marks % 0 1 2 3 45 x 2 14 +x 3=0 11 30 Average 1. Question 9c. ∞) 1 2 29 45 Average 1. Students are expected to have adequate algebraic facility with these sorts of expressions. Finding the area of the triangle proved 1 absinC . dA Question 10a. with many using the formula A= 2 students. dx Students who were able to do this correctly almost always obtained the correct answer. Marks 0 % 41 1 2 28 31 Average 0. Marks 0 % 26 df-1 = rf = (–1. 2 2 Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 6 . Question 9b.2008 Assessment Report so y = 4000 3 3x 2 Quite a few students had difficulty finding the volume of the prism. + 3 xy ⎜2 2 ⎟ ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ + x 2 = 4000 3 x 3 2 Many students realised that the area required the sum of the area of three rectangles and two triangles.3 f—1 (x) = 1 2 lος e ( x +1) or lος e ( x +1) Many students did correctly find the rule for the inverse function. with some students believing A and its derivative were the same.9 Area = 2 ⎜ ⎛ x2 3 ⎞ . however. A common incorrect response was to attempt to solve for A = 0. others attempted to use surface area or perimeter. Students must be careful to explicitly use brackets for compound arguments of functions. Common incorrect responses were 1 1 lος e ( x −1) and lος e ( x ) + 1 .

Marks 0 % 52 1 2 f (–f -1 (2x)) = f ⎜ 28 − l ος (2 x +1⎞ ⎛ e 20 Average 0.2 19 Students should be aware that the composition of a function and its inverse results in the function y = x over the appropriate domain.2008 Assessment Report Question 10b. Question 10c. Marks 0 % 81 1 Average 0. Many graphs were either exponential or logarithmic. Again many students found the algebra for this question difficult.7 ⎝ 2 ⎟ ⎠ = −2 x 2x + 1 −1 A number of students were able to find − f (2 x ) but then did not know how to proceed or were unable to simplify their expressions correctly. Students who drew the line y = x often drew it over R even if they had stated the correct domain in part a. with -1 often disappearing during the process. Mathematical Methods (CAS) GA 2 Exam Published: 5 August 2009 7 .

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