Cambridge exercises: are they unnecessarily challenging? (1 Viewer)

nuvardex

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I have a general question.

My school currently uses the Maths in Focus textbooks - they're clear, easy to understand, and the homework questions aren't too difficult. I, temporarily, wanted to give the Cambridge Year 11 2U questions a go, and I found that they are quite challenging and vary in difficulty compared to Maths in Focus; the questions aren't as "example orientated" as MIF, if that makes sense (in other words, they're not very similar to the examples).

Doing practice exams, I tend to get an average of 80-84% at the moment SOLELY from technique that I've developed from doing the questions in MIF, yet, people in HSC discussion groups advise that Cambridge is just "the better textbook" and that the questions they offer are able to prepare you for exams, although, I would have to disagree. From the practice exams that I've completed off acehsc and Thsc, the questions aren't much more difficult when compared to MIF. Sure, there are some in there which make you think slightly harder, but I find them more intuitive than Cambridge questions, hence, is it really necessary for someone doing 2U to bother with Cambridge?

I understand that Cambridge would be a good option for EX1 or EXT2, but personally, did you or your friends, each who used a different textbook, actually differ in marks depending on whether you used MIF or Cambridge?

Hope someone can help!

Thanks :)
 

yanujw

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I would reccommend Cambridge to MIF, it has more nuanced examples and better practice for harder questions. Looking at MIF, my opinion is that it's a waste of time to consistently repeat the exact same skill for 10 questions.

If you want a good middle ground between easy explanations and questions of varying difficulty, I reccommend the Howard Textbook + 1000 revision questions for Ext 2. Maybe others can comment on other good textbooks for 3 and 2u?
 

specificagent1

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Cambridge as good questions but the explanation isnt very good which is why you should have a teacher that teaches the concepts first
 

ExtremelyBoredUser

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I have a general question.

My school currently uses the Maths in Focus textbooks - they're clear, easy to understand, and the homework questions aren't too difficult. I, temporarily, wanted to give the Cambridge Year 11 2U questions a go, and I found that they are quite challenging and vary in difficulty compared to Maths in Focus; the questions aren't as "example orientated" as MIF, if that makes sense (in other words, they're not very similar to the examples).

Doing practice exams, I tend to get an average of 80-84% at the moment SOLELY from technique that I've developed from doing the questions in MIF, yet, people in HSC discussion groups advise that Cambridge is just "the better textbook" and that the questions they offer are able to prepare you for exams, although, I would have to disagree. From the practice exams that I've completed off acehsc and Thsc, the questions aren't much more difficult when compared to MIF. Sure, there are some in there which make you think slightly harder, but I find them more intuitive than Cambridge questions, hence, is it really necessary for someone doing 2U to bother with Cambridge?

I understand that Cambridge would be a good option for EX1 or EXT2, but personally, did you or your friends, each who used a different textbook, actually differ in marks depending on whether you used MIF or Cambridge?

Hope someone can help!

Thanks :)
MIF is regarded as a textbook better for teaching concepts (or at least what I've heard, I don't really see anything better but thats what I've heard), I would say use MIF if learning from cambridge is exhaustive or confusing (which for most is the case). MIF doesn't have the same style of difficulty as Cambridge and is considered easy, which it tends to be, so it does not adequately prepare for the harder questions found in exams. Cambridge does a much better job in that regards since it has a variety of questions but I would say confidently that your best source for exam preps will be Ace or THSC as you pointed out.

Even if you're solely doing advanced, I believe that cambridge is still the superior choice. You learn less techniques in comparison to a MX1 student and you practice maths less on average than a regular MX1/2 student in your advanced class, The best way to be ahead of them, imo, is to be able to consistently do generally harder questions. If you really don't like cambridge and feel its useless, then there's no point using it, don't force yourself to do stuff you dont want to - just use MIF instead then.

One thing you must do though is constantly use THSC or Ace for exam prep, they're the best resources for really improving exam technique which is all that matters in the end when it comes to getting higher marks. Textbooks shouldn't be that much of a worry, use whatever you feel like as long as you feel like you're mastering the concepts and techniques for topics. I just refer to one book or another if I feel one does a poor job.
 

AKONS

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Cambridge exercises are designed to build up from incredibly easy questions to questions that are unnecessarily difficult. I'd say cambridge questions are great for building up answering techniques but the last questions in the chapters (extension questions) are usually just not even worth attempting as they are actually unnecessarily complicated.

Overall Cambridge is great for LEARNING the technique and not all questions are unnecessarily difficult, but in the lead up to an actual exam just do past paper questions.
 

Bw2004

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MIF is really good in explaining concepts, but in terms of questions I think Cambridge is better as it progresses in difficulty. However personally I feel like the enrichment questions are not really good, mainly because they overcomplicate it and it's not even that useful
 

ExtremelyBoredUser

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MIF is really good in explaining concepts, but in terms of questions I think Cambridge is better as it progresses in difficulty. However personally I feel like the enrichment questions are not really good, mainly because they overcomplicate it and it's not even that useful
i just go between terry lee and cambridge and cherrypick qs that seem hard
 

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