• Ned

Week starting 12 October


As we move closer and closer towards the exam, my advice to students would be to begin working through practice exams made by external companies and past papers from VCAA. Hopefully people have completed their bound references and can use them whilst working through practice papers.


These are recommendations and not everyone learns in the same way, so take all advice with a grain of salt.

Practice Exams

I have mentioned this before, but I think it is a really good idea to reiterate it now; I don’t believe students have to be attempting practice exams in strict exam like conditions. At this stage last year, I was splitting up practice exams into ‘chunks’ and working through the exams bit by bit with breaks where necessary. I would also typically be listening to music or a podcast whilst doing exams. I think this is a good way to keep strong motivation levels for Further Maths throughout the next 5 weeks.

Last week, I went through two typical types of questions used in Further Maths exams. This week I will go through another two district styles of questions that I frequently noticed whilst working through past VCAA exam papers.

‘Process of Elimination Questions’

Questions that demand a ‘process of elimination’ are extremely common in Further Exams, particularly in multiple choice examination. I think students sometimes struggle with these questions as they select an answer that makes sense without looking at all the other possible options. To ensure you do not make a mistake on this type of question, always read all given options and chose the ‘most correct answer’. An example of this style of question is given below.

‘Common Mistake Questions’

This type of question is a favourite of exam writers in the multiple-choice exam. The question will typically seem straight forward, however, the corresponding options will all be conceivable answers if made a mistake was made throughout the working out process. This means that if students do make a slight error whilst working out their response, they will still believe their answer is correct as it matches with a corresponding option. To avoid losing marks on this style of question, always double check your working out no matter if your response does match a corresponding multiple-choice answer; examiners may be trying to trick you like this.

Here is an example question in this style. See below how I made two errors in my working out; I used the ‘Z-Score’ formula incorrectly and converted my answer into decimals incorrectly. Even though I made two errors, my answer still matches one of the multiple-choice answers. Always double check your working out even if your answer does match a corresponding option.

Below is the correct working out for this question.


This week we went through another two very common styles of questions used by examiners in the past, I hope these examples are helpful for students to obtain a better understanding of how to answer such questions.

See you next week.

Stay Safe!

Have a question?

In the final weeks before exams Ned will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Ned might answer it live!

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