maths study via The Open University

Archive for August, 2010

Nearing the end

The analysis block in M208 turned out to be a pain and the TMA even more so. I got my lowest course result so far for this – just in grade 2 pass territory.

Next came group theory part 2, and homomorphisms, conjugacy and the like. This was boring but somehow fun at the same time.

Anyway, I left study of the material until the last minute and, instead of having four weeks to read and digest the study material, and answer the assignment questions, I ended up with 8 days. Which is a bit nuts.

Each of these days became an 8 hour study session in its own right, apart from my coverage of the Counting Theorem – the very last bit of the very last book – which turned into a vaguely hallucinogenic 24 hour head scratch.

I pulled an all-nighter to complete that part of the block and was really unsure about my final answer – even after building a suitable model from 2 sandwich boxes taped together and trying to visualise everything. Arghhhh.

So, I sent the assignment off on the last day possible, and felt pretty confident about questions 1 and 3, so-so about 2 and 4, and totally sure I’d made a mess of q5.

The marked assignment arrived in the post this morning – nudging me to update this blog – and I was in for a surprise.

Q1 and 3 got semi-savaged by the tutor, but Q5 was deemed to be very clearly explained and well-written, garnering maximum marks.

So, completely backwards as to how I’d expected it to be marked and some serious red pen where I thought I had explained everything well.

Still, the important bit was that my last minute approach and 24 hour final marathon study session didn’t get too much in the way of the overall marks – back into pass one/distinction territory again.

In fact, I’ve had a play around with the online assignment grade predictor calculator and it turns out I’ve done well enough not to need to submit either of the final two assignments and still get a grade 2 pass on the assignment side (2.1 in normal uni speak).

Another permutation is to get 45% on analysis II (clearly the hardest bit of the course, and the final part up for study now), and 75% on the final pre-exam review assignment, which revises the whole course, and I’ll get a pass 1/distinction on the assignment side.

Alternatively, 75% on analysis II, leaves me needing only 45% on the final assignment, for a grade 1/distinction on the assignment side.

Or, 99% (yeah right, dream on) on analysis II leaves me not needing to submit the final TMA, such is the way substitution works on the course.

I shall, however, be going for it on analysis II – I have a holiday at the moment and will be starting study today (only 11 days late starting this time).

As for the final exam – truth be told, I’m expecting a pass 2 on that at best – certainly not a pass 1.

I got so jittered out in last year’s MS221 exam that I threw the integration marks down the pan and ended up a fraction short of a distinction on the exam side.

As this is normal for me in exams, why should M208 be any different?

My prediction – grade 1 for the assignments, grade 2 for the exam and, hence, grade 2 pass (2.1 in normal uni speak) overall.

Next update some time near the end of analysis II.