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Secrets of a successful maths student – part II


“It was not a good start to my Year 9 maths. I was about middle of the class and struggled with key concepts and was never keen to raise my hand in response to a question from the teacher – do you know the feeling? We had a visiting teachers from somewhere in Australia who asked us what we understood about the topic we had been doing for the last three weeks. Stunned silence. Nobody really knew what we were doing; after all, we weren’t really that interested in logarithms! Yikes, how embarrassing!! But it got me thinking and made me want to figure out what we were actually learning in class. I started out Year 10 with real determination to make Mathematics my best subject (simply because, in truth, it was my worst). So I arrived earlier to school, spent more time asking questions of my teacher (in private of course) and making sure that I did my maths homework first. You know what? Within about a term I began to really get the subject and improved heaps. When I put more time in I improved my understanding and results and began to like maths more as a result. It took guts and determination, but so do most things in life! At this time I took a real interest in sports and loved going to training. More training = improvement and this worked for my maths as well. Now that’s another great secret to success in Mathematics!”

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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