I finished the 2007 past paper for MT262 yesterday, and was pretty pleased overall with my performance. I even remembered to use the modulus technique for cycling through values (I’m probably a bit over-zealous now in looking for opportunities to use it, if anything). So it turns out that I won’t need a “%” tattoo after all!

Part 1 of this paper was fairly straightforward, and definitely easier for me than Part 1 of the 2006 paper. I’ll need to be careful in the exam not to rush the short questions, though, since over-confidence and impatience are probably the cause of most of the silly mistakes I make in assignments. The BBP solution booklet describes these questions as “mechanical”, and to some extent I think I do solve them in a mindless, mechanical way. As mechanical as they are, I find them quite satisfying because they get a lot easier to answer with a little practice; it’s like doing a certain exercise routine every day, and finding it gets easier and quicker each time. It’s not exactly stimulating or creative work, but you get the pleasure of seeing yourself improve gradually.

I usually enjoy Part 2 of these papers more, but this time I had a bit of trouble with the wording of Question 10. I thought at first that the question itself might be faulty, but it turned out to be my misunderstanding after all (amazing how words can seem to blend together or turn invisible entirely when you’re panicking!), so I think I’ll need to make a particular effort to read the long questions slowly and thoroughly in the real exam. I didn’t do too badly on that question in the end, but it would have been easier and less frustrating if I’d taken it slowly in the first place. It might even be worthwhile to write rough notes as I’m reading the question, to pinpoint the basic actual requirements of it, before I start working on my solution. Who knows if I’ll really be patient enough to do that, though!

So, that’s it for MT262 revision – I’ve sorted out all my stuff to take to the exam venue tomorrow, printed out detailed instructions for the bus/train journeys involved, and have bought and tested a particularly lovely Stabilo fineliner pen especially for the occasion. Now all I need to do is make it to the exam on time and with all my marbles!

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