MST209 – All done and dusted

So with yesterday’s MST209 exam that’s another Open University module done and dusted. And if all’s gone well then I’m half way to a BSc in Mathematics (180 credits achieved out of 360 required).

This module has been hard as I’ve not really been able to give it as much time as it needs. I’ve had plenty of work on this year with work, work exams and starting up a small company of my own.  So time that could have been spent on MST209 has unfortunately had to be spent on things that make the money to enrol on the course.

The exam as always came as a bit of a shock after some past papers. The first question was certainly not as nerve settling as previous years!!

Section A, the multiple choice section, was OK. The only question I thought a bit unfair was a ‘which operation next” for a Gaussian elimination, where I couldn’t see ANY difference between 2 of the options as you’d end up with the same results either way. Section B was OK, happy with probably 75% of my answers, but made a stab at every question.

Section C I only did 2 questions, but am fairly sure I got pretty much everything wanted for those. The “Newton’s 2nd Law” one about sliding suitcases was a godsend for me, with only a slight bit of stinkyness in the trig normalising at the end. And the one on Scalar Integrals was good as well, though getting 2 differing indicators of conservatism, as we were asked to ‘discuss’ this in the final section I commented that this was “unusual, but assume it’s due to candidate error”.

Overall a good course. A lot less Pure Mathematics than M208, but certainly pushes your calculus and trig skills. With the applied/mechanics sections I found that getting the initial setup of the system mapped out was often the trickiest part of the whole operation. With hingsight I think I’d have done MST209 and M208 the other way round.

Now to look at what to do for next year’s OU courses. I’ve got to do the MSXR209 residential week at some point for the degree, so that will probably be May 2014, assuming the OU doesn’t cock the bookings up this year time like last. And I’m hoping to have a little break from ‘proper’ maths and do S207 – The Physical World from the physics department, but I’ll just have to check that it’s an allowable option. The main reason for not doing maths is that as I’m on the ‘Transitional Arrangments’ I have a deadline of 2017 to ‘graduate’ without having my fees triple, but I don’t have enough personal time to do 2x 30 credit modules over the next year. And the OU is meant to be introducing a new 60 credit point Level 3 maths course in 2014 which covers some of the material that I want to cover.

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