General Mathematics Paper 2,Nov/Dec. 2010
 Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Main
Weakness/Remedies
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Question 2

1. Solve the equations   8 = 2(x + y) and 1 = 3(x –y) simultaneously.
2. If  = , find the ratio x : y.

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Observation

In part (a), it was reported that the indicial equation was attempted correctly. However, some candidates did not express 8 as 23 and 1 as 30 and so were not able to solve the equations. Candidates were expected to write 8 = 2(x + y) as 23 = 2(x + y) and equate the powers to obtain        3 = x + y. Similarly, they were to obtain the second equation as 30 = 3(x – y) i.e. 0 = x – y. Solving these equations simultaneously gave the solution x = y = 1 .
In part (b), candidates’ expected response was as follows:
Multiplying the given expression by the LCM of the denominators gave 4(3x + 2y)
= 9(5x – 4y) which after simplifying we obtain 3x = 4y. Hence,  = . Majority of the candidates also attempted this question correctly however; some candidates were reported to have started off well but were not able to get the final answer by dividing appropriately.