POINTS TO REMEMBER…..while answering a Mathematics paper


If a direct address form is used…the ‘YOU’ stands for the reader, assumed
to be a student.

(1)Before you start writing anything on the answer sheets, read the
INSTRUCTIONS carefully, this can be considered as the warm-up session.

(2)Read the entire Question  paper minutely to identify questions which are rooted to your comfort zone. A strategic policy towards attempting questions and avoiding the unknown may work positively .

State the Question numbers clearly….if you are attempting an OR part, then
write Q 5 (OR) (i)….this is explicit. If your answer spills to another
page ,it is a good idea to write ( Q 5 OR (i)…contd.)

(3) Begin with a question in which you are HIGHLY COMFORTABLE.
Negative impressions are created in the Examiners when they visualize scratch-outs or scribbles  on the very first question attempted.

(4) NEVER EVER begin the answer to a question with the symbol
=>( implies that sign). This symbol should be preceded by some
STATEMENT. After a statement, the symbol reveals a CONCUSION.

(5) If you are asked to state a theorem, just state the theorem and
move ahead. Don’t indulge yourself in providing unnecessary examples.
But if the Question says “ State the theorem of ………..,and illustrate with an
example”,  then you must provide an example. Else your answer will considered as incomplete, and will favour a marks deduction.

(6) Quite often students fail to understand the difference between
“ HENCE prove that “ & “ HENCE OR OTHERWISE prove that”.
Here is a good example from MATRICES :

(a)State the Cayley –Hamilton theorem. HENCE find the inverse of
the following 3X 3 matrix……
If the question is stated as above, your hands are tied and
finding the inverse by using the process will not be a footstep towards the credit marks.

(b) If however the Question says “ State the Cayley Hamilton
theorem. Hence,OR otherwise, find the inverse of the
following 3X3 matrix. You are FREE to use ANY method
to find the inverse. You are free to implement your methodologies.

 Two examples are from Laplace Transforms…

Q: Find the LT of HENCE evaluate the integral
The result of the first part MUST BE used.

Q:State the Laplace transform of
Use the relation between and to find the LT of the
latter function.
( The relation MUST be stated and the
differentiation property for LT has to be used.)

(7) If a particular process is specified it must be applied and
used. For Example :
Q: Use the method of Variation of Parameters to find a
particular solution to the differential equation……(given) IS QUITE DIFFERENT FROM :

Q: Find a particular solution to the differential equation(given)In the first case you have NO OPTION other than the variation of Parameters method.

In the second case you may choose any appropriate method.

(8) In questions on statistics it’s always advisable to copy given
data in a tabular form.(should be filled in neatly. Using a ruler
to create the table is recommended)

If you are using upper and lower case letters please specify
their relationships. For example X = x – Y = y – are to be

Since the questions related to  statistics will need inserting data into formulas
it is always a good practice to state the appropriate formulas
BEFORE inserting the data( take a look at the allotted marks)

(8) Avoid answers which are circuitous and ambiguous.
Examiners prefer crisp answers, which are to the point.The allotted marks
for any question generally gives a fair idea about about the length of the answer.

(9) If you want to make a point,make it directly.Beating about
the bush will land you nowhere.

(10) It is a good practice to show your rough work on the
same sheet as the main answer.Small windows can be created
for this purpose,with  “ rough work “ written on the
top of each such window.

The examiner develops  an impression about your competence and

Prof. Arun Kumar Chatterjee,
Department of Basic Science & Humanities,
Institute of Engineering & Management (IEM).

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