At York Maths Tutor we select a different GCSE Maths topic each month to look at in more detail and discuss the types of issues that students struggle with. This month's topic is standard index form or sometimes just called standard form.
We see many Maths students being able to do the basics but often struggling when it comes to multiplying and dividing standard from especially if the first part of the answer obtained is a double digit number as this is often left which means the second mark is lost. We sometimes see students converting the standard form into a 'normal' number first but again this is an inefficient method that often results in mistakes. At York Maths Tutor our advice is to 'treat numbers like normal' so if it is a division, divide the numbers in front of the x10 and then use the algebra rules for powers, so in division you minus the powers, in multiplication you add the powers. If the number is 10 or above then you have to move the decimal place to make it below 10, so for instance if it was 15x104 you would move the decimal to make 1.5 and then add one to the power so 1.5x105. These two mark standard from questions are level 5-8 and often come up as part of multiple standard form questions usually making up 4 marks in total. We hoped this little bit of advice helps with your standard form questions going forward!
Watch out for the November topic in the next few weeks!
If you are looking for a GCSE Maths tutor in York, make sure you contact York Maths Tutor!