Approaching unfamiliar situations and finding patterns is an important skill to have and is an effective problem solving strategy. Having this skill in one’s math toolkit is useful. Criterion B especially focuses on investigating patterns and explaining why they behave the way they do, which was exemplified in the recent Criterion B Assessment.

I think I did well this assessment. Unlike last time, I kept a controlled variable and tried to notice patterns with the dependent variables. By changing the controlled variable (to be specific, the number of edge points) it was possible to notice patterns for both Type 1 and Type 2 polygons, allowing an easier way to find the formula. When approaching these type of problems, I learnt to organise my data effectively by using tables and keeping a controlled variable. This was the deciding factor and the reason why I didn’t do so well last time.

If I could redo this assessment, I would try to keep some of my explanations concise. When asked why the number of edge points and inside points affected the area the way they do, although I used diagrams to support my descriptions, my explanation was not clear enough; this made it hard to comprehend. I also need to manage my time better next time because I left too little time at the end to write my final (but very important!) description. I should have split my time up in advance and know which questions to prioritise.

On a more personal note, I think that I enjoy the Criterion B tasks the most because they are challenging and mentally stimulating; the world of mathematics has myriad patterns and it’s very rewarding to investigate a few on your own. Plus, there are many other patterns yet to be discovered. This is why mathematics is magical!

Leave a Comment