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A: With the introduction to the new modular system in 2013, the Malaysian Examination Council (MPM) did a major change in syllabus for all the 3 Mathematics papers in STPM. The old Further Mathematics T paper is replaced by a new paper of the same name without the letter 'T'. The syllabus has changed quite a lot, with the 4 chapters of statistics removed and placed in Mathematics T, some 10 chapters remained with minor changes, and the addition of quite a lot of University level Mathematics. Unfortunately, this syllabus only lasted for 2 years: the Malaysian Examination Council has decided that Further Mathematics will not be offered as an STPM subject anymore with effect from May 2014. Sad-nya.
A: No, for three reasons. 1, I am currently a PhD student, and I don't have much spare time to update it. There are too many changes involved. 2, There are some new chapters which I have never learned before, so I might not be able to teach those chapters well. Besides, I'm a physicist, Math is not my field of expertise. 3, I hope to let this blog as an archive, so that 10 years down the road, people will see and know how the Mathematics syllabus was 10 years ago. Haha.
Q: Where do I get the latest syllabus for FM (Further Mathematics)?
A: At Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia's website, here. But the subject has been removed, so...
A: No. The company who publishes one will end up in a loss, as there are too few people who will buy it. You have to buy various college level Mathematics books and study only the relevant chapters. I suggest that you can buy the following books for references (or download the e-books):
1. Gaulter, B. & Gaulter, M., Further Pure Mathematics, Oxford, 2001.
It covers Groups, Eigenvalues & Eigenvectors, parts of Vector Spaces & Transformation Geometry, Hyperbolic & Inverse Hyperbolic Functions, Techniques & Applications of Integration, a bit of Infinite Sequences & Series, and Differential Equations.
2. Bostock, L., Chandler, S., & Rourke, C., Further Pure Mathematics, Stanley Thornes, 1982 (Reprinted 2002).
This book acts as the helper for the previous one. The only important thing in this book is actually Transformation Geometry. But because the previous book is a "book of little words", This one gives the explanations.
3. Anton, H., Bivens, I., & Davis, S., Calculus (Seventh Edition), John Wiley, 2002.
You need it if you want to understand Vector-valued Functions and Partial Derivatives. I used this book for one of my undergraduate modules, by the way...
4. Rosen, K. H., Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications (Fifth Edition), McGraw-Hill, 2003.
You need this book to do Logic and Proofs, Sets & Boolean Algebras, Number Theory, Counting, Recurrence Relations, Graphs and Relations. Basically these are chapters 1 to 7. This is probably the most expensive one.
You probably noticed that I left out the chapter Plane Geometry. It is actually from the old syllabus of Maths T paper 2, I'm not sure where to get resources for this chapter though...
Q: For God's sake, do I need to buy all of them?
A: Not necessarily. The books cost around RM100 to RM200. You could just photocopy certain chapters from the library. But I recommend buying 1, 2 and 5. Another method is to look for e-books online.
Q: Where can get these books?
A: Search for them online. You could possibly get some of them from MPH bookstores. Note that they are not commonly found in the bookstore itself, so you might want to order them online or through their customer service counter. Try MPHONLINE.com.
Q: Where can I get the past year papers for FM?
A: I have uploaded the past year papers for Further Mathematics T on my Skydrive. You can find them here. I'm not sure whether they will be of much help though, since FM is non-existent now...
Q: Where can I find teachers to teach me FM?
A: Very hard, I would say. I do know of one who teaches in KL, that's unless you are staying near that area. Other than that, it's totally self study…
Q: Does FM help in coping with Maths in universities?
A: Yes, and really a lot! That's especially if you plan to do Engineering, Physics or Mathematics. You find it faster to catch up with the syllabus after taking it in STPM. Now with this new syllabus, you will be even more awesome in university. I suggest that you go through every chapter in your free time after your STPM / A-levels while waiting to get into university, it will definitely help!
Q: Which paper was easier? Paper 1, 2 pr 3?
A: Paper 2 I think. You'll properly die in paper 1, emo for one semester; do well for paper 2, happy for another semester; and do average for the last paper, and get your results.
Q: Do you have any study tips on FM?
A: A lot of them. Basically they are all embedded in my posts.
Q: I read through the past year papers. I don't understand a single thing what the questions are talking about. Is this normal?
A: That's definitely normal if you are looking at it for the first time.
Q: Do you produce FM notes?
A: My blog is actually my own 'lecture notes' for the old syllabus. You can print them and compile them, but don't sell without my permission, haha...
Q: Where do I get more exercises on FM questions?
A: Buy the textbooks above, do all the questions in the book. If you want more, try other related university level books from libraries and etc which have similar topics.
Q: Actually who introduced and inspired you to take Further Mathematics T?
Well, it was first my initiative. I wanted to take an extra STPM subject, but it was between Geography and Further Mathematics T (FMT). Since FMT is more relevant to my studies, I decided to give it a try. I looked up on the internet and realized the horror of the subject, and was about to give up (I even wrote that in my diary).
But somehow I met this retired teacher from Chung Ling, Penang on his website. Mr Ooi Chin Wah, told me that he was willing to help me if I had any questions. So I sensed a little bit of hope, I took up the challenge, bought the books, and started self studying. It wasn't easy though, even school teachers thought I was crazy.
There were other sources of help too. ReCom.org was one place which helped me too, as I had seniors there to ask questions for help. Then there was also Ng Xin Zhao, whom I stumbled upon his blog, and found his blog helpful. He got an A for it, and it inspired me to work harder. You can also check out the Further Mathematics T Facebook Page for more help from seniors etc.
Q: Can I post questions as comments in your blog, and ask you for help to solve them?
A: Well... Not a good idea. Firstly, I seldom check my blog. Secondly, some chapters (especially the discrete maths and the statistics) I really haven't used for a long time, and had forgotten how to solve them. Maybe you should ask someone else to help...
Q: I have a question, but it is not listed here!
A: Comment below. As long as they are not irrelevant (e.g. I want coursework answers), I'll answer you, and it will be inserted into this post next time. ☺