MST-124 revision time!

I’m done with the OCAS portion of MST-124!  That means that all my assignments are submitted, and the only the left is my certain doom the exam.  Thanks to the bewildering array of rules which make up the OU’s assignment substitution policy, I didn’t really have to submit my last assignment, TMA04, and would still have achieved a distinction level on the OCAS portion of the module.

It’s in, though, and I’m done!

Oh, wait, no.  There’s still that doom exam I mentioned.  Erm.  Imma talk more about the TMA.

The last TMA was by far the most difficult.  At least two, and maybe three questions aren’t directly referenced by the module materials at all.  And one other question is quite possibly a trick question.  I found three distinct and justifiable answers to it, so we’ll see how the one I picked goes.  (I liked maths because there wasn’t a subjective nature to the answers.  What are you doing to me?)

There’s one sub-part to a question which … Goodness.  It looked darned near unsolvable.  In fact, I thought it literally was for a few moments hours, because the modules basically only state that this type of thing exists, and doesn’t describe it at all.  Other websites also didn’t go into very much detail about the topic, so for once that didn’t help at all.  After trying very, very hard to crack the nut, I randomly selected the right nutcracker and found that … well, it was really all very simple all along.  (Except that it specifically asks you to do it in a way that makes it look impossible.)

I tried to make that last paragraph more vague, and I think I just about got it perfect.

So … Guh.  Revision.  I have a plan.  I’ve glanced at enough past exams papers to note that the majority of questions come from a set of very specific types of questions.  If I only revise those types of questions, I’ll probably come out with a Pass 2.  I’m starting to think a Pass 1 will be impossible due to how slow I am, and not all questions are from that specific set.  But we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve managed to give myself two extra weeks of revision time by finishing the study materials early.

2018/05/17 Edit: The mark on TMA04 for MST124 was the same as all others: 100.  I really would have liked some kind of feedback on my TMAs, and really only got tick marks on the answers.  I’m sure there were different approaches I could have used which could have been faster, or easier to remember, or in some other way preferred.  At least I can say I’ve been happy with my effort level all year long.  My practice exams are all coming within 3% of a distinction, so I’m really going to have to get that up about 10% to be confident under exam conditions.  I’ve got two and a half weeks, so here’s hoping!


  1. Mark,
    Interesting blog. After 18 months of half-hearted attempts to enroll, I finally did so this week – looks like MST124 will be on my radar mid-2019 (60 credit module prior) – you’ve mentioned Khan Academy several times (he’s quite the Nemesis) – any recommended paths to prep for MST124?

    1. Hi Steve,

      Congratulations on the huge step!
      My advice is always to find a teaching style that matches your learning style. Sal Khan does it for me, but if he’s your nemesis, you should steer well clear. Often people who didn’t like Khan liked Nancy from MathBFF/NancyPi. (She switched YouTube channels recently, so some of her stuff is under MathBFF, some under NancyPi.) Others have spoken highly of getting books for MU123 off of eBay or a used book shop.

      As for the path, I’d recommend looking at the MU123 units list ( and looking for weak areas, or do the AYRF quiz for MST124 ( to help spot them. The first four units are mostly review of the foundational maths required, so you don’t need to knock yourself out unless there’s a blind spot, like I had with trigonometry and logarithms. There’s also a “Revise and refresh” website that opens up for MST124 students a few months before the module begins. It doesn’t have full access to the MU123 information, but it has quite a bit of it in a condensed version, along with computer quizzes to chart your progress. They also host a few “boot camp” tutorials for students online before the module begins.


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