The Grade 12 supplementary examination for mathematics was made available on 26 July 2017 for download.

This page looks at Question 1 of Paper 1 which, like all examination papers for many years, is on algebra and the solution of equations and inequalities.

Notice first that this Question 1 carries a total of 22 marks. The total for each paper is 150 marks, so that this question contributes 22/300 = 7.2% of the total marks. I will be emphasising this point, since it is possible for you to score full marks on this question and then this is already 7.3% of what you need to pass, and to excel.

Another point to notice is that the total marks of 22 for this question also indicates that you should be spending no more than 22 minutes on this question – based on the rate of one minute for one mark. This is not completely correct mathematically, since in three hours there are actually 180 minutes (you knew that, didn’t you!), but aiming for one minute per mark then should provide you with a 30 minute buffer for those questions you are struggling with.

Ideally you should be spending less time then the one minute per mark on the “easy” questions, to gain further time for the other questions which are more challenging.

You will have a little time to read and during this time you should recognise the problem forms and to plan your approach.

Sub-question 1.1 consists of three questions in which you need to solve for , with the first being a factored trinomial, the second being an exponent, and the third being an inequality.

Sub-question 1.2 uses function notation and asks you to solve the equation and then the second part, worth 4 marks is to determine the nature of the roots.

Sub-question 1.3 is simultaneous equations, with one being linear and the other quadratic, in two variables x and y.

Finally, sub-question 1.4 asks for the maximum value of a potentially complex expression, but it carries only 2 marks, so there must be some simple solution.