21804 questions

### How does conduction work in metals?

A metal has free electrons, so when it is heated these electrons gain kinetic energy, meaning they move faster. As a result, these free electrons will collide with other electrons or ions, transferring energy throughout the metal.
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### How do I factorise quadratic equations?

x2+x-6=y Is the equation we will use to demonstrate how to factorise quadratics. The first step involves using the basic shape of all quadratic factorisation: ax2+bx+c=y x2+x-6=y (Cx+A)(Dx+B)=y We must realize certain equalities that appear between the different expressions of this equation. 1. Cx*Dx=ax2 C*Dx2=ax2 Cancelling x2 C*D=a 2. A*B=c 3. Cx*B+Dx*A=bx B*Cx+A*Dx=bx Cancelling x B*C+A*D=b This rigid layout can be used to factorise quadratics, but quadratics are all about pattern recognition and a small amount of practice goes a long way. x2+x-6=y ax2+bx+c=y 1. As our quadratic has no number multiplying on x^2 the first step of the solution is simple, we know that both C and D are equal to 1 as 1 only has one factor. C*D=a C*D=1 1*1=1 2. This is where paths in the solution diverge, as c in our equation, -6, has a number of factors Those factors are: +3*-2=-6 -3*+2=-6 +1*-6=-6 -1*+6=-6 A*B=-6 So we know the A and B are one of these factor pairs. 3. B*C+A*D=b From step 1 in our solution, we know that both C and D are equal to 1. Meaning we can simplify our equation: A+B=b A+B=1 Now, from the factors we found in step 2, we must select a pair thats sum equals 1. +3-2=1, so we know that A=+3 and B=-2 (it is arbritrary which number is assigned to each letter as the rest of the equation is the same). ax2+bx+c=y x2+x-6=y (Cx+A)(Dx+B)=y C=1 D=1 A=+3 B=-2 x2+x-6=y (1x+3)(1x-2)=y Finally, checking our answer: 1x*1x+3x-2x-6=y x2+x-6=y Following a rigid method is not recomended for solving quadratics, remember steps and the equalities that must occur, and practice, are the most important things.
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### How do I use the chain rule to differentiate polynomial powers of e?

e(x^2+2)=f(x)=y Is the equation we will use to demonstrate correct use of the chain rule. The equation at the core of the chain rule is: dy/dx=dt/dx*dy/dt Seeing that dt as a numerator and dt as a denominator are both present in the equation allows us to cancel dt from the equation. When using the chain rule, firstly, we must express f(x) using a simpler power of e, to do this we set t equal to x2+2, giving us the following equalities. t=x2+2 y=et From our differentiation rules we know that: y=et dy/dt=et And: t=x2+2 dt/dx=2x Finally, we substitute into dy/dx=dt/dx*dy/dt  (dy/dt)*(dt/dx)=dy/dx (e(x^2+2))*(2x)=dy/dx y=e(x^2+2) dy/dx=2xe(x^2+2)
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### What is Effective Nuclear Charge?

Effective Nuclear Charge is the net positive nuclear charge experienced by a valence electron orbiting the positively charged nucleus in an atom. Effective nuclear charge is redcued by: -increased distance between nucleus and subject electron -increased electron shielding(more electrons between subject electron and nucleus) -reduced number of protons in nucleus(reducing overall positive charge in nucleus)
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### How do I write a good personal statement for Oxbridge?

A good personal statement depends on the subject you’re applying for, but here are a few tips:

1. Make sure that about most of the statement is about your pursuits relevant to the course (I suggest around ¾). Tutors only truly care about your intellectual ability and interests; non-relevant extra-curriculars only really serve to supplement this and show you can manage your time. 2. Don’t just list books and extra-curriculars, but show what you’ve done/read is relevant:       E.g. Instead of saying “I did debating and public speaking” say “Debating and public speaking have helped me with communication…” Similarly, don’t say “I enjoyed such and such a book”, say “from such and such a book I have decided that…..”.  This shows you’ve taken something on-board from your reading, and also provides a stimulus for an interview question. 3. Show off. No-one else will do it for you, and an Oxbridge applications isn’t the time for being modest. Word your achievements in the best possible way (without lying, obviously). Do you play netball for your school? That’s great, but why not highlight your best achievements on that team?: “I captained my netball team which are currently District Champions” is better than “I play netball in my spare time”. 4Read things that excite you and which you can be enthusiastic about. There aren’t necessarily books you have to have read. E.g. for my PPE application, I talked about a couple of Development Economics books I had read. This meant I could be more enthusiastic about my reading, and meant I stood out from applicants who just talked about “Freakonomics” (the classic book every Economics applicant reads) Last but not least: 5. Make sure your Personal Statement is crystal clear to read. Include lots of paragraphing, and avoid long-winded sentences. A tired professor will be reading your PS after sifting through piles of other Personal Statements. Make his job easy and chances are he or she will be much more likely to accept you.
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### How do you find the coordinates of stationary points on a graph?

First differentiate the function:  y = f(x)   =>   dy/dx = f'(x) Then set dy/dx = 0 and find the solutions. i.e. solve 0 =  f'(x) For each value of x that is a solution, substitute back into f(x) to get the y coordinates. We now have the coordinates of the stationary points.
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### Explain briefly the Normal Distribution

Firstly, understanding how to construct a histogram will make understanding the Normal Distribution aka Gaussian Distribution much easier. It is still an arrangement of a data set in which most values cluster in the middle of the range and the rest taper off symmetrically toward either extreme. The result is a bell-shaped curve which we can describe using two factors: mean and standard deviation. Just like a histogram, the more area there is, the more data points there are. However, the Normal Distribution gives us a probability instead. The precise shape can vary according to the distribution of the population but the peak is always in the middle and the curve is always symmetrical. In a normal distribution, the mean, mode and median are all the same.
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### Indirect statements are a mystery to me - can you explain them?

First, we need to understand what an indirect statement is, and the best way to do that is to work in English for the moment. The opposite of an indirect statement is a 'direct statement'. An example might be 'Pompey is a great man'. This is 'direct' because it is simply a statement. What makes an 'indirect' statement 'indirect', however, is the fact that it is not reported directly, as the above was. For example, I might say the following: 'Caesar said that Pompey was a great man'. The latter is, you could say, 'one step' away from Caesar's proclamation, thus making it indirect. English nowadays generally expresses this idea as above; x says that y is the case. What English used to do, however, and what you might find in 19th and 20th century literature, is the same idea expressed like this: Caesar said Pompey to be a great man. To my mind, thinking about English in this way is the most helpful way to understand the Latin. In Latin, indirect speech is characterised by the accusative case + the infinitive, exactly the same way as the alternative way that English used to express an idea. In Latin, the above example would be: Caesar dixit Pompeium esse magnum virum. You will see here that 'Pompeium' is in the accusative case, and the verb - here, 'to be' - is in the infinitive. This is the same in the second English example: Caesar said Pompey to be a great man. This also means that anything agreeing with 'Pompeium' - 'magnum' and 'virum' - has to be accusative too. This means that there's no word in Latin for 'that' as you might find in the English version 'Caesar said that Pompey was a great man'. You should certainly not use the Latin 'ut', as you might think. Note: there are lots of ways to introduce an indirect statement. In the above example - and a very common one at that - the sentences have a verb of 'speaking'. Here, one 'says' or 'speaks' that something is the case/something to be the case. One can also 'think', 'hear', 'feel', and many others.  Note also: The tense of the indirect statement is found in the tense of the infinitive. For example, if one thinks that something had happened, a perfect infinitive is used. If one thinks that something is happening, a present infinitive is used. If one thinks that something will happen, a future infinitive is used. For a list of different types of infinitive, see the second page of this open access explanation: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/101/IndirectSpeech.pdf Top Tips: 1) Translating English to Latin If you read an indirect statement, 'translate' it into the second English version. For example, 'the slave thought that his master had entered the forum' becomes 'the slave thought his master to have entered the forum'. This will remind you to use the accusative and infinitive. 2) Translating Latin into English Look for the magic combination of accusative and infinitive. This will tell you that you are in indirect speech, and you can translate accordingly.  Examples: 1) imperator dixit hostes esse molles. The general said that the enemies were weak
or
The general said the enamies to be weak. b) Cicero audivit Caesarem appropinquare ad urbem. Cicero heard that Caesar was approaching the city.
or
Cicero heard Caesar to be approaching the city. c) coquus putavit dominum mox rediturum esse. The cook thought that the master would soon return.
or
The cool thought the master to be about to return soon. - Note the future infinitive here. These are the basics, but there are further rules to learn, which we can cover in more detail, and practise, in a live session.
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