1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

A question about vector notation

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by gainly, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    When writing vectors I have always underlined them and encouraged my students to do the same e.g. 2i + 3k. Can anyone (ideally someone who has marked exams) tell me if this is actually required? It isn't mentioned in any mark schemes as far as I can see, so presumably they wouldn't be penalised for not underlining.
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    Like you I encourage it, but I don't think it is required in the exams
    gainly likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Thank you, that's what I thought.
    strawbs likes this.
  4. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    exam mark schemes have the vectors emboldened.

    I have yet to see a student who can write emboldened text.

    I think students should underline vectors to show the marker that they know which quantities are vectors and which are not.

    Assuming that it is not required could well be a mistake.
  5. DBizzle

    DBizzle New commenter

    I can’t say for sure but have also always assumed the same. I guess it would be a bit harsh to allow column vector notation which just requires the numbers, but then penalise someone who had the correct numbers but hadn’t underlined.
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    They won't be penalised for forgetting to underline but that's not the point. They need to keep track of the vectors and the scalars so they don't get confused if they take their studies further.
    dunlisnin and gainly like this.
  7. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Thank you, I'll continue to encourage them to underline.
    strawbs likes this.
  8. slstrong123

    slstrong123 New commenter

    They don't get penalised for not underlining vector notation but it must be clear what their intention is. Suggest advising students to underline but can confirm (AQA marker) they don't get penalised if not done in the exam.
    strawbs and gainly like this.
  9. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Thank you
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I have wondered why text books and exam papers don't underline vectors, rather than embolden them, so that students get used to the idea. I know that they don't have to, but I think it would help.
    gainly and strawbs like this.
  11. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    That would be a good idea.

    I only do private tutoring. The reason I asked is that very few of my students seem to underline vectors unless I tell to, so presumably they aren't being told to do so at school.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Or are being told but are ignoring it/forgetting. I always told them, and sometimes made a point of it "underlining because we are good mathematicians" or not doing it myself in the hope that somebody would pick me up on it. Didn't always work, though!

Share This Page