This taster pack has been designed to give you a feeling for what it is like to study Essential mathematics 1 (MST124).
As can be seen from the sample calendar the module is spread over a period of about 8 months and is delivered in 12 study units, from one of which the extract is taken. Each unit consists of explanatory text mixed with worked examples, and activities and exercises for students to complete. Within the MST124 texts there are also directions to other module components. These include short videos, demonstrating how to solve mathematical problems, applets (short computer programs) that develop mathematical concepts, and details of how to use a computer algebra system. Most module components are available from the MST124 website.
One important additional item is the MST124 Handbook, which provides a summary of all the significant definitions, formulas and facts from the module. The Handbook should be used to help in completing assignment questions, and it reduces the need to remember lots of information particularly for the end-of-module examination.
Also spread through the module are assignments for students to complete by the dates specified on the study schedule. These are described in more detail under assessment.
Here is a recommended approach to using this taster pack.

  1. Have a look at the study schedule and the description of the extract to get an idea of how it fits into the module.
  2. Try to work through the extract as though you were an Open University student. This may well take you quite some time, but don’t get too bogged down in the details. We suggest that you print the extract, and study it with paper, pen and a calculator to hand!
  3. Look at the assessment questions based on the extract, and think about how you would tackle them. Do try and have a go at them, but remember that they may rely on material which you have not covered, so don't be too discouraged if it seems difficult.
  4. See how a student tackled the written assignment question, and consider what you think of their solution. Then look at how the student's tutor comments on their solution.

If you would like more details about the skills required to study MST124, try the Are you ready? quiz for MST124 .