First-Year Mathematics Honours Scheme 2020-2021


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  1. To help first-year students prepare for MATH courses at the 2000 level.
  2. To enhance an atmosphere that promotes the discussion of mathematics within the Department.

Date: Every Monday from 18/01 to 12/04 (except 15/02, 29/03 & 05/04)

Time: 18:30-20:15

Zoom meeting ID: 990 7944 0504

Zoom meeting password: FirstYear

Target: All students admitted to CUHK in 2020 who are or planning to major in Mathematics

Coverage: Foundations of future math courses

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  1. Q: Is this compulsory for first-year MATH students?
    A: No, this is entirely voluntary, but the scheme is designed to help first-year MATH majors build a more solid foundation. We hope this will help them succeed in MATH courses at 2000 level (and beyond), so we encourage *all* first-year MATH majors to participate.
  2. Q: Why do we need to take one more test on top of the final examinations of the first year MATH courses?
    A: The first year MATH curriculum is constrained by the teaching hours available. Many useful techniques, that used to be covered in HKALE Pure Mathematics examinations, are not treated to sufficient depth in the first-year MATH courses. In particular, experience shows that being able to do well in the final examinations of first-year MATH courses does not necessarily guarantee a solid preparation for second-year MATH courses. This is partly why we come up with this honours scheme, as a supplementary means to bridge this gap between the first and second years.
  3. Q: How hard is the test going to be?
    A: It is going to be harder than the final exams of MATH 1010, 1030, 1050 and HKDSE. It will be more akin to the level of difficulty of past HKALE Pure Mathematics examinations.
  4. Q: Is there any ‘punishment’ for not doing well in the test?
    A: No, absolutely not. In the worst case a student recognizes that he/she may need to catch up a bit, and we are always here to help. We take it as a good sign if a student is willing to put in effort.
  5. Q: Is this program for students in the MATH enrichment program only?
    A: . You can participate as long as you were admitted to CUHK in 2020, and have become a MATH major by August 31, 2021. For instance, we expect many of you to be first-year MATH majors admitted through the Broad-Base Science Program.
  6. Q: Is this program aimed at ‘top students’ only?
    A: No, even though this program is called an ‘honours scheme’, we expect most (if not all) first-year MATH majors to participate. We hope that regardless of your mathematical background, you will all learn something through participation in this scheme.
  7. Q: If I feel very prepared for the second-year MATH courses already, should I still participate in this scheme?
    A: We still encourage you to take part in the scheme. After all, there is no harm getting an honour. We will try to make it fun to take part in the test, and we hope all of you will learn something from the questions we set.
  8. Q: How should I prepare for this test?
    A: We suggest that you take this chance to review all the material you have learned in MATH 1010, 1030, 1050, and also attempt as many questions as you could in the past HKALE Pure Mathematics examination papers. It should help too if you come regularly to the honours class, that is held every Monday starting from week 2 of each semester.