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Exam-Style Question on Differentiation

A mathematics exam-style question with a worked solution that can be revealed gradually

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Question id: 22. This question is similar to one that appeared on an IB Studies paper in 2012. The use of a calculator is allowed.

Consider the function \(f(x)=x^3-9x+2\).

(a) Sketch the graph of \(y=f(x)\) for \(-4\le x\le 4\) and \(-14\le y\le 14\) showing clearly the axes intercepts and local maximum and minimum points. Use a scale of 2 cm to represent 1 unit on the x-axis, and a scale of 1 cm to represent 2 units on the y-axis.

(b) Find the value of \(f(-1)\).

(c) Write down the coordinates of the y-intercept of the graph of \(f(x)\).

(d) Find \(f'(x)\).

(e) Find \(f'(-1)\)

(f) Explain what \(f'(-1)\) represents.

(g) Find the equation of the tangent to the graph of \(f(x)\) at the point where x is –1.

R and S are points on the curve such that the tangents to the curve at these points are horizontal. The x-coordinate of R is \(a\) , and the x-coordinate of S is \(b\) , \(b \gt a\).

(h) Write down the value of \(a\) ;

(i) Write down the value of \(b\).

(j) Describe the behaviour of \(f(x)\) for \(a \lt x \lt b\).

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If you need more practice try the self-checking interactive exercise called Differentiation.

The exam-style questions appearing on this site are based on those set in previous examinations (or sample assessment papers for future examinations) by the major examination boards. The wording, diagrams and figures used in these questions have been changed from the originals so that students can have fresh, relevant problem solving practice even if they have previously worked through the related exam paper.

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