Differentiation is an important tool, which will be on the final maths methods exam. It can help us calculate local minimums and maximums, as well as the instantaneous rate of change or gradient of any point on a function.

In maths methods 1 & 2, you would have learnt how to differentiate from first principles, in the final exam it is perfectly acceptable to use only any of the short cuts shown here.

Notation

It is important to get your notation right when you are writing out the answer so always remember:

• When you differentiate “y” you get $\frac{dy}{dx}$
• When you different f(x) you get f’(x)