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#1
Hi

So I got an A* in Maths and Physics at GCSE, and currently have decided to do Maths, Physics, French and Fine Art at A-level.

However I'm also considering taking Further Maths instead of French as I think Maths is more my thing.

So basically I'm asking is anyone here doing or have you done Further Maths? Would you recommend it?

Thanks, any help will be appreciated.
#2
I did, and if you're planning on doing something like Maths, Engineering, Computer Science (what I'm doing in Uni, starting in September ) at University, I'd highly recommend it. However be warned, after 2 years of it you'll be absolutely sick of it. I sure was...

Be sure you like Maths enough to have twice as much of it per week. Also bear in mind its a COLOSSAL step up in difficulty from GCSE level, so be prepared for a numerical onslaught.
Last edited by mishax92 at Aug 27, 2010,
#4
I did it - It's invaluable if you go on to do science at uni (be it maths, engineering physics etc.)

I was lucky enough to do it at a place that had enough people to offer it as a full course (my whole class of 20 did it) but in most schools it's tacked on the end as after school lessons or one or two extra classes a week. I guess that's harder, but i also guess i can't comment. How does your school do it?

EDIT: by doing it within the same class as normal maths it wasn't so hard, but without the extra lessons it could be insane.
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Last edited by doive at Aug 27, 2010,
#5
If you're capable and willing to put in the work, do it. And I literally mean put in the work. A* GCSE Maths students may find themselves struggling if they don't put their back into it. If you put your back into it though, it'll be fine. I got a C in Maths because I didn't work hard enough throughout the year but beat my friend who did consistently better than me in Maths in school, and he could of probably easily got an A in Further Maths if he tried.
Last edited by Craigo at Aug 27, 2010,
#6
Quote by Craigo
he could of





You need it if you want to do Maths at university. If you intend to do Physics or Engineering, it's very, very useful. It is hard but it's worth doing.
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#7
Quote by doive
How does your school do it?



It's like a normal A-level choice at my Sixth Form. You need a B at GCSE to do it, but they strongly recommend you only do it if you get an A or A* at GCSE.

#8
Quote by The Chimney Man

So basically I'm asking is anyone here doing or have you done Further Maths? Would you recommend it?

Thanks, any help will be appreciated.


I didn't do Further Maths, but I did do a degree in Mathematics. In my opinion if you enjoy something then that's enough reason to go and do it.

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#9
For the record A level physics is nothing like GCSE physics.

I got an A* in physics at GCSE. Luckily I didn't take it up although my friend thought he could hack it. He barely scraped an E grade at A level. That's not to say that you can't do well. I'd just thought I'd put that out there.
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#10
Quote by Adam124
For the record A level physics is nothing like GCSE physics.

I got an A* in physics at GCSE. Luckily I didn't take it up although my friend thought he could hack it. He barely scraped an E grade at A level. That's not to say that you can't do well. I'd just thought I'd put that out there.


A level physics is very similar to GCSE physics. Degree level physics is nothing like A level physics. A-level Maths is no longer a requirement for A-level Physics so they've taken all the Maths out and it is just like GCSE.
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#11
Quote by The Chimney Man
It's like a normal A-level choice at my Sixth Form. You need a B at GCSE to do it, but they strongly recommend you only do it if you get an A or A* at GCSE.



That's pretty cool and pretty rare - i'd say definitely do it if you can! Where do you go if you don't mind me asking'?

If it does suit whats the worst that can happen eh?
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#12
I'm just about to start my second year of A-levels and am carrying on with further maths.

As far as the content goes, I found it a lot more interesting than I expected as basically all of the stuff was completely new to me. Also, I really like the mechanics modules, as they are obviously more physics based than the stuff that gets covered in normal maths. Another plus for me was the small class size, often there was only about 4 of us, so that made it a lot easier to get the teachers help.

Oh yeah and we got chocolate biscuits been as it was after school, cant forget that! Haha

It kinda depends on what exam board your college uses I spose though.... the way I've done it at 6th form, there are core modules and non core modules (in maths and further maths). The non core modules can be switched between the two subjects, so, say you did a non core module in normal maths and didnt do very well on it, a better score from a non core further maths module could be moved over, to get you the best possible grade for your normal maths.

I hope that makes sense... I'll try and find the diagram thats at the front of my textbooks that explains it better.
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#13
YES. Do it.

It's not that difficult, it's NOT a lot of work (I'm one lazy ass motherf*cker and I did it), and it seems to stand you in great stead with uni's. Also, a language at A-Level is waaaaay more work, and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more difficult, so absolutely no contest there! Easier, less work, and better respected for most degrees that you'll want to do? Well.....
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#14
Quote by doive
That's pretty cool and pretty rare - i'd say definitely do it if you can! Where do you go if you don't mind me asking'?

If it does suit whats the worst that can happen eh?



I go to a school called Katharine Lady Berkeley's in Gloucestershire. It's not a Grammar or Private school and it's actually mainly a language school!

#15
I agree with cm261..... languages are a complete nightmare at A-level. I did French this year.... I swear I got as much work from that alone as my 4 other subjects put together, if not more! I didn't find that I enjoyed it as much as I had at GCSE either... some of the content seemed really dull, I also had an awful teacher half the time!
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#16
Quote by doive
That's pretty cool and pretty rare - i'd say definitely do it if you can! Where do you go if you don't mind me asking'?


I wouldn't say that's rare at all, most of the schools in my area do it as a normal subject. EDIT: That sounds really dickish, not intended

On topic, do it, it's interesting and will compliment your maths and physics A levels as well as your degree if you decide to do a sciency subject. In terms of the workload, it's probably a bit more than the maths or physics work but not too bad. I didn't find the exams too hard but I did do shitloads of revising. Of course this all depends on the modules you do and which exam board you take. (I did AQA FP1, FP4, and D1 and got an A)
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#17
From my experience, if you plan to do mechanical engineering, it will help you a lot.
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#18
I'd say do it. I just finished A-Level Further Maths (with an A*) and it was great. Plus the bonus it gives if you apply for a mathematical Uni course is really useful.
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#19
Further maths is significantlly more difficult than regular a-level maths, but if you are really prepared to work at it i'm sure you can get a good grade. My little brother has also just chosen to do further maths, he wants to do physic as a degree, and his physics teacher said it would be a good idea to do FM, and his maths teacher was more than happy to let him do it after he 100% UMS for GCSE. also bear in mind that further maths is often a requirment for many maths degrees, and also its very useful if your doing any sort of physical science, engineering or computing.
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#20
Not British, so this doesn't even begin to apply to me. What sort of stuff is in Further Maths, exactly? Since a lot of us aren't British, and some of us (read: me) are curious.
#21
I loved further maths.
Since you got an A* you should have no trouble coping with it. It will make the ordinary Maths A-level seem like a doddle too.

I would recommend swapping it for French, I found trying to learn a language as well as doing maths was very difficult.


Quote by mergapoot
Further maths is significantlly more difficult than regular a-level maths, but if you are really prepared to work at it i'm sure you can get a good grade. My little brother has also just chosen to do further maths, he wants to do physic as a degree, and his physics teacher said it would be a good idea to do FM, and his maths teacher was more than happy to let him do it after he 100% UMS for GCSE. also bear in mind that further maths is often a requirment for many maths degrees, and also its very useful if your doing any sort of physical science, engineering or computing.

No university says that Further Maths is a requirement. They recommend that you have taken it and will often lower offers for those who do take Further Maths but it is never a requirement. This is because not every college/sixth-form offers A-level Further Maths.
Oh, Except maybe Cambridge and Oxford. But even then Cambridge says that A2 further maths is not a requirement.


Quote by Holy Katana
Not British, so this doesn't even begin to apply to me. What sort of stuff is in Further Maths, exactly? Since a lot of us aren't British, and some of us (read: me) are curious.

Depending on the modules it covers differential equations up to second order, non-homogeneous, complex numbers, matrices (eignevectors, caley hamilton theory all up to 3x3), hyperbolic functions, power series, statistics (chi square test and stuff around that difficulty level), further integration and differentiation and algebra (introduces proof by induction), further mechanics.

Basic calculus, stats, decision mathematics (search and route algorithms) and mechanics as usually covered in Maths A-level.

It's about equivalent to the first semester of university Maths here.
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#22
The first pure modual of further maths was mainly on Matrices, Complex Numbers, Roots of complex equations and Proof by induction if I remember correctly.

http://mei.org.uk/files/papers/fp109ju_3u57.pdf

There's an example of an OCR past paper for FP1, usually the first modual taken in it.
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#23
Thanks guys, all of this is really helpful. Does anyone else have any experiences of Further Maths at A-level?

#24
I did it, tbh its what got me into uni and seperated me from the other candidates as most for engineering only have standard maths and physics whilst I had that extra. Only do it if you can stand spending everyday of the week doing maths and even then you'll be sick of it in the end but it looks gd on your cv and at a level thats all that matters to the unis.
#25
Quote by windy.uk
I did it, tbh its what got me into uni and seperated me from the other candidates

This is a good point.

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Only do it if you can stand spending everyday of the week doing maths

This is nonsense.

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it looks gd on your cv

This is a good point.

Quote by windy.uk
at a level thats all that matters to the unis.

This is nonsense.
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#26
Quote by The Chimney Man
Hi

So I got an A* in Maths and Physics at GCSE, and currently have decided to do Maths, Physics, French and Fine Art at A-level.

However I'm also considering taking Further Maths instead of French as I think Maths is more my thing.

So basically I'm asking is anyone here doing or have you done Further Maths? Would you recommend it?

Thanks, any help will be appreciated.


I'm doing it. If Maths is more your thing, definitely do it. Can't you keep French if you do it though?

Last year I did the full Maths course and 3 other AS levels, do you have to count Maths and Further Maths as seperate subjects?

Oh, and don't listen to anyone who tells you you'll be spending every waking moment doing Maths. It's really not that bad. But you do have to work.

Just make sure you understand EVERYTHING in class, if you miss a day, catch up or you'll be left behind. You have to enjoy maths, which you obviously do. And be prepared to work your balls of before the exam. The main thing is putting the effort in... I got a B in GCSE Additional Maths because I was a lazy chode, and I managed to get an A star in A level maths. There are a few people who are probably better at Maths than me in my class who got As or Bs because they thought they could rely on their natural talent... don't risk it.

Quote by Meths
A level physics is very similar to GCSE physics. Degree level physics is nothing like A level physics. A-level Maths is no longer a requirement for A-level Physics so they've taken all the Maths out and it is just like GCSE.


This is fucking stupid, considering Maths is more important than Physics if you want to do Physics in uni. I don't really see why you would want to pick Physics without doing Maths.
#27
Quote by Meths
You need it if you want to do Maths at university.

imo you don't. first class mark (just) without doing much revision in first year; i didn't do further maths. i probably could've actually aced all my exams (apart from the group work module) if i made an effort but i just wanted the seventy.
you get taught whatever you need to know in university. they don't assume you know everything, they actually teach you anything they want you to know - or tell you to look it up. if it's maths, you can figure it out anyway.
i'd definately do french. i love the french language, though. it might help with maths as well because creativity is more important for university than being taught endless rules - unless you do engineering then do further maths. language involves a bit more creativity, something which appears to be absent in modern day engineering.
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#28
Quote by Meths
A-level Maths is no longer a requirement for A-level Physics so they've taken all the Maths out and it is just like GCSE.


IMO, it should be a requirement because Physics uses so much maths in it; someone in my physics class didn't take it and struggled hugely in Physics.
#29
FP1 isn't so bad, FP2 is hard (but not so much harder than C4), and FP3 was really hard
Depending on which applied units you take, you may either get it easy, or not. For instance, if you do a little bit of everything (statistics, decisions, mechanics) then it shouldn't be too hard. If you only do mechanics, and end up doing M5, then it will be pretty damn hard. I stopped at M3, and I'm glad I did.
And if I were you, I'd definitely do Further Maths. But I am rubbish at languages

Quote by cm261


This is nonsense.


Maths was 5 hours of tuition a week, and Further Maths was another 5 hours. That's 10 hours a week, and basically at least 2 hours a day. Of course he should only do it if he's not going to get sick of it.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Aug 27, 2010,
#31
Quote by National_Anthem
Maths was 5 hours of tuition a week, and Further Maths was another 5 hours. That's 10 hours a week, and basically at least 2 hours a day. Of course he should only do it if he's not going to get sick of it.


Didn't say he wouldn't get a little sick of it, I said that the:

"Only do it if you can stand spending every day of the week doing maths"

bit was nonsense. You aren't going to be doing maths every single day for months on end. Well, hell, you could do it 7 days a week if you really wanted to, but it's hardly essential.
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#32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meths
A-level Maths is no longer a requirement for A-level Physics so they've taken all the Maths out and it is just like GCSE.


IMO, it should be a requirement because Physics uses so much maths in it; someone in my physics class didn't take it and struggled hugely in Physics.


I agree with my mate Gez on this one... it is annoying as some people completely don't have a clue on the maths parts. But then again I know some people that really enjoy physics, and not maths particularly, and it's a bit unfair for them to not be aloud to do it. Separate classes would be ideal, but obviously that's not really possible in most colleges.


Did anyone else on here end up doing the Numerical Method modual... that was nearly the death of me! This year for AS we did FP1, Numerical Method and Mechanics 1...... for A2 we are doing Mechanics 2 and 3 I know (we've done practically all of M2 before the summer) and FP2 I guess, so should be alright!
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#33
Quote by cm261
This is nonsense.

Not really, you end up doing 2 a-levels in maths it takes up a lot of time. The only day I didn't have maths was a wednesday when I was at college and on one day I had 4 hours of maths.
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#34
^
Maybe I'm just lazy then. I did f*ck all work and no revision, though I did actually attend most of the classes in the end. Then again I did only get 2 B's.
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#35
Quote by cm261
^
Maybe I'm just lazy then. I did f*ck all work and no revision, though I did actually attend most of the classes in the end. Then again I did only get 2 B's.

I was lazy too. Which is why I got AC instead of AB, I did terrible in S2&3.
I think I did end up doing maths everyday because although wednesday was the only day I didn't have maths lessons, we used to all do our homework together and often did the work due in on thursday during our massive wednesday free period.
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#36
Quote by untalented
imo you don't. first class mark (just) without doing much revision in first year; i didn't do further maths. i probably could've actually aced all my exams (apart from the group work module) if i made an effort but i just wanted the seventy.
you get taught whatever you need to know in university. they don't assume you know everything, they actually teach you anything they want you to know - or tell you to look it up. if it's maths, you can figure it out anyway.


But you would've covered half your first year if you'd done Further Maths. Most universities require Further Maths if you want to do a Maths degree and only make exceptions if your school didn't offer it or something.

Quote by GezzyDiversion
IMO, it should be a requirement because Physics uses so much maths in it; someone in my physics class didn't take it and struggled hugely in Physics.


My Physics A-level wasn't very Maths-y and it didn't make much of a difference. I do Physics at uni though and Further Maths is really useful, particularly as my school did Stats for normal Maths. I did M1 and M2 as part of Further Maths. And you get introduced to differential equations, matrices and tougher calculus. It's so much easier to understand at uni if you've already covered it a bit in school, even if you forget a lot of it.
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#37
Quote by OddOneOut
No university says that Further Maths is a requirement. They recommend that you have taken it and will often lower offers for those who do take Further Maths but it is never a requirement. This is because not every college/sixth-form offers A-level Further Maths.
Oh, Except maybe Cambridge and Oxford. But even then Cambridge says that A2 further maths is not a requirement.

Imperial and Warwick both require further maths now. (I think you need the new fancy A* grade in further maths also)


Quote by untalented
imo you don't. first class mark (just) without doing much revision in first year; i didn't do further maths. i probably could've actually aced all my exams (apart from the group work module) if i made an effort but i just wanted the seventy.
you get taught whatever you need to know in university. they don't assume you know everything, they actually teach you anything they want you to know - or tell you to look it up. if it's maths, you can figure it out anyway.
i'd definately do french. i love the french language, though. it might help with maths as well because creativity is more important for university than being taught endless rules - unless you do engineering then do further maths. language involves a bit more creativity, something which appears to be absent in modern day engineering.

Depends on the uni, without further maths the first year at any of the COWI universities is extremely extremely hard. Languages won't help you at all with maths at university unless you take a language as an option or something.


Back on topic; further maths is a must if you want to do maths/physics and is highly recommended for chemistry/engineering.. Unless of course you just like maths in which case just do it.

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#38
Quote by Meths
But you would've covered half your first year if you'd done Further Maths. Most universities require Further Maths if you want to do a Maths degree and only make exceptions if your school didn't offer it or something.

yeah, looking at the syllabus, i think you're actually right. but that's even more of a reason not to do it. i'd have been bored at my lectures, ended up not going/paying attention and missing a lot of new info that they didn't teach at school.
it's also pretty useful that i've learnt to think for myself imo.

and to the guy above, i didn't say languages helps directly, although it does thinking about it as you have to use 'math language' at degree level. it helps with creativity to an extent, although not much. i'd say do something like music or art, personally, but you can also do that in your spare time. it's important to be able to think differently and creatively.
and no, maths is not 'harder' or 'easier' anywhere else. maths is a universal language so it's the same everywhere, unless you learn something vastly different, which i doubt.
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#39
Quote by untalented
and to the guy above, i didn't say languages helps directly, although it does thinking about it as you have to use 'math language' at degree level. it helps with creativity to an extent, although not much. i'd say do something like music or art, personally, but you can also do that in your spare time. it's important to be able to think differently and creatively.
and no, maths is not 'harder' or 'easier' anywhere else. maths is a universal language so it's the same everywhere, unless you learn something vastly different, which i doubt.

I don't think language skills have any crossover to maths, not even in an indirect way.

And maths courses vary considerably depending on your university. COWI (Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick and Imperial) are the hardest and most respected maths courses in England/UK. Even compared to the next level down there's a reasonable jump, at these universities you learn things in much more depth as they're basically designed to prepare you for a PhD and life as a research mathematician whereas courses in other universities are generally aimed to give a broader understanding of the subject.

This may sound pretentious/big headed but it is true and how our education system works.


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#40
Quote by power freak
I don't think language skills have any crossover to maths, not even in an indirect way.

well it does when you need one symbol to mean a phrase such as 'there exists' as backwards 'E'. it might not seem like language skills to you, but it actually is. whether it's worth learning language skills for that stuff is another matter, but when you have whole sentences full of that stuff, it becomes useful.
also, simple algebra uses a lot of language skills in itself if you think about it.

Quote by power freak

And maths courses vary considerably depending on your university. COWI (Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick and Imperial) are the hardest and most respected maths courses in England/UK. Even compared to the next level down there's a reasonable jump, at these universities you learn things in much more depth as they're basically designed to prepare you for a PhD and life as a research mathematician whereas courses in other universities are generally aimed to give a broader understanding of the subject.

This may sound pretentious/big headed but it is true and how our education system works.

you're right, it does sound pretentious.
have been to two different universities for different subjects. one is supposedly one of the 'better' universities for the subject but it doesn't really make a difference at all. for something like maths, particularly, you're just in a lecture theatre or a room and, unless you've been to a 'lesser' university, you can't really say whether what you're being taught is better or worse.
also, if you want to play the system that way, fair play to you, but not everyone really cares about prestige all that much. in fact, i personally tried to go for anything but prestige. i hated being around people who were into that whole 'prestige' thing. you can be stupid and get far in the whole prestigious system if you play it by revising and working all day. it doesn't actually mean anything imo.
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Especially faggot since homos aren't real people and all.

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Last edited by untalented at Aug 28, 2010,
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