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A level physics and maths at home

  1. Jul 14, 2009 #1
    hey guys, i realise most people are from the US on this site, but im from Uk and was wondering if its realistic to study a level maths and physics at home on my own whilst working, that is equivalent to whatever u guys in US need to get before entering university. my intention is to get these qualifications then apply for an engineering degree course. im good at math but do you think ill be able to pull it off without tutoring?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2009 #2


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    Check out the syllabuses on the exam board web sites. They also offer a lot of past exam papers and normally there are texts specifically written for each exam boards courses. you could take a look at some at a local library and decide for yourself. I would however consider looking to see if any local colleges do night classes for those subjects. They may only be a few hours a week and there should hopefully be a lot of useful things you can take out of the lessons. Even if the fact you have to be somewhere to do some studying a few times a week keeps your motivation up then its beneficial.
  4. Jul 14, 2009 #3
    The actual learning of the course material is not the problem, its ususally the assesment that gives the trouble, A level physics has a certain amount of practical coursework (I dont know if there is another alternative to this though). Kurdts suggestion is the best possible option, night school as it'll give a structure to the learning and examination, look at local colleges.
  5. Jul 14, 2009 #4
    hey thanks for that, the only problem with nite school is that i work shifts and i do early morning for 2 weeks then late shifts for 2 weeks, so i couldnt commit to a evening class as i would miss half the lessons. anyone no anything about alternatives to practical assessments in physics, like maybe an extra written exam instead?
  6. Jul 15, 2009 #5
  7. Jul 17, 2009 #6
  8. Jul 19, 2009 #7
    As someone else stated, the biggest problem will be doing the practical coursework or practical examinations. I would suggest organizing that with a nearby school. As for the A levels, you should study Maths, Further Maths and Additional Maths these will enable you to take almost all the available Maths modules at A level. I assume you are good at maths or are willing to study hard, because these will not only give you an excellent preparation for a maths-based degree but are also much easier to study than other A levels as there is no practical element and I think you can avoid the few modules with coursework.

    In fact, if organising the physics practicals turns out to be too difficult then you might consider not studying physics but instead just taking as many maths modules as possible and writing to the universities you wish to apply to explaining your situation. The mechanics modules cover most of the physics you will need in engineering in any case so I would imagine they would be quite likely to accept you.

    So yeah, try and organise taking the physics practicals, and if you can then study physics as well.. if not then just study lots and lots of maths modules. I think you need 3 modules per AS and 6 modules per A2 (obviously the ones you do at AS count towards A2) so if you were able to do Maths, Further Maths and Additional Maths for full A levels then you would take 18 modules in total, I think the pure modules are compulsory though.

    The actual content isn't very difficult so long as you are willing to dedicate the time to practice and learn it :P And the decent supply of past exam papers is incredibly helpful, just do every single past paper in the months leading up to exam season and you should do fine.

    I just finished my A levels and did Maths, Further Maths and Physics alongside Bio and Chem all through to A2. I wish I could have taken Additional Mathematics and taken more mechanics modules instead of studying Chemistry but my school didn't give me the choice :(

    Seriously though, use websites like http://www.khanacademy.org to supplement the textbooks (use the textbooks for your exam board as this is a good way to help get high marks) and get some revision guides to help you go over stuff and you should be fine! The content isn't that hard tbh, I was able to teach myself most of Further Maths as my school was unable to timetable many lessons in it and I got an A so you should do okay!

    And obviously if you get stuck on topics in particular you can use PF for help! The people here are really friendly and very smart indeed!
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