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Further maths in 1 year

  1. Mar 20, 2007 #1
    This is mainly for UK people:
    I am currently studying AS level maths, physics, chemistry and biology. Next year I am going to drop biology and take up further maths. But I dont know whether I will be able to do the further maths A level in 1 year. I have done Edexcel C1 and M1 and will do C2 in the summer. To do further maths AS next year i will have to do 9 modules: C3, C4, FP1, M2 in january, and FP2 and FP3 in june. but to do the full A level I will do S1 in jan and S2 and D2 in june. Ill do all the pure modules as I want to apply to Oxford for Physics.

    Any advice on whether I would be able to do the full further maths A level in 1 year? Bearing in mind I will need an A in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.
    (I got 99% in C1 and 95% in M1 to give you an idea of what i have already done)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
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  3. Mar 20, 2007 #2


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    I'm not sure what C and FP stand for (when I did A levels, they were numbered differently). At a guess, I'd say C stood for calculus and FP stood for foundations of pure maths.

    Anyway, if the only difference between the AS and the A level is doing an extra two stats and one discrete exam, then I think you should go for it. They're generally the easiest ones, however you'll have a fair bit of work to do! Besides, if you mess them up, you can just ignore them and take the AS qualification (or at least that's what you used to be able to do).

    What do your teachers suggest?
  4. Mar 20, 2007 #3


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    No you don't; you need AAA including A's in maths and physics. It doesn't say anything about further maths!
  5. Mar 20, 2007 #4
    The C is for 'Core Maths', which is foundation pure.
    FP is for 'Further Pure' which is like a trickier pure maths.

    I'm doing AS maths this year and A2 maths next. Also applying to do just Further Maths AS next year. I'm not applying for Oxbridge or anything so just the AS should see me through.

    I read somewhere that to do Maths at Cambridge, you need at least Further Maths at AS level. Nothing about A2, so that makes it slightly easier to get in.

    But I can't really advise you since I haven't done Further maths. But I think with hard work you'd be able to pull it off.

    I hope you manage to get into Oxford!
  6. Mar 20, 2007 #5


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    Ahh right, ok. In my day we just had P1-n (I can't remember how many there were!), which stood for pure maths. I think they probably changed it from pure to core, since the "pure" maths in the early a level maths modules isn't really pure maths in the conventional sense, but is more like an introduction to calculus.

    I didn't do further maths either, and it didn't affect me. It just meant that in the first term at university I had to do some work when other people didn't!
  7. Mar 20, 2007 #6
    thanks for the replys, i really appreciate it.
    I know that I dont really need A's in all my subjects but it really depends on what offers universities make, depending on which subjects I need.
    My head of maths basically said that it would be hard work but we can teach you it, so not all that helpful on my decision.
    Is there anyone with any first hand experience with further maths that can comment on how hard it is for someone who is good at maths (but no genius!).
    thanks again
  8. Mar 20, 2007 #7
    i'm doing further maths at the moment - last year i did maths A level and this year I'm doing FM A level. So I have twice as much maths as everyone else.
    At the start of last year, the workload took a bit of getting used to - remember, you're doing 2 years' worth of work in half the time, and you need to get good at it quickly. Will you be taught in a class, or individually?
    You don't have to be a genius, but as with normal maths your algebra needs to be up to scratch. FP2 has a lot of calculus in it, which will be useful in the future. FP1 is a good starting module, not too difficult, but FP3 is the killer one for me - more advanced complex numbers stuff.
    Something else I would add is it's probably a good idea to do as much mechanics as possible. Stats modules are generally considered to be easier, but they're really boring i reckon and the mechanics will help you at uni. Also there's a lot of pure maths in mechanics so it helps you to practice it.

    I would say, if you're set on going to Oxford it'd be a good idea to try for the A level cos apparently it makes it a lot easier for the first term at least. It won't be easy, but as long as you have someone you can ask questions (there'll be lots of them!), you could manage it. It's a lot of work.
  9. Mar 21, 2007 #8


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    When I did my A-levels, it was the first year of modulisation -- I was also doing an AS in Geology (pretty much for fun). However, I dropped this to take a couple of modules in further maths.

    (Back then it was P1-4, M1-4, and S1-4, I think...)

    Basically, I scored high in them all -- pretty much close to 100%, so have my A-level in normal maths plus an AS level in further maths. The latter is equivalent to a D -- due to not taking 4 modules, so I never included it in my grades.

    So... I'd say it's easy to do further maths in a year -- particularly, if you find the "normal" maths very easy :smile:
  10. Mar 21, 2007 #9
    gavf -

    a few pointers to note-

    1. Further maths- you will cover all this eventually in your first year degree (if you are doing Physics degree). As many students that do a degree in physics dont have further maths, but only have as maths.

    2. If you are going to do to further maths bear in mind (dont bother with Statistics modules and decion modules at all).

    3. Only do the Core, Further and mechanics modules.

    4. End of the day even if you have as further maths you should be content with as you would have covered most of your first year degree of physics.

    5. excelent first year results, keep up the good work (do as many pure and mechanics modules now), as when you do the work later on, you will find it a breeze at degree level.

    6. End of the day you will come back to it in your degree, but like a revison course. If you are gona do a degree in physics my advice drop A2 bio and chemistry. chemiisty your wasting our time, would be WAY BETTER TO DO further maths.



    9. I Cannot emphasise enough DONT DO A2 CHEM AND BIO.

    ask anyone this .........doing A PHYSICS DEGREE, which i am doing currently.

    10. ENJOY...........COZ U will enjoy physics at degree leve....

  11. Mar 21, 2007 #10
    further maths diffciulty u wanted to know-
    well its equaivlent to first year degree in maths/ physics.

    topics mainly that are new- complex numbers , eigenvetors, advanced differtiation, integration, series (taylors...etc). this is all on further maths modules.

    If you are gona do degree in physics. Try and get all MECHANICS MODULES DONE. As this is the basic part of physics degree, and you will need to know this stuff..they will teach you at very fast pace at uni. So it would be better to get all Mechanics mdoules done. If you can handle this, very likely you can handle your first year degree .
  12. Mar 21, 2007 #11


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    Can you just clarify this. Are you saying that the content in a further maths a level is equivalent to the content in the first year of a maths degree?
  13. Mar 21, 2007 #12


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    Yeah -- that's not exactly true.

    For one, the poster says not to take stats -- whereas, a core component of the first year of a maths degree would contain probability and stats (I would imagine a physics degree would too).

    Likewise, A-level maths contains no proofs -- university core subjects certainly introduce "pure" maths.

    In this respect, A-level is more like the maths part of engineering/physics uni courses.

    Also, it's worth keeping in mind that A-level is taught pretty methodical -- working towards exams and learning techniques, even in further maths. Don't think because you're completely proficient at A-level you'll find the first year of uni a breeze -- a lot of people find their first years difficult because they can't adjust to a different style of learning/teaching.

    However, you should still do further maths -- ime, it's somewhat expected these days for courses which involve maths.

    (w.r.t. chemistry -- I did this as my 3rd A-level; it was fun but I've never used it.)
  14. Mar 21, 2007 #13


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    The OP says he intends to drop biology. I don't agree with you here when you say to drop chemistry.

    Firstly, if the OP is interested in chemistry, then it will do no harm for him to continue studying it at A-level-- in fact, it will show that he has breadth, and can excel in more than just maths! Secondly, A level chemistry can be useful when studying some of the later physics modules, and it has practical elements, which will help enhance his practical skills.

    I would say this the other way around; if he had to drop one out of further maths and chemistry, I would pick further maths to drop, since you will be taught this in the first year of a physics degree anyway.

    Anyway, the question is "should I take further maths a level in one year," and does not mention his intent to drop chemistry, so this is somewhat off-topic.
  15. Mar 21, 2007 #14


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    I know; that's why I was asking him to clarify. I would have said pretty much the same thing as you have above-- the content in further maths a level is not equivalent to a first year university maths degree!

    In addition to what you said as far as I recall, there is no linear algebra in further maths. Also, the mechanics that I learnt in my first year maths module was far harder than the mechanics in a level; it ended with a few weeks introducing special relativity!!
  16. Mar 21, 2007 #15
    further maths = 1st year physics degree..........

    and defintie u should drop chemistry , as like someone said perviosly it was fun.......but never used it.........y waste time on it...when u cna increase knowledge on maths/ physics.

    k...first year might not be a breze....it would make it that much easier thoug....if u DID DO FURTHER MATHS...

    do further mahts

    drop chem and bio
  17. Mar 21, 2007 #16


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    Because it might actually be interesting, and a welcome break from maths!
    If you actually read his first post, he lists some modules that he's taking for the AS further maths then goes on to say that if he wants the A level further maths he only needs to take two stats modules and a discrete module. It may be good for him to have further maths a level on his record, but these three modules will not help him (much) in the maths part of a physics degree!
  18. Mar 21, 2007 #17


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    Perhaps you should reread mine and cristo's responses.

    Can we ask what you base your statement on?
  19. Mar 21, 2007 #18

    iv advised him not to do stats..and decions maths....

    iv told him to do mechincs..module..he should stil consider..

    cristo..u aint even sure how many maths moduesl u need to know..as u r used to the old system....

    read my post...and he will go for my decsion WATCH........ITS THE BEST ONE..ASK ANY UNI PRFESOR..PHYSICS DEGREE STUDENT
  20. Mar 21, 2007 #19


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    Calm down; no need to shout at me!
    Which are the modules that he says he needs to do to obtain a further maths a level as opposed to an as level :rolleyes:

    Perhaps his school do not have the teachers to teach him mechanics modules past M2! Many schools pick the modules on offer to students by looking at the teachers they have in their department. If, for example, they have all specialised in pure or stats at uni, then they will not have the knowledge to teach mechanics modules past M2.
    I'm just going by what he says in his original post.

    Right, cos this is now a competition! :rolleyes:

    I'm only advising what I would do! I quite enjoyed my chemistry a level, and not having further maths didn't hold back my studies for a maths degree!

    edit: Have you read J77's above post? Also, are you studying for a physics degree at the moment? Did you do further maths a level?
  21. Mar 21, 2007 #20
    Again thanks for all the responses, theyve all been interesting and I will take your opinions into account when making my final decision.

    cristo - my school does teach at least up to M3 (they will teach M2 & M3 for the jan exams), however due to the large number of pure maths modules that I would have to take in january, the time and difficulty of M3 will prevent me from taking it. the stats and decision modules are really just being used to make up the numbers for a full A level, and apparently they are relatively easy; so yeah those 3 may just be for it to look good on my record.

    dt19 - Ill be taught mainly in a class however there may be only 2 people in some of the classes. How hard do you think doing C3, C4 and FP1 at the same time will be?

    imy796 - I take your point that chem may not be all that useful.

    J77 - I do enjoy chemistry and it I think itll be a welcome break from the maths and physics! yeah and that similar to my opinion of further maths, that at the best uni's they may sort of expect further maths, the people that have gotten to Oxford from my school to do physics had further maths, so it makes you wonder...

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