Should I Take A-Level Further Mathematics?

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Hi, everyone, nice to meet u all. I was recently graduated from secondary school and is now facing the problem of choosing my subjects for A-Level. I hope I can get some guidance from the forum member to help me in making my decision ^^

I was thinking to take Further Mathematics bt heard lots of negative views about the subject,particularly the subject is said to be very hard to get an A. But I am a Math-lover and I think to take the subject.

The problem is whether I can really score in this subject?I really need some advice from the seniors about the syllabus and the pros and cons about the subject ^^

Thank you everyone for your kind assistance :)
I appreciate that ^^
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I'd say, if you love math, then why not take the class?? The thing is that everybody who says that the class is "hard" and "boring", are maybe people not interested in mathematics.

Also, take the class because your interested in it, not because you'll get an A in it. Trying to learn some new things is always better than trying to go for A's. Going for easy A's is the easy way out, in my opinion...
 
  • #3
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Hi, everyone, nice to meet u all. I was recently graduated from secondary school and is now facing the problem of choosing my subjects for A-Level. I hope I can get some guidance from the forum member to help me in making my decision ^^

I was thinking to take Further Mathematics bt heard lots of negative views about the subject,particularly the subject is said to be very hard to get an A. But I am a Math-lover and I think to take the subject.

The problem is whether I can really score in this subject?I really need some advice from the seniors about the syllabus and the pros and cons about the subject ^^

Thank you everyone for your kind assistance :)
I appreciate that ^^
Does it really matter if it's hard to get an A in? If it's a class you think you will find interesting take it.
 
  • #4
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Thanks to two of you^^

But I wish to score high marks in every subject which I think is important for the moment. and that, I hope to see the syllabus to know what I am going to study in the subject.

I struggle between Further Mathematics and Biology. Biology widens my exposure to biochemistry as I am going to pursue Chemical engineering. Learning bio will make me understand the chemistry in the body and I can do some research in the future in the related field.

If I drop Bio and take Further Math, I cant expose to the new field of knowledge. But in the reverse,I am nt confident in scoring an A in Bio as I know it's very hard even in the secondary standard.

So,still, the dilemma exist....

Can u all help me out? ^^

Thank you :)
 
  • #5
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Well, if you ask me, mathematics will be way more important in engineering than biology. So if you look at it from that point-of-view, then take the mathematics.

Then again, if biology really interests you, then take that. Just don't take a class because it's an easy A, that's just silly...
 
  • #6
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Hi, everyone, nice to meet u all. I was recently graduated from secondary school and is now facing the problem of choosing my subjects for A-Level. I hope I can get some guidance from the forum member to help me in making my decision ^^

I was thinking to take Further Mathematics bt heard lots of negative views about the subject,particularly the subject is said to be very hard to get an A. But I am a Math-lover and I think to take the subject.

The problem is whether I can really score in this subject?I really need some advice from the seniors about the syllabus and the pros and cons about the subject ^^

Thank you everyone for your kind assistance :)
I appreciate that ^^
On the contrary going by last year's results (assuming you are doing English A-Levels not somewhere else), if you complete the course then you stand the best chance of getting an A* with 29.9% if Further Mathematics candidates being awarded an A* grade.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11012369

I'd say go for it, if you enjoy Mathematics then there is no reason why you shouldn't do a Further Maths A-Level regardless of what other people say. It will also aid you in any University application to study a Maths-based subject such as engineering. Any biological knowledge needed can be acquired through other means, whereas with Maths it can be a bit more difficult at A-Level to self-teach. Ultimately though it should come down to choosing the subject you prefer, if it's Maths then choose that, if Biology then choose that.
 
  • #7
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I was deciding the exact same thing about 2-2.5 years ago and believe me, deciding to take it up was one of the best decisions of my academic life. Firstly, it made my A-Level experience challenging. If I hadn't taken it up, I would have breezed through my A-Levels and wouldn't have had any fun learning and mastering all the advanced topics in Further Mathematics. It also increased my love for mathematics a lot and was one of the main reasons I decided to major in math at college. Secondly, it will GREATLY help you at university. It makes courses like Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Statistics and Introductory University Physics (Mechanics) really easy as you would have seen a large fraction of them already. Apart from these reasons a rather shallower one would be the fact that its an impressive subject and if you have an A in it, you'd be able to show off ;).

Regarding getting an A in it, I don't know what board you're doing it from but in CIE, you can get an A basically if you get around 75% of the marks, which is not hard to do if you know your stuff. I basically bombed the mechanics portion of Paper 2 and still got an A.
 
  • #8
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Take whatever will give you the easiest A!

There are no universities that specify further maths in their entry requirements. This is because many schools do not run that A-level. Further maths is good if you can take it because it'll help in engineering far more than biology (which probably won't help that much at all, to be honest, unless you're doing something like biomedical), but the relevant material will still be covered by the university. So you're not at a disadvantage having not done further maths, as long as you are prepared to work a little harder on the first year maths modules.

Now as you should be aware, A-level grades are paramount. So do not in any way jeopardize your chances of getting at least straight As. According the the latest UCAS figures, applications to engineering degrees have increased by 25% - most likely because people are really thinking of the career prospects and monetary value that their degree will bring them. So engineering degrees are becoming more and more competitive at the good institutions, which means that at least straight As will be the standard offer to applicants. Which means that if you get AAB with FM as one of your A-levels, you'll probably not get in, whereas AAA with biology instead will. With the best grades possible, you are a more competitive applicant to the best universities. And since the only value of A-levels are to get into university (they are worthless intellectually, trust me), you are better off picking the combination that is most likely to give you the best grades and make you the most competitive applicant.

Secondly, when it comes to graduate jobs, your A-levels are becoming more and more important. Many graduate schemes have a minimum A-level points tariff, which at the moment tends to be about the ABB-AAB level. But with grade inflation at both the college and university level, that's almost bound to increase. So play it safe and do whatever you think will give you at least AAA. In fact, I've heard anecdotally from recruiters in the software development field that they actually select their graduates based on their A-level grades rather than their university grades. Sounds silly, but you've got to play the game. With a chem eng degree you're probably looking at becoming an accountant, in which case your A-level grades are also extremely important.

So take whatever will give you the easiest A!
 
  • #9
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Listen to Shaun W.

An A in biology is probably an easier A, or at least one that is less open to chance...

I did A level mathematics and A level biology, and got an A in biology and thought I would get an an A in mathematics - but I didn't!

A-level biology is more of a 'lab grind' and memory test, but if you are prepared to do the learning, and make full effort in the lab work, then an A is almost guaranteed. It *is* good preparation for chemical engineering, there's a lot of lab grind there!

In mathematics you may, like me, just get stumped by several of the questions on the day - however hard you work - making an A less certain.

Don't trust that high percentage on A* for further maths candidates - those even thinking of taking this course are almost bound to get an A in mathematics.

Then again - talk to your teachers and take a long hard luck at yourself - I'm good at writing essays, that definitely helped me in biology. If essay writing isn't your forte, then Further Mathematics might be better for you
 

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