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Trying to understand the stucture of Maths\Further Maths A level.

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi I am a person in my 30s planning to re-do my high school qualifications and have been studying up for a AS level in Maths with core 1 core 2 and mechanics 1. But I am not quite understanding the structure of the further maths A level.
Also in terms of the various different exam boards, is there any real difference and which would be best to apply through, I live in London so would any be more likely to have schools sitting the exams near by?

(This is in order to improve my CV, I bombed out of school quite badly in my teens but have subsiquently gotten myself a BSc (software development) but from a former polly and this together with my very poor high school results is putting a bit of a downer on my applying for jobs.)

Also can anyone recomend a good youtube series on maths at this level? Its always handy to see what it being done rather than pound through on your own.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Unless things have changed since I left school (quite possible), the Further Maths A Level follows exactly the same structure as the Maths A Level.

6 Modules, 4 are compulsory and the other 2 allow some choice. When I was at school the compulsory ones were called FP (= Further Pure) 1 2 3 and 4, and the free choice was between S (= Statistics), M (= Mechanics) and D (= Decision), but I can't remember how many of each there were (I can remember there were at least 3 M modules).

If I'm not mistaken, the course of ones A Levels in Maths and Further Maths, one can take M1, S1, D1 and an X2 where X is M, S, or D, and this is the easiest way to get your qualification. On the other hand, if one is interested in mechanics for example, one might elect to do M 1 2 3 and D1.

Hope that wasn't too confusing, and I'm afraid I can't comment on exam boards or schools in London.
 
  • #4
847
8
Try TheStudentRoom.co.uk and find yourself a syllabus of your courses from the different exam boards. (:
 
  • #5
Many thanks for the advice I have a clearer idea of the structure now. Trying to sort out an exam center for the modules I am to do.
 
  • #6
1,199
25
Are you sure it is not having Maths A levels that is the problem? A degree should outshine the A levels, and you can always make excuses about not having them - sensible interviewers understand that 16-18 year olds can make bad choices. Also haven't you covered a lot of the Math in your BSc? And at a higher level? Why not do an MSc at Birkbeck or the OU - concentrating on courses which you know will be *directly* useful for getting jobs. There are 70 graduates applying for every graduate level job at the moment in the UK - you need to distinguish yourself from them, getting A levels will not do it... getting an MSc just might...
 
  • #7
FeDeX_LaTeX
Gold Member
437
13
Hello;

I am taking my maths and further maths AS and A-levels early, and ExamSolutions has been without a doubt the best resource available for me (although it only provides assistance for C1-C4, M1, and S1-S2). The video format is essentially someone who goes through questions in past exam papers with detailed/worked solutions proffering explanations. Website: http://examsolutions.co.uk/

One of the things I also did was put together a 'collation' of every resource I could find. I managed to get hold of every past paper for each of the 18 modules dating back to 2001, including Edexcel Solutionbanks, e-books (online/interactive and newer versions of module textbooks), and Solomon/Delphis/Zig-Zag papers. The total size of it equates to roughly 1.5 GB. I could try to upload it if you would like, however it would probably take a while to download.

In my experience, you should study the textbook and try all the Solomon papers for the module you are studying. The Solomon papers are deliberately more difficult than the actual paper will probably be. They are ideal for seeing what you do know, and what you don't know; essentially, if you can do everything in the Solomon papers, you are done with the module. They are in the same format as the real exam paper (75 marks, 1 hour 30 mins), but the questions aim to test all of your knowledge.

The Solutionbanks (the newer versions) also contain worked solutions, including examiner reports pointing out the obvious mistakes that would be made with the question.

If you would like a list of the resources that I have, I can provide this, or if you would like a particular resource I can provide this as well. However, all of my resources are designed for the Edexcel exam board.

KhanAcademy is also excellent. "MyMaths" is a very useful resource covering most of the specifications for each exam board (but only for C1-C4, M1, S1 and D1). Website: http://mymaths.co.uk/ (you will require a username and password)
 
  • #8
Are you sure it is not having Maths A levels that is the problem? A degree should outshine the A levels, and you can always make excuses about not having them - sensible interviewers understand that 16-18 year olds can make bad choices. Also haven't you covered a lot of the Math in your BSc? And at a higher level? Why not do an MSc at Birkbeck or the OU - concentrating on courses which you know will be *directly* useful for getting jobs. There are 70 graduates applying for every graduate level job at the moment in the UK - you need to distinguish yourself from them, getting A levels will not do it... getting an MSc just might...
In part because when about 50 CVs land on an employment agencies desk that all have 2:1s they start wittling them down, they do this by looking at the experiance, then the uni the degree came from and the school results. My recent forced foray into the job market confirmed that even with 5 years in QA I am still struggling to make the cut, so I decided early this year to start with my school results by hitting the text books. The results have been pretty impressive so far Ive done Core 1 and 2 in only 5 weeks, so clearly being alot more focussed helps. I am also applying for MSc places as well. To be honest I have been enjoying the maths and even if I did not need it for work I think Id be carrying on for pleasure, I used be near top of my year every year when I was younger, before issues interviened in my life. Over the past 5 years, since I identified the health problems that had blighted me I have been working very hard to over come them and this is really my first big push in a while and I have been stunningly suprised by how clear my mind is again and remembering how much I used to enjoy learning.

Hello;

I am taking my maths and further maths AS and A-levels early, and ExamSolutions has been without a doubt the best resource available for me (although it only provides assistance for C1-C4, M1, and S1-S2). The video format is essentially someone who goes through questions in past exam papers with detailed/worked solutions proffering explanations. Website: http://examsolutions.co.uk/
Thanks for all this, much apreciated!
 

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