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Starting to think i'm not good enough for maths...

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    (Original post by Whizzkid1)
    So i've been looking around this forum for a while and finally decided to create an account. Heres a bit of background abit my grades and where i have applied:

    All for Maths (4year)

    Manchester
    Nottingham
    King's College London
    Queen Mary College London
    York University

    My AS grades and predictions:

    AAAA (Maths, Chemistry, Biology Economics)

    Predicted A*A*Aa (Maths, chemistry, biology and further maths AS).

    Now after a week or so looking around this forum, i feel like an idiot. It seems to me everyone has further maths to A2 (I wasn't allowed to take it due to a B grade in GCSE maths), everyone is applying to oxbridge universities, or imperial or UCL, all better universities than me. Now i'm thinking that i'm going to compete with all of these people in a few years time, and right now it just seems like they're better than me at maths, and will probably be able to cope with it more at university, which is just questioning weather i'm able to cope with mathematics at all at university.

    Anyway, should i take a year out and somehow do A2 FM, or perhaps do step papers also, or should i just go with the offers i get this year? Sorry for my rant but it just seems like i'm not cut out for mathematics at degree level compared to the people at cambridge etc.

    Thanks for reading.
    Your excellent actual and predicted grades are well suited to the Uni's you have chosen. It's true that when you get there, you will find other students with Further Maths to A2. So you'll have to cover the work when you get there - it's often covered quickly in lectures. You have shown that you have the ability to deal with this.

    You will also meet other students who are more able than you. This is part of the adjustment process for all good students. It's OK not to be the best. When you graduate your skills will be in demand.
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    (Original post by MrShifty)
    Stick to the position you've established. According to you, King's has a "crappy" department: justify.



    It wasn't really the credibility of STEP being called into question that was so objectionable :rolleyes:
    It's not that good. People say that it's like Oxbridge. However, I don't think KCL is in the top twenty unis for Maths in the UK. http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/~b.../bigtable.html

    Seriously, in every thread people are like London unis are so good for Maths, they aren't.
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    Seriously, to me you're super super clever because you're predicted an A* in Maths. That's a huge jump from GCSE! I got a B too and no matter how hard I would work for A2 Maths, it'd be the kind of subject where I'd be thrilled with a C or a B.

    You might not be the absolute top- but do you have to be, with Maths? It's not like the degrees where you're lucky to get a job within a year of graduating. Or maybe it is now, but it's still pretty in demand.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    It's not that good. People say that it's like Oxbridge.
    Again, argue the point; what other people do or don't say is utterly irrelevant. You say that King's has a 'crappy' department, so back it up - preferably with some kind of evidence to suggest you're in any kind of a position to make that statement.

    However, I don't think KCL is in the top twenty unis for Maths in the UK. http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/~b.../bigtable.html
    Meh. I really don't think that table should be taken any more seriously than any other, bar perhaps the Guardian's.

    If you give it anything more than a passing glance, it's ranked entirely according to one single category: so called Research power, which just so happens to be the category which places Manchester nipping at the heels of Cowi(B).

    There are plenty of criticisms which can, and have, been levelled at it, but perhaps the most pertinant here is that 'RPow' doesn't say much about either the course, its quality, the quality of lecturing or the rigour of assessment*. Which leads us back to the original point, in what way is KCL a crappy department?

    *From a purely personal point of view, I don't think Manchester can really claim to be head and shoulders above the likes of KCL, UCL, Nottingham, et al; not when it doesn't even offer students a proper first year course in Real Analysis (unlike, say, UCL), and doles out 10% of the mark on some courses for seminar attendance.

    That's not to say Manchester isn't a good university, because clearly it is, or any worse than those listed. After all, a lot of universities have (sadly) nerfed their analysis content and/or play a bit fast and loose with the rigour of how marks are given out in the early years.

    What I hope it does at least demonstrate, even if only in some small way, is how utterly foolish looking down your nose at other institutions is when based on nothing more whatsoever than a handful of received wisdom and yet another league table (and one produced within that department to boot).
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    (Original post by MrShifty)
    Again, argue the point; what other people do or don't say is utterly irrelevant. You say that King's has a 'crappy' department, so back it up - preferably with some kind of evidence to suggest you're in any kind of a position to make that statement.
    Well, in this thread people was comparing UCL to oxbridge, which is silly as there are like ten better unis thatn UCL and most london unis for Mathematics, except Imperial.


    Meh. I really don't think that table should be taken any more seriously than any other, bar perhaps the Guardian's.

    If you give it anything more than a passing glance, it's ranked entirely according to one single category: so called Research power, which just so happens to be the category which places Manchester nipping at the heels of Cowi(B).
    Okay, take away Manchester, all the other unis she picked are better than KCL from the table.

    *From a purely personal point of view, I don't think Manchester can really claim to be head and shoulders above the likes of KCL, UCL, Nottingham, et al; not when it doesn't even offer students a proper first year course in Real Analysis (unlike, say, UCL), and doles out 10% of the mark on some courses for seminar attendance.

    That's not to say Manchester isn't a good university, because clearly it is, or any worse than those listed. After all, a lot of universities have (sadly) nerfed their analysis content and/or play a bit fast and loose with the rigour of how marks are given out in the early years.

    What I hope it does at least demonstrate, even if only in some small way, is how utterly foolish looking down your nose at other institutions is when based on nothing more whatsoever than a handful of received wisdom and yet another league table (and one produced within that department to boot).
    Wait, the first year counts for nothing so getting 10% for doing homework doesn't count for anything. Also, what so good about doing real analysis in first year? what fourth/third year analysis topics do most uni teach? As in Manchester the only course is linear analysis http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/ugstudies/units/2011-12/level3/MATH31002/ plus a fourier analysis course.

    http://www.mth.kcl.ac.uk/courses/

    Looking at the courses, it just like theoretical Physics?

    I suppose I'm looking down. However, I suppose my main problem is that seems to suffer from the same problem of Durham. Which, is that most of the courses seem to be Physics based.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    Well, in this thread people was comparing UCL to oxbridge, which is silly as there are like ten better unis thatn UCL and most london unis for Mathematics, except Imperial.
    More irrelevance. This derail has gone on long enough, so I don't want to post much more on it. That, and you still haven't provided any worthwhile evidence for why KCL has, in your words, "a crappy department" or how you're in a position to make any such judgement. This alone suggests you have no idea what you're talking about, which makes spending much more time on the matter a bit redundant.

    Okay, take away Manchester, all the other unis she picked are better than KCL from the table.
    Which assumes that the table is infallible and an accurate measure regarding the quality of degree being offered and the course in general. It isn't, no more than any other league table.

    Wait, the first year counts for nothing so getting 10% for doing homework doesn't count for anything. Also, what so good about doing real analysis in first year?
    Actually, it's 15% for doing the homework, and 10% for just turning up.

    As for analysis:

    Firstly, analysis itself is a central topic within pure mathematics and for that reason alone it deserves to be covered to some kind of depth. Also, the application of analytic methods where possible is a powerful tool in other areas of mathematics and a decent first year course opens up options and allows further analytic topics to be covered in greater depth later on.

    Secondly, it's a difficult course which a fair few students end up doing badly on if not taught well; that being precisely the reason why a lot of universities have been phasing it out and/or dumbing it down. Including it shows a certain confidence in both the students' abilities and those of the staff to teach.

    what fourth/third year analysis topics do most uni teach? As in Manchester the only course is linear analysis
    Well, the whole point is partially that Manchester doesn't really offer much more than other universities, and not nearly enough to justify your sneering attitude. At this point I should probably emphasise that I'm not having a go at Manchester, which I agree is a very good university: I'm merely making the point that it doesn't have nearly enough to set it apart from the likes of KCL or Nottingham to allow you to make claims such as KCL has a "crappy" department.

    In some form or another, at least some of the following analysis related subjects tend to feature in COWI's courses (and used to feature heavily in Bristol's before they lost a couple of analysists to Swansea and toned down their analytical content):

    Complex function theory, calculus of multivariable functions, a pure mathematical treatment of PDEs, functional analysis, differential geometry, asymptotics, solitons, Riemannian geometry, harmonic analysis, and so on and so forth.

    Looking at the courses, it just like theoretical Physics?
    I'm sorry, but that's simply rubbish. About 40% of KCL's third and fourth year are pure topics.
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    Okay, for those of you who are mentioning his B at GCSE, I'd like to say that I managed to get an A at GCSE, and I managed a B in AS FM and got ABCb overall for A levels, and AAAABBBBBCD for GCSE. In comparison, there are people on my course who got 13 A*s at GCSE and 4A's at A level (why they went to RH is beyond me, when they could have easily gone to UCL/Kings/Notts/Manchester, but anyway)... now they're all struggling at university. By all, I mean all.

    The most clever maths students in my year and the year below managed to screw their A levels up somehow. I'm not saying they all did, but there's a significant amount to point out a trend.
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    (Original post by james22)
    Was there a good reason for the B at GCSE? I don't want to sound harsh but if you are considering taking maths further a B at GCSE is very bad.
    I don't really think Maths GCSE grade is very relevant at all. A level is way more of an indicator of how well they'll do and the OP said they're predicted A*.
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    I personally feel that the B at GCSE would boost his/her chances especially if they got A - A* as it shows progression as well as determination to follow their 'dreams'... But that just me...
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    Manchester,KCL and Notts are amazing choices. Further Maths will only give you a slight advantage, unless you're applying to Oxbridge and some other Unis.
    EDIT: You need Further Maths to get accepted to KCL: http://search.ucas.com/cgi-bin/hsrun...n=1092501#ER-A "Subjects and grades required Mathematics at grade A and Mathematics - Further at grade A.
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    Okay, for those of you who are mentioning his B at GCSE, I'd like to say that I managed to get an A at GCSE, and I managed a B in AS FM and got ABCb overall for A levels, and AAAABBBBBCD for GCSE. In comparison, there are people on my course who got 13 A*s at GCSE and 4A's at A level (why they went to RH is beyond me, when they could have easily gone to UCL/Kings/Notts/Manchester, but anyway)... now they're all struggling at university. By all, I mean all.

    The most clever maths students in my year and the year below managed to screw their A levels up somehow. I'm not saying they all did, but there's a significant amount to point out a trend.
    Which university do you go too?
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    (Original post by rainbow_kisses)
    Which university do you go too?
    Royal Holloway... it's mentioned (abbreviated form) in the original post and in my signature...
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    (Original post by multiplexing-gamer)
    Manchester,KCL and Notts are amazing choices. Further Maths will only give you a slight advantage, unless you're applying to Oxbridge and some other Unis.
    EDIT: You need Further Maths to get accepted to KCL: http://search.ucas.com/cgi-bin/hsrun...n=1092501#ER-A "Subjects and grades required Mathematics at grade A and Mathematics - Further at grade A.
    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/prospectus/unde...ryrequirements

    "AAA/pass (for those offering A2 Further Mathematics) or A*AA/A (for those offering only AS-level Further Mathematics)"

    I also emailed to confirm.
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    (Original post by Simplicity)
    Also, I don't see how STEP guarantee success at Degree level. What on STEP do you really do in uni Maths?
    It correlates with first year tripos results at Cambridge. Edit: better than A levels
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    Probably to repeat what others have said but Im sure you will be fine. I only did AS further maths and went to Bath uni to do maths, like you I read alot on the student room and felt not good enough to do it. Everyone seemed more informed, better or more interested in Maths. I was actually told by a couple on TSR not to bother doing maths at uni. I did bother obviously and although it was hard, I ended up coming top of the year for the year I graduated. So please don't worry to much, you will have to work hard as they are all good unis but you are in a fine position to go and your grades are excellent.

    I do understand it can be a worry and I worried alot but you seem in as good as a position as anyone, I promise!

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