Can anyone recommend me a textbook for the AQA exam board for all C1, C2, C3, C4 , D1 and S1? Also, do I need a graphical calculator?
Maths A Level AQA Textbooks and Graphical Calculators
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 05082016 16:50
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 05082016 16:57
(Original post by Jved)
Can anyone recommend me a textbook for the AQA exam board for all C1, C2, C3, C4 , D1 and S1? Also, do I need a graphical calculator? 
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 06082016 12:12
(Original post by RDKGames)
AQA have their own books for each module you've listed, just get those. And you don't really need a graphical calculator for those modules.
(a) you don't have to memorise some of the more obscure trig graphs, e.g. arctan, as the calculator can draw them for you;
(b) you can check your answers (numerically) to solutions of equations, values of derivatives, and definite integrals;
(c) it allows you to boast that your calculator costs £80 (the approximate current price of a TI84 Plus CET), whilst those using cheap Casio calculators didn't even pay half of that.Post rating:1 
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 06082016 12:23
(Original post by Jved)
Can anyone recommend me a textbook for the AQA exam board for all C1, C2, C3, C4 , D1 and S1? Also, do I need a graphical calculator?
For my exams I used a CASIO fx991ES PLUS (scientific calculator), as I had this one already, and also purchased a CASIO fx9860GII (graphical calculator), particularly to help with S1.Post rating:1 
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 06082016 12:34
(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
A graphical calculator is quite useful though as it means:
(a) you don't have to memorise some of the more obscure trig graphs, e.g. arctan, as the calculator can draw them for you;
(b) you can check your answers (numerically) to solutions of equations, values of derivatives, and definite integrals;
(c) it allows you to boast that your calculator costs £80 (the approximate current price of a TI84 Plus CET), whilst those using cheap Casio calculators didn't even pay half of that.
(b) I can check those things answers on my cheap Casio, thank you very much.
(c) Paying like £60 more and hoping for an off chance that you might need to actually use it for sketching graphs in an exam is not worth it, in my opinion; price outweighs the benefit... unless he has a spare £80 he doesn't need.Last edited by RDKGames; 06082016 at 12:38.Post rating:1 
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 06082016 12:39
(Original post by Dapperblook22)
Graphical calculators are a godsend for S1. 
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 06082016 12:42
No graphs that come up are complicated enough to need to buy a very expensive calculator. Out can get a £1015 calculator that can do everything you need for S1.
It's really up to you though.Last edited by B_9710; 06082016 at 12:44.Post rating:1 
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 06082016 13:02
(Original post by RDKGames)
Errrr... if you don't mind me asking, in the context of S1, how exactly did you use your graphical calculator in ways that you couldn't use a normal scientific one (like fx991ES PLUS)? Everything S1 needs, fx991ES PLUS can do it. 
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 06082016 13:08
(Original post by Dapperblook22)
I found the graphical calculator has slightly more functionality for S1 than that of the scientific. The fx991ES PLUS for example cannot do inverse normal distributions, whereas the graphical calculator can. The graphical calculator also plots graphs of the normal distribution and least squares regression line, which are helpful when working out and checking answers. I also found a graphical calculator more intuitive to use than the scientific calculator; everything needed can be accessed from the single STAT menu and is clearly labelled for ease of use.
What do you mean by inverse normal distributions? The equation's for the zvalue as well as the probabilityz value tables are in the formula booklet. I only needed to sketch myself a normal distribution curve, mark on the mean, and see on which side the wanted values go from which point it's pretty straight forward to solve further problems; so no graphical calculator would be worth it. The least squares regression line is also in the formula booklet I believe, you can use the fx991ES PLUS' table mode to fill in values and work out the correlation coefficient. 
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 06082016 13:17
(Original post by RDKGames)
I suppose it's a matter of personal preference then, I'm just used to not being so reliant on my calculator when doing maths.
What do you mean by inverse normal distributions? The equation's for the zvalue as well as the probabilityz value tables are in the formula booklet. I only needed to sketch myself a normal distribution curve, mark on the mean, and see on which side the wanted values go from which point it's pretty straight forward to solve further problems; so no graphical calculator would be worth it. The least squares regression line is also in the formula booklet I believe, you can use the fx991ES PLUS' table mode to fill in values and work out the correlation coefficient. 
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 06082016 13:39
(Original post by Dapperblook22)
Everything needed is in the formula booklet, however instead of spending 10 minutes working out the PMCC, I can spend 1 minute and arrive at the correct answer, when using my graphics calculator, as the answer itself is accepted alone for full marks. The normal distribution is also completed much quicker using the graphical calculator; all parameters can be set intuitively (including which side the values are required). Whilst I could use the table mode, I find that mode to be less intuitive and more difficult to use than that of the graphical calculator, and most of my class also agreed. This is part of the reason why our statistics teacher, whom has a specialised background in statistics, highly recommended them to our class. 
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 06082016 14:33
(Original post by RDKGames)
If anyone is spending 10 minutes to work out PMCC then they are clearly doing something wrong. Depending on what information the exams give you, you often simply need to plug in those values into a very simple formula of which would take me 10 seconds. It's either that or entering xy values into a table, and then navigating through my modes to find the r value and getting it. No graphs needed. I have done AQA's S1 and can safely say they have never required me to use the longer version of the PMCC formula.
All in all, I do believe the graphical calculator is worth it's money over the scientific calculator. Aside from the case of S1, OP would also benefit from the graph sketching and equation solving provided by the graphical calculator for his C2, C3 and C4 exams. Whilst both types of calculator do benefit OP, the graphics would be a better option for my reasons summarised above. 
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 06082016 15:07
(Original post by Dapperblook22)
I have also done AQA S1, and I agree I also have never needed the longer version of the formula. However, I still stand by the efficiency and ease of use of the graphics calculator over that of the scientific. As I mentioned above, it can do the same and more than the scientific, with reference to inverse normal and intuitive graph sketching to help if needed. The graphics calculator is even built with a faster processor than that of a scientific; it churns out answers more quickly and you can backtrack to previously enterred equations and questions to check prior working.
All in all, I do believe the graphical calculator is worth it's money over the scientific calculator. Aside from the case of S1, OP would also benefit from the graph sketching and equation solving provided by the graphical calculator for his C2, C3 and C4 exams. Whilst both types of calculator do benefit OP, the graphics would be a better option for my reasons summarised above.(Original post by RDKGames)
If anyone is spending 10 minutes to work out PMCC then they are clearly doing something wrong. Depending on what information the exams give you, you often simply need to plug in those values into a very simple formula of which would take me 10 seconds. It's either that or entering xy values into a table, and then navigating through my modes to find the r value and getting it. No graphs needed. I have done AQA's S1 and can safely say they have never required me to use the longer version of the PMCC formula.(Original post by Dapperblook22)
Everything needed is in the formula booklet, however instead of spending 10 minutes working out the PMCC, I can spend 1 minute and arrive at the correct answer, when using my graphics calculator, as the answer itself is accepted alone for full marks. The normal distribution is also completed much quicker using the graphical calculator; all parameters can be set intuitively (including which side the values are required). Whilst I could use the table mode, I find that mode to be less intuitive and more difficult to use than that of the graphical calculator, and most of my class also agreed. This is part of the reason why our statistics teacher, whom has a specialised background in statistics, highly recommended them to our class.(Original post by RDKGames)
I suppose it's a matter of personal preference then, I'm just used to not being so reliant on my calculator when doing maths.
What do you mean by inverse normal distributions? The equation's for the zvalue as well as the probabilityz value tables are in the formula booklet. I only needed to sketch myself a normal distribution curve, mark on the mean, and see on which side the wanted values go from which point it's pretty straight forward to solve further problems; so no graphical calculator would be worth it. The least squares regression line is also in the formula booklet I believe, you can use the fx991ES PLUS' table mode to fill in values and work out the correlation coefficient.(Original post by Dapperblook22)
I found the graphical calculator has slightly more functionality for S1 than that of the scientific. The fx991ES PLUS for example cannot do inverse normal distributions, whereas the graphical calculator can. The graphical calculator also plots graphs of the normal distribution and least squares regression line, which are helpful when working out and checking answers. I also found a graphical calculator more intuitive to use than the scientific calculator; everything needed can be accessed from the single STAT menu and is clearly labelled for ease of use.(Original post by B_9710)
No graphs that come up are complicated enough to need to buy a very expensive calculator. Out can get a £1015 calculator that can do everything you need for S1.
It's really up to you though.(Original post by RDKGames)
Errrr... if you don't mind me asking, in the context of S1, how exactly did you use your graphical calculator in ways that you couldn't use a normal scientific one (like fx991ES PLUS)? Everything S1 needs, fx991ES PLUS can do it.(Original post by RDKGames)
(a) Trig graphs should be pretty straight forward if you're doing ALevel maths, up to him for that reason. I can understand a graphical calc for FP modules, but not normal maths ones.
(b) I can check those things answers on my cheap Casio, thank you very much.
(c) Paying like £60 more and hoping for an off chance that you might need to actually use it for sketching graphs in an exam is not worth it, in my opinion; price outweighs the benefit... unless he has a spare £80 he doesn't need.(Original post by Dapperblook22)
Graphical calculators are a godsend for S1. I would recommend them, as they make some of the calculations so much quicker and easier (means, standard deviation, median, pmcc, normal and binomial distribution and least squares regression). The graphical calculator can also plot graphs which are difficult to remember (as mentioned by a user above), including the inverse trig and reciprocal trig functions when doing C3 or C4. Graphical calculators can also perform numeric differentiation and integration, although this functionality is shared by some scientific calculators.
For my exams I used a CASIO fx991ES PLUS (scientific calculator), as I had this one already, and also purchased a CASIO fx9860GII (graphical calculator), particularly to help with S1.(Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
A graphical calculator is quite useful though as it means:
(a) you don't have to memorise some of the more obscure trig graphs, e.g. arctan, as the calculator can draw them for you;
(b) you can check your answers (numerically) to solutions of equations, values of derivatives, and definite integrals;
(c) it allows you to boast that your calculator costs £80 (the approximate current price of a TI84 Plus CET), whilst those using cheap Casio calculators didn't even pay half of that. 
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 06082016 15:11
(Original post by Jved)
I see. I may get one then. But I don't need it for C1, D1. I'm doing S1 in the second year anyway. However, not so sure about C2 and above. And as for me, I am a lazy prat anyway so I may use the graphical calculator for the sake of efficiency but also use alternative methods you lot have mentioned to get familiar all around. In terms of the type of the calculator, I'll ask my sixth form. Also, are they allowed in exams? 
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 16
 06082016 15:18
(Original post by RDKGames)
C1 doesn't allow calculators at all. Otherwise they are indeed allowed. I'd say you can get by the first year pretty safely without a graphics calculator but get one for the following year if you struggle with graphs in C2.
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Updated: August 6, 2016
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