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# How to get an a* in A-Level maths?

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1. (Original post by Pinocchiolewis)
I just found out I got an A* on thursday! My advice is to work hard in class to understand the underlying principles on the topic so you can apply your knowledge to hard questions.

Apart from that, just do past papers and keep your knowledge fresh. Im sure you can do it!
Cool dude. I wondering how much UMS did you get?
2. I got full marks and close to full marks for core 3 and core 4.

I was OCR.

I would actually do all the questions in the book and actually understand the content if you want a*. To get A overall you just need to do know how to do most of the questions, and they don't change much from year to year so its pretty safe.

To get full marks or close, just revising papers won't do it for you because the last 2 or so questions are specifically designed to be different.

So you need to understand what your doing. If you're differentiating a trig function, most people just revise the derivative of sin x is cos x, but if you actually take time to study the graphs of these various functions and think about why the result is so. Same for things like the exponential function, its amazing but most people just look at it as e to the x and nothing more.

Then when you get to the questions at the end, you will visualize exactly what they're trying to ask you.

Also you are very lucky, in essence the questions and the format is so easy at A level compared to maths at uni. There's no 'deep' thinking, its straight forward.
3. (Original post by metaljoe)
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could contribute and bring forward any helpful tips/experience regarding how to achieve an a* in A-Level maths, anything would be greatly appreciated!
I have an A*.

As you're learning the syllabus: Make sure you understand the key concepts you cover in class to the extent that when you do questions on a topic in your textbook, the only mistakes you're making are because of silly mistakes like adding up wrong. And go back every so ofted making sure you still understand the topics

Once you've covered everything do every single past paper preferably once maybe twice if you have the time. And MARK them carefully! no point in doing a past paper if you're not going to mark it. As you're doing the papers, pick out the things you carry on losing marks for and jot them down so that your marks improve

Hope this helps!
4. 3 months before your exam do half a paper everyday then 2 months before, so a full past paper everyday, then 1 month before, do 2 past papers everyday.
Find past papers from 2001//2 to do as well.
Do Solomon papers (found on xtremepapers)
5. (Original post by konvictz0007)
I got full marks and close to full marks for core 3 and core 4.

I was OCR.

I would actually do all the questions in the book and actually understand the content if you want a*. To get A overall you just need to do know how to do most of the questions, and they don't change much from year to year so its pretty safe.

To get full marks or close, just revising papers won't do it for you because the last 2 or so questions are specifically designed to be different.

So you need to understand what your doing. If you're differentiating a trig function, most people just revise the derivative of sin x is cos x, but if you actually take time to study the graphs of these various functions and think about why the result is so. Same for things like the exponential function, its amazing but most people just look at it as e to the x and nothing more.

Then when you get to the questions at the end, you will visualize exactly what they're trying to ask you.

Also you are very lucky, in essence the questions and the format is so easy at A level compared to maths at uni. There's no 'deep' thinking, its straight forward.
Thank you!
6. (Original post by Jess_x)
I have an A*.

As you're learning the syllabus: Make sure you understand the key concepts you cover in class to the extent that when you do questions on a topic in your textbook, the only mistakes you're making are because of silly mistakes like adding up wrong. And go back every so ofted making sure you still understand the topics

Once you've covered everything do every single past paper preferably once maybe twice if you have the time. And MARK them carefully! no point in doing a past paper if you're not going to mark it. As you're doing the papers, pick out the things you carry on losing marks for and jot them down so that your marks improve

Hope this helps!
Cheers!
7. (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
3 months before your exam do half a paper everyday then 2 months before, so a full past paper everyday, then 1 month before, do 2 past papers everyday.
Find past papers from 2001//2 to do as well.
Do Solomon papers (found on xtremepapers)
Thanks!
8. (Original post by RDKGames)
Achieve average 90+ UMS across C3/4 while achieving average 80+ UMS in the rest of the modules. Practice is key. Do whatever you need to in order to achieve this.
Would you say I should retake C3 if i got 83 UMS?
9. (Original post by anonymousm3)
Would you say I should retake C3 if i got 83 UMS?
If you really want that A* and C3 is the only thing holding you back then go for it, I guess.
10. (Original post by Zacken)
What?
Thought you could solve his problems because you are like king at maths on TSR
11. (Original post by TheYearNiner)
Thought you could solve his problems because you are like king at maths on TSR
Nah, Teeem is the king of maths on here. Even though he's not with us anymore, I still feel as though he's here watching over us, guiding us through our journey.
Amen.
12. Really understand the material, and do a sufficient number of exercises until everything is blindingly obvious to you.
13. I always write down every mistake I make on an extra sheet of paper. You don't make the mistake again.
14. (Original post by metaljoe)
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could contribute and bring forward any helpful tips/experience regarding how to achieve an a* in A-Level maths, anything would be greatly appreciated!
The word that pretty much every post has said is UNDERSTAND

The meaning of that word is what you make of it and determines whether or not you get high marks.

Maths is all about getting full marks and thats why people keep saying it's one of the hardest A levels despite the high pass rates.

I got 588/600 UMS
I wouldn't say I worked my butt off because the revision I set myself just seems the norm/standard.

You need to have completed most if not all past papers for your exam board if not other exam boards - however specs are slightly different.

To boast - I got:

C1 - 100UMS
C2 - 99UMS
C3 - 89UMS - my excuse is ALOT of mistakes
C4 - 100UMS
M1 - 100UMS
S1 - 100UMS

Where you mostly gain marks is in C4.
This is because the grade boundaries are always ridiculously low - especially in recent years due to the fact students do not even learn the whole C4 syllabus because of rushed teaching.

C4 may seem hard however all it is - is longer workings out - more methods to remember and understand.

Depending on which exam board you do - most core papers have easy trig marks.
So learn dem cast diagrams dude.

imo WJEC isn't a reliable option anymore - their papers are becoming more random (C4 2015 grade boundaries for 100UMS was 60/75!!!!
80% for 100UMS!!!!)

In C2 I had never heard of two circles and a common chord so **** you WJEC.

Applied is where it becomes easy/difficult for some. - what applied units are you doing?

In conclusion - your C3 logic needs to be on point and you need to be ready to interpret whatever that exam throws at you since what people have said is true - past papers just aren't enough.
15. (Original post by Maths is Life)
The word that pretty much every post has said is UNDERSTAND

The meaning of that word is what you make of it and determines whether or not you get high marks.

Maths is all about getting full marks and thats why people keep saying it's on of the hardest A levels despite the high pass rates.

I got 588/600 UMS
I wouldn't say I worked my butt off because the revision I set myself just seems the norm/standard.

You need to have completed most if not all past papers for your exam board if not over exam boards - however specs are slightly different.

To boast - I got:

C1 - 100UMS
C2 - 99UMS
C3 - 89UMS
C4 - 100UMS
M1 - 100UMS
S1 - 100UMS

Where you mostly gain marks is in C4.
This is because the grade boundaries are always ridiculously low - especially in recent years due to the fact students do not even learn the whole C4 syllabus because of rushed teaching.

C4 may seem hard however all it is - is longer workings out - more methods to remember and understand.

Depending on which exam board you do - they both have easy trig marks.
This can easily hook you a pass.

imo WJEC isn't a reliable option anymore - their papers are becoming more random (C4 2015 grade boundaries for 100UMS was 60/75!!!!
80% for 100UMS!!!!)

In C2 I had never heard of two circles and a common chord so **** you WJEC.

Applied is where it becomes easy/difficult for some. - what applied units are you doing?

In conclusion - your C3 logic needs to be on point and you need to be ready to interpret whatever that exam throws at you since what people have said is true - past papers just aren't enough.
Thank you. This was a very thorough answer, and I shall take this advice going forward into next year. This year I am doing M1 as my applied modulewith the mandatory C3 and C4.
16. (Original post by metaljoe)
Thank you. This was a very thorough answer, and I shall take this advice going forward into next year. This year I am doing M1 as my applied modulewith the mandatory C3 and C4.
I am stupid as I failed my first year of A levels however what kept my going was the fact I got 84UMS in M1.
If you like physics - you will obliterate mechanics.

Mechanics may seem difficult and requires interpretation. However like always just practice.
I struggled the most with mechanics however it was my highest scoring module.

This year I walked the M1 exam - proper chill.
17. Should I purchase a calculator that can integrate and differentiate, or will a normal calculator be fine?
18. (Original post by metaljoe)
Should I purchase a calculator that can integrate and differentiate, or will a normal calculator be fine?
A normal calculator will more than suffice if you do maths not further maths.

The calculator you described is useful for checking answers at the end of an exam and speeding up the process.

What I forgot to mention is that exams are all about speed. It is possible to finish C1 exams in under 30mins and 50mins for C4.

What I did the night before the exam is do all the recent past papers as fast as I could so my brain would go mad with maths.

Giving you the rest of the exam to chill and quadtruple check your answers and do the questions you missed out.

No mistakes tho. Do not make any.
19. I never got an A* but i was 2 Ums marks off an A* haha id say past papers is key
20. (Original post by English-help)
I never got an A* but i was 2 Ums marks off an A* haha id say past papers is key
An A is fantastic, but it is frustrating when the next grade is so close! I had a similar feat across 4 of my GCSE's!

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