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Why is A-level maths SO much harder than every other A-level?

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    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    That is subjective. Obviously from what you say it is clear that you are much better at essay subjects as opposed to numerical ones.
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    you can't waffle in math. no sirree bob.
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    (Original post by RDKGames)
    That is subjective. Obviously from what you say it is clear that you are much better at essay subjects as opposed to numerical ones.
    True true true.

    But. I have a very quantitative mind, one of my best 'natural' skills is mental maths, but A-Level maths itself ****s me, i feel dyslexic sometimes.

    But yeah your right, some people can get 100% in every maths test and fail essay subjects easily. I just feel like maths' work load is huge and it is a much harder subject than any others, for anyone to do, even the most intelligent of people struggle with it.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    you can't waffle in math. no sirree bob.
    One thing you can do is get 100%, i'm still convinced no examiner has ever given 100% in an essay based subject, in maths you're right or you're wrong, for people that are good at it, it's easier to get higher.
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    two words - it's not
    three words - for some people.

    You should go into a maths qualification with the determination.

    It seems from your paragraph you excel at essay writing as I do not.

    I got an A* in A level maths and treated it as enrichment because I enjoyed it.

    On the other hand I didn't enjoy writing essays in economics as much as learning the theory. I got a B.

    It's a simple statement/fact that mathematicians know.
    You do not revise maths
    - YOU PRACTICE IT.

    my advice would be to understand everything and complete past papers as fast as you can.

    - The only reason you are given 90 minutes per unit is to check answers.
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    (Original post by lw8)
    True true true.

    But. I have a very quantitative mind, one of my best 'natural' skills is mental maths, but A-Level maths itself ****s me, i feel dyslexic sometimes.

    But yeah your right, some people can get 100% in every maths test and fail essay subjects easily. I just feel like maths' work load is huge and it is a much harder subject than any others, for anyone to do, even the most intelligent of people struggle with it.
    I think this goes without even saying that, as you can see for yourself, that mathematics is not all about doing mental calculations as fast as possible. Sure, that is a perk indeed, but it is meaningless in the grand scheme of the A-Level, let alone the entire subject.

    I will have to disagree with you as far as Maths' workload is concerned. I took English Literature, Maths and Further Maths at AS Level a year ago and I found literature's workload to be much more than Maths and Further Maths combined simply due to the amount of reading and remembering you have to do in the subject. For Maths and FM, it is only the simple case of understanding what happens, when it happens and why it happens, and practice of a thousand papers can be helpful, but not as much as actually understanding why something you write down is true or not. No need to look over pages of notes for the subject because the exams test your knowledge in applying it to different scenarios as opposed to asking "What does differentiation of a function mean?" which anyone can answer since the start of A-Level maths.
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    (Original post by Maths is Life)
    two words - it's not
    three words - for some people.

    You should go into a maths qualification with the determination.

    It seems from your paragraph you excel at essay writing as I do not.

    I got an A* in A level maths and treated it as enrichment because I enjoyed it.

    On the other hand I didn't enjoy writing essays in economics as much as learning the theory. I got a B.

    It's a simple statement/fact that mathematicians know.
    You do not revise maths
    - YOU PRACTICE IT.

    my advice would be to understand everything and complete past papers as fast as you can.

    - The only reason you are given 90 minutes per unit is to check answers.
    I practice maths a lot, i even have a tutor. I find it hard to take it all in.
    But thats pretty cool perspective, economics was one of my As.
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    (Original post by RDKGames)
    I think this goes without even saying that, as you can see for yourself, that mathematics is not all about doing mental calculations as fast as possible. Sure, that is a perk indeed, but it is meaningless in the grand scheme of the A-Level, let alone the entire subject.

    I will have to disagree with you as far as Maths' workload is concerned. I took English Literature, Maths and Further Maths at AS Level a year ago and I found literature's workload to be much more than Maths and Further Maths combined simply due to the amount of reading and remembering you have to do in the subject. For Maths and FM, it is only the simple case of understanding what happens, when it happens and why it happens, and practice of a thousand papers can be helpful, but not as much as actually understanding why something you write down is true or not. No need to look over pages of notes for the subject because the exams test your knowledge in applying it to different scenarios as opposed to asking "What does differentiation of a function mean?" which anyone can answer since the start of A-Level maths.
    I think my problem is the lack of fundamental skills and knowledge in maths, the calculations and numbers are easy, but for me its knowing when to do and apply certain things.

    Just for example, i don't know what the bit in bold means and probably won't ever learn it, i might come out with a B/C but it'll be because i rote learnt how to do everything rather than knowing what any of it actually means. I still don't understand why we do anything in maths(I get Statistics, but thats about it), i just know i have to do it to get into university
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I practice maths a lot, i even have a tutor. I find it hard to take it all in.
    But thats pretty cool perspective, economics was one of my As.
    It may be that you rely too heavily on your tutor.

    Whenever you feel unsure on a topic or pretty much anything no matter how small - ASK QUESTIONS.
    Question yourself and the teacher especially. In my lessons throughout my A level years and today - My maths teachers always make mistakes on a daily basis.

    You need to know that everyone makes mistakes.

    If you're having trouble with taking in the information, skip the understand part and remember the methods by heading straight for the past papers and using the mark schemes.

    I did this for S1 and practically self tought most of the unit and got 100UMS
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    Maths is a joke. Further maths is way harder.
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    (Original post by Maths is Life)
    It may be that you rely too heavily on your tutor.

    Whenever you feel unsure on a topic or pretty much anything no matter how small - ASK QUESTIONS.
    Question yourself and the teacher especially.In my teachings throughout my A level years and today - My maths teachers always make mistakes on a daily basis.

    You need to know that everyone makes mistakes.

    If you're having trouble with taking the information, skip the understand part and remember the methods by heading straight for the past papers and using the mark schemes.

    I did this for S1 and practically self tought most of the unit and got 100UMS
    My issue is when i do ask for help, my teachers aren't great at explaining things, and they speak to me like i understand everything already and don't get how to do one part of the question, then gets impatient as they expect me to know certain things. My tutor explains everything clearly and speaks to me like someone that doesn't fundamentally understand maths, which i don't, so i learn much quicker when listening to him.
    Thanks for the help btw.
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    (Original post by monk1324)
    Maths is a joke. Further maths is way harder.
    I can only imagine. When i say maths i generally mean all maths modules.
    Would hardly say maths is a 'joke' though, did you get 100% in C4 and M1?
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    A very subjective thread.
    I'm finding AS Maths nice, but Psychology ..... (I dropped that faster than the Prices at sports direct)
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I think my problem is the lack of fundamental skills and knowledge in maths, the calculations and numbers are easy, but for me its knowing when to do and apply certain things.

    Just for example, i don't know what the bit in bold means and probably won't ever learn it, i might come out with a B/C but it'll be because i rote learnt how to do everything rather than knowing what any of it actually means. I still don't understand why we do anything in maths(I get Statistics, but thats about it), i just know i have to do it to get into university
    The way to gain true understanding is to seek it. Have a read of http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Class...mitsIntro.aspx and then
    http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Class...tiveIntro.aspx
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I don't understand why they make it so hard.
    I got AAD in my AS (i'll be retaking and getting a B but thats besides the point).
    For the 2 As, i didn't revise, it was fairly easy to keep up with the notes and be confident on writing essays for every topic.
    Maths however; i did at least 8 extra hours a week from February to May (the exams), and still only got a D overall (58.7%).

    AS levels are insultingly easy if its not maths (and some sciences, like chem/physics/computer science).
    Okay, read the guide - "How to smash your A-levels by an A* student" on this website.

    What you want to do is get the basics nailed and make your mental maths and logical skills better - play brain games/apps perhaps and go on Mymaths if you can.

    Once you've got your basics done, read in detail the textbook - I've actually gotten good at speed reading the math books - somehow!?

    If it helps, watch Examsolutions videos - they're very good.

    Lastly, keep practising. Make sure you do so many easy questions and work your way up so that they become memorised into your muscle memory and brain - a bit extreme I know - but that's not a bad way. It's essentially just practising ONE THING AT A TIME - don't move onto the next stage until you've tackled the other.

    One LAST thing - as you start getting the hand of things, PHYSICALLY pick up the pace and start waltzing through them, if that's the right word. That way, you'll get through maths faster and have time for other stuff too.
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    Meh. I think a lot of it is actually based on very good work ethic more or less than ability (but you still need to have good ability). My work ethic two years ago was absolutely s*** and my grade suffered. Had to retake (yes retake, not resit the exams during A2) the whole year because I did so badly. Improved quite a lot since then as now I've made this discipline to keep practising and asking teacher questions when I'm unsure.

    I did Physics as well and found that harder. Personally I think the hardest A-level is Further Maths but it depends on what sort of student you are whether you prefer essay based subjects or straight up correct or incorrect subjects like Maths.
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    (Original post by lw8)
    I think my problem is the lack of fundamental skills and knowledge in maths, the calculations and numbers are easy, but for me its knowing when to do and apply certain things.

    Just for example, i don't know what the bit in bold means and probably won't ever learn it, i might come out with a B/C but it'll be because i rote learnt how to do everything rather than knowing what any of it actually means. I still don't understand why we do anything in maths(I get Statistics, but thats about it), i just know i have to do it to get into university
    Then without any offense, maths isn't for you. If you genuinely do not understand why you do anything in the subject, and cannot get to grips with it, then it's not something you should continue to do at any higher education course. If you need it for your course at uni, at least make sure you understand whatever it is concerning your course. Try and go for a B and you'll be fine.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Differentiation finds the rate of change of one variable with respect to another throughout a given function.
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    I find A-level maths fairly straightforward, but then again, I am also doing A-level physics which I am completely hopeless at, so any subject in comparison to physics seem much less difficult to me (with the exception of chemistry).
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    (Original post by lw8)
    My issue is when i do ask for help, my teachers aren't great at explaining things, and they speak to me like i understand everything already and don't get how to do one part of the question, then gets impatient as they expect me to know certain things. My tutor explains everything clearly and speaks to me like someone that doesn't fundamentally understand maths, which i don't, so i learn much quicker when listening to him.
    Thanks for the help btw.

    Hmm - maybe your teachers are really mean, intimidating, condescending?

    I'm doing OCR physics in one year after failing AQA physics in which one excuse is to blame my awful physics teacher.

    tbh regardless of your wealth, when you've had to resort to a tutor you know your teachers aren't doing there jobs properly...

    When you do ask for help - do not be afraid to interrupt the teacher and ask them to explain further on a topic they deem simple/easy to understand.

    Funny sidenote to the statement making mistakes today.

    - We sometimes train/practice for the maths challenge and I make mistakes like 25 - 6 = 16.............and 2 x 3 = 5
 
 
 
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