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Further Maths or Biology Watch

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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Half of which aren't really interesting for me but so are half of degrees available for biology A levels

    I'm sort of set on chem, phy or biochem
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    It would be interesting to know why you are keen on going into chem,phy or biochem?why not maths you said you like it?In your position doing just Maths with Biology seems to be the most sensible thing to do because Further Maths is really for those definetley wanting to go for a maths or maths related degree and an AS in Further Maths should generally sort out those problems in the 2nd year if you do change your mind and I've noticed that it seems that you must be covering M1 and M2 in A-Level Maths which is most of the maths that you would need for Physics.Also, some course consider Maths and Further Maths to be one subject.

    You seem to find Maths easy so Further Maths should be doable for you but don't underestimate it it is designed to be hard for the best mathematicians and it is so you are going to have to work hard and will likely struggle but should come out with a good result in it in the end(I really struggled a lot over the year but worked hard and am expecting good results)-I'm not sure whether this will be exactly the same for you as me though because at my college l they put all the easier modules into AS and A2 Maths but in your college they seem to do things differently and you should have no problem with S1 and I'm not sure about D1 because I haven't done it and FP1 is pure maths so I like it but its a lot harder than C1 and C2 you must be doing M1 in AS Maths and it is a really hard module to get your head round at first but after the first 7 weeks or something I think you will get the hang of it but its a lot harder than S1 thats why my college did S1 in AS Maths and M1 in Further Maths along M2(now that module is tough).

    In a way after not taking Biology and Chemistry and doing Maths, Further Maths,Physics and Geography I kinda of feel as if I have closed off some useful routes so I can understand why you want to take Biology, especially if you are not quite sure about what you want to do then Further Maths probably isn't for you.
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Well thanks for reply but erm maybe you shoudn't have quoted my OP...

    The thing is I like some topics and I hate a few (ecosystem stuff etc that's not biological processes)

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    Haha Sozzz.I did Biology at AS and dropped it because of the ecosystem stuff which makes up a large part of A2 so it just had to go


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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Yeah on this site it seems like 1/3 ppl want to go to medicine when they're doing GCSEs and when I visit A level forums there are only few medicine students (maybe they are dead of stress lol!)
    Anyway that's what I'm hoping - hopefully during AS year I can know wht I really like.
    Medicine to compsci is a big change! Hearing these stories make me more hesitant to drop either subject you know! *cry*

    Tbh I think FM will be less stress for me and been thinking that since I received the option choice sheet but yeah as you can see I'm so indecisive ._.

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    Why do you think FM will be less stress it's a HUGE step up ( university level in A2). If you genuinely believe it'll be easier then do it. As you've already said biology is not really needed for many bio related courses and you don't want to do medicine so it sounds like a simple decision.
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    x
    You seem to be a high achieving student, based on your grades and your university aspirations. My response is tailored on that basis, and on the basis that you seem genuinely interested in both F. Maths and Biology.

    First, consider doing 5 A Levels. Yup, really. If you felt you got your A*s in Maths/Science GCSEs without overexerting yourself, you will be more than capable of handling 5 science A Levels - it's really not as bad as it sounds. It's also good preparation for what is a (huge) step up in workload at the top universities for competitive courses. I speak from experience, having done 5.5 A Levels myself. If you feel that you are struggling, you can drop 1 or even 2 subjects after AS - but this way you at least get to sample the subjects and give yourself a bit longer to figure out what you like and what you don't.

    Second, ignore everybody telling you that F. Maths is 'useless unless you want to do maths at uni' or variations on this. For the top universities, e.g. Cambridge, it is tremendously advantageous to have done F. Maths for pretty much every science course. It doesn't matter if you do CompSci, Physical Natsci, Biological Natsci, Engineering, whatever - they're all very maths heavy. This is also true for Economics - to the point where F. Maths is valued much above Economics A Level. If you want to keep all your options open, studying F. Maths at least to AS Level is the way to go. Biology is far, far more specific in terms of the the degrees that require/place value on it.

    The philosophy a capable but undecided student should take, imo, is to keep all options on the table open for themselves - and that means measuring yourself by the standards of the top universities. That is exactly what the two suggestions above aim for.
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    It would be interesting to know why you are keen on going into chem,phy or biochem?why not maths you said you like it?In your position doing just Maths with Biology seems to be the most sensible thing to do because Further Maths is really for those definetley wanting to go for a maths or maths related degree and an AS in Further Maths should generally sort out those problems in the 2nd year if you do change your mind and I've noticed that it seems that you must be covering M1 and M2 in A-Level Maths which is most of the maths that you would need for Physics.Also, some course consider Maths and Further Maths to be one subject.

    You seem to find Maths easy so Further Maths should be doable for you but don't underestimate it it is designed to be hard for the best mathematicians and it is so you are going to have to work hard and will likely struggle but should come out with a good result in it in the end(I really struggled a lot over the year but worked hard and am expecting good results)-I'm not sure whether this will be exactly the same for you as me though because at my college l they put all the easier modules into AS and A2 Maths but in your college they seem to do things differently and you should have no problem with S1 and I'm not sure about D1 because I haven't done it and FP1 is pure maths so I like it but its a lot harder than C1 and C2 you must be doing M1 in AS Maths and it is a really hard module to get your head round at first but after the first 7 weeks or something I think you will get the hang of it but its a lot harder than S1 thats why my college did S1 in AS Maths and M1 in Further Maths along M2(now that module is tough).

    In a way after not taking Biology and Chemistry and doing Maths, Further Maths,Physics and Geography I kinda of feel as if I have closed off some useful routes so I can understand why you want to take Biology, especially if you are not quite sure about what you want to do then Further Maths probably isn't for you.
    Well, what's going on at molecular level is fascinating. Physics can contain bigger scale stuff such as universe but it's also fascinating because if I start from me as a living thing inside me a lot of chemical reactions are going on interaction between molecules blah blah etc and the molecules that are consisting us are actually from the beginning of the universe or so I heard which is what physicists claim as their field - so yeah
    I don't actually know why not maths. Maths was my absolute favourite subject until 3 years ago, but GCSE was no challenge that maybe I forgot the pleasure of solving hard problems. But for some reason I never thought of doing maths at uni
    Yes I will cover M1 M2 in normal maths
    well thanks a lot for help
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    (Original post by livealittle)
    Haha Sozzz.I did Biology at AS and dropped it because of the ecosystem stuff which makes up a large part of A2 so it just had to go


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    Yeah that's what I'm planning to do I will drop bio at A2 if I take bio because ecosystem :puke: unless yeah as I said I get sucked into biology world (unlikely but not impossible)
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    Why do you think FM will be less stress it's a HUGE step up ( university level in A2). If you genuinely believe it'll be easier then do it. As you've already said biology is not really needed for many bio related courses and you don't want to do medicine so it sounds like a simple decision.
    I don't believe it will be easier. I heard "if you want easier life choose biology" in my previous thread. Sure, biology may be just memorising the contents which may be "easier" than FM. But the memorising is hard for me, I think I said this to someone but I am good at understanding process and remember what's going but I can't remember the names of process or labels of a diagram. I think it will stress me out more than twisting my brain to work out something that's what I meant. FM may be much harder content wise but the learning process may be easier for me because it's not too much of memorising (I hope)

    yeah it may sound like a simple decision from a 3rd person
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Yeah that's what I'm planning to do I will drop bio at A2 if I take bio because ecosystem :puke: unless yeah as I said I get sucked into biology world (unlikely but not impossible)
    AS is interesting ,there's quite a lot to learn content wise but I actually enjoyed it .
    If you are that type of person that *loves* their maths I'd say stick with FM.
    But bio is worth a try .Good luck with whatever you choose x


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    (Original post by C0balt)
    I don't believe it will be easier. I heard "if you want easier life choose biology" in my previous thread. Sure, biology may be just memorising the contents which may be "easier" than FM. But the memorising is hard for me, I think I said this to someone but I am good at understanding process and remember what's going but I can't remember the names of process or labels of a diagram. I think it will stress me out more than twisting my brain to work out something that's what I meant. FM may be much harder content wise but the learning process may be easier for me because it's not too much of memorising (I hope)

    yeah it may sound like a simple decision from a 3rd person
    Have you considered doing 5? ( I know it may jeopardise your UMS if you want to go to Cambridge)
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    You seem to be a high achieving student, based on your grades and your university aspirations. My response is tailored on that basis, and on the basis that you seem genuinely interested in both F. Maths and Biology.

    First, consider doing 5 A Levels. Yup, really. If you felt you got your A*s in Maths/Science GCSEs without overexerting yourself, you will be more than capable of handling 5 science A Levels - it's really not as bad as it sounds. It's also good preparation for what is a (huge) step up in workload at the top universities for competitive courses. I speak from experience, having done 5.5 A Levels myself. If you feel that you are struggling, you can drop 1 or even 2 subjects after AS - but this way you at least get to sample the subjects and give yourself a bit longer to figure out what you like and what you don't.

    Second, ignore everybody telling you that F. Maths is 'useless unless you want to do maths at uni' or variations on this. For the top universities, e.g. Cambridge, it is tremendously advantageous to have done F. Maths for pretty much every science course. It doesn't matter if you do CompSci, Physical Natsci, Biological Natsci, Engineering, whatever - they're all very maths heavy. This is also true for Economics - to the point where F. Maths is valued much above Economics A Level. If you want to keep all your options open, studying F. Maths at least to AS Level is the way to go. Biology is far, far more specific in terms of the the degrees that require/place value on it.

    The philosophy a capable but undecided student should take, imo, is to keep all options on the table open for themselves - and that means measuring yourself by the standards of the top universities. That is exactly what the two suggestions above aim for.
    I have considered doing 5 A levels already and checked with my Sixthform. However my Sixthform blocks do not allow to take 5 if the 5th isn't French, EPQ, or extra GCSE subject. I was thinking to take all 5 and drop any of them if I had problems, but it isn't possible.
    I could understand everything and get almost everything stuck in my head during every lesson so I'd say I didn't exert myself at all. What I only did was to look over notes to memorise equation and labels. My sci teacher told me I've outgrown GCSE or something like that. But it doesn't matter much now because I can't do 5 anyway.

    Thanks a lot for your advice, it's very specific and also somewhat motivating haha
    I thought of it like this before in terms of top uni course requirements, so I sent option sheet with FM then bio as alternative option if FM class is full but then I was like "I would never know if I wanna do biological science without doing biology" and I also liked interlinking each field's knowledge so yeah here I am being indecisive ._. Guess I wasn't wrong then looking at your advice
    Are you at cambridge out of curiosity?
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    (Original post by livealittle)
    AS is interesting ,there's quite a lot to learn content wise but I actually enjoyed it .
    If you are that type of person that *loves* their maths I'd say stick with FM.
    But bio is worth a try .Good luck with whatever you choose x


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    thanks
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    Have you considered doing 5? ( I know it may jeopardise your UMS if you want to go to Cambridge)
    Yes but my Sixthform wouldn't allow it. Forgot to write it in the OP
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    Russell group universities (especially Oxbridge) love FM, no matter which course. Although I would say, the modules your school offer for FM AS are really dull (D1 in particular), and the A2 modules are exceptionally hard.

    I never did Biology, so I can't comment, and therefore my opinion is also biased. However, FM does have a certain status in universities and in the world of work.
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    Admittedly I didn't take Biology for my A levels but I did take further maths and honestly, it was definitely the best A level choice I made.

    I'll post two messages of different length so you can decide which one you feel like reading.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The LOOONG message (Read at your own risk...this one might get technical)

    Keep in mind that if you pick further maths then you'll only really start studying the modules like FP1 and M2/D1/S2 later on in your AS year (at least that's how my school did it). Meaning that if you understand C1/C2/M1/S1 then those FM modules should come very naturally to you.
    The only real shock you can expect by taking FM is at the start (this would happen even if you didn't take FM as mentioned above) when you adjust to A level maths as a whole.

    And I suppose the jump from AS FM to A2 FM is noticeable but if you're continuing FM then it's probably because you know you'll enjoy it.

    The maths you learn in the regular maths course is interesting especially when it get's to C4/M2/S2 and throughout the core modules you'll advance your skills in calculus, trigonometry, algebra, vectors...

    FM's pure modules (FP1, FP2, FP3) will both supplement those topics and then add some completely new ones which you may not have heard of.

    The best two topics in A level maths come from FM at A2 imo. (I'm gonna' catch a lot of flak for this...)

    -Differential equations
    You're already used to solving equations for x (and y if simultaneous) but here the solution will be a function. This is greatly explored in FP2 and used from M3 onwards for describing complex motions though it will make a brief appearance in C4.

    -Complex numbers
    Essentially this revolves around the idea of describing 'imaginary numbers' involving 'i' where 'i' is √-1. It's introduced in FP1 and at first it seems abstract and pretty pointless stuff however at FP2 you'll see that it has some very real uses to it. Favourite topic of all time imo, hence my name.

    The additional applied modules will not use techniques learnt in FP1/FP2/FP3 but will use skills learnt in C3/C4, namely calculus and vectors and trigonometry.
    Mechanics, in particular, capitalises on the core skills the most and you end up solving some pretty difficult stuff by M3 but it's very rewarding.

    I just think that without FM, regular maths would feel rather anticlimactic since you learn all those neat skills but then don't get the chance to apply them.

    Sorry if this has dragged on a bit.
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    Do both. If you could do 5 as level, then 4 in a2. You could secure a place at Oxbridge assuming you got 90%+ in as level in all subjects, and 97% in relevant 3 subjects.
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    The short message

    Ask these questions to yourself and be brutally honest: it's better than regretting a choice for a year.

    -Do I enjoy maths?
    -Am I genuinely interested in why something is correct?
    -Would I go the extra-mile to learn something? As in, when you eventually find something that you don't understand the first time, will you ask for help?
    -Are you willing to revise regularly for your modules even if the exams are feeling far away? (Trust me, time flies in A level).

    If you answered "YES!" (shouting not mandatory) to these questions then FM would be very ideal for you.

    Hope this helps.

    If you want to know more about A level maths in general, feel free to ask.




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    (Original post by Complex solution)
    Admittedly I didn't take Biology for my A levels but I did take further maths and honestly, it was definitely the best A level choice I made.

    I'll post two messages of different length so you can decide which one you feel like reading.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The LOOONG message (Read at your own risk...this one might get technical)

    Keep in mind that if you pick further maths then you'll only really start studying the modules like FP1 and M2/D1/S2 later on in your AS year (at least that's how my school did it). Meaning that if you understand C1/C2/M1/S1 then those FM modules should come very naturally to you.
    The only real shock you can expect by taking FM is at the start (this would happen even if you didn't take FM as mentioned above) when you adjust to A level maths as a whole.

    And I suppose the jump from AS FM to A2 FM is noticeable but if you're continuing FM then it's probably because you know you'll enjoy it.

    The maths you learn in the regular maths course is interesting especially when it get's to C4/M2/S2 and throughout the core modules you'll advance your skills in calculus, trigonometry, algebra, vectors...

    FM's pure modules (FP1, FP2, FP3) will both supplement those topics and then add some completely new ones which you may not have heard of.

    The best two topics in A level maths come from FM at A2 imo. (I'm gonna' catch a lot of flak for this...)

    -Differential equations
    You're already used to solving equations for x (and y if simultaneous) but here the solution will be a function. This is greatly explored in FP2 and used from M3 onwards for describing complex motions though it will make a brief appearance in C4.

    -Complex numbers
    Essentially this revolves around the idea of describing 'imaginary numbers' involving 'i' where 'i' is √-1. It's introduced in FP1 and at first it seems abstract and pretty pointless stuff however at FP2 you'll see that it has some very real uses to it. Favourite topic of all time imo, hence my name.

    The additional applied modules will not use techniques learnt in FP1/FP2/FP3 but will use skills learnt in C3/C4, namely calculus and vectors and trigonometry.
    Mechanics, in particular, capitalises on the core skills the most and you end up solving some pretty difficult stuff by M3 but it's very rewarding.

    I just think that without FM, regular maths would feel rather anticlimactic since you learn all those neat skills but then don't get the chance to apply them.

    Sorry if this has dragged on a bit.
    Yessss complex numbers! They've been a long time mystery for me since...idk when lol I don't even remember when I got to know it
    Oh really they're only in FM

    Haha this is really persuasive ! I also thought A2 topics seem more interesting since my AS are only S1 D1 with FP1 so well maybe take FM and continue with 4 at A2 and read bio books in the bus....

    Well thanks a lot for your time writing long comment !

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    (Original post by Wilsoncw1997)
    Do both. If you could do 5 as level, then 4 in a2. You could secure a place at Oxbridge assuming you got 90%+ in as level in all subjects, and 97% in relevant 3 subjects.
    I told to the other ppl but I can only do 4 subjects at maximum. I can do AS in FM and bio with 3A2 (or different combination of these) but not 5AS in a year


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    (Original post by Complex solution)
    The short message

    Ask these questions to yourself and be brutally honest: it's better than regretting a choice for a year.

    -Do I enjoy maths?
    -Am I genuinely interested in why something is correct?
    -Would I go the extra-mile to learn something? As in, when you eventually find something that you don't understand the first time, will you ask for help?
    -Are you willing to revise regularly for your modules even if the exams are feel far away? (Trust me, time flies in A level).

    If you answered "YES!" (shouting not mandatory) to these questions then FM would be very ideal for you.

    Hope this helps.

    If you want to know more about A level maths in general, feel free to ask.




    I shouted YES for all except last one which turned into a mumble lol
    Well I never revised properly to call it revision in GCSE but sure I'm hardworking I want to believe. I didn't revise cuz I didn't need to for such difficulty and instead I watched Youtube vids or TED talks on maths or science so I want to believe that I'm willing to put extra time in for subjects I like which I hope will be used in revision instead of videos once A level starts.

    I hope someone who likes biology can give me similar response though. Your posts are very useful and persuasive but you know it's biased :P

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    (Original post by C0balt)
    I also thought A2 topics seem more interesting since my AS are only S1 D1 with FP1 so well maybe take FM and continue with 4 at A2 and read bio books in the bus....
    All the applied modules are interesting (maybe not C1 though, only because it's very simple) but if you want a challenge you'll probably find that in FM.

    I'd recommend specialising in mechanics if you get the chance since it tends to 'flow' better from module to module; you can see where each topic fits into the final picture better than with statistics, at least in my experience.
 
 
 
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