I'd be very careful of not taking maths alongside physics. Over the past couple years, with my exam board certainly, the physics exams have been more and more maths focussed. Those without A level maths potentially struggle with some of the trickier questions, and are certainly at a disadvantage to the majority of candidates who do have maths.
At the moment, my college runs a compulsory maths class for those without, but is pushing for maths to be compulsory for all physics students because of the disadvantage they feel those students without are at. If I were you, I'd either teach myself the key bits of the maths syllabus, ensure the college runs additional maths classes but ultimately I would take maths and do mechanics because that's the most helpful module  and I know that because I took statistics and always wished I had done mechanics!
Basically, if you choose not to do maths, beware that you will need to extra maths off your own back if necessary because there is a lot of maths in the physics course.
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Is A level Physics for me? Watch

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 10072014 14:53

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 10072014 14:54
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
I nearing towards Physics now. I like maths at times, but i dont particularly enjoy it as much as Science. So even if im alright at maths, not particularly amazing, i can still do physics? (Sorry to be so repetitive. I'm just really confused) 
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 10072014 15:01
(Original post by vimto39)
I'd be very careful of not taking maths alongside physics. Over the past couple years, with my exam board certainly, the physics exams have been more and more maths focussed. Those without A level maths potentially struggle with some of the trickier questions, and are certainly at a disadvantage to the majority of candidates who do have maths.
At the moment, my college runs a compulsory maths class for those without, but is pushing for maths to be compulsory for all physics students because of the disadvantage they feel those students without are at. If I were you, I'd either teach myself the key bits of the maths syllabus, ensure the college runs additional maths classes but ultimately I would take maths and do mechanics because that's the most helpful module  and I know that because I took statistics and always wished I had done mechanics!
Basically, if you choose not to do maths, beware that you will need to extra maths off your own back if necessary because there is a lot of maths in the physics course. 
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 10072014 15:17
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
Thanks. But the thing is i dont want to take four A levels as it may be too challenging for me
To illustrate my point  out of 3 classes of 20 at my college, about 12 people took physics without maths. Of those people, 3 are now resitting the year, 6 failed physics, 2 passed but only just ie E and the remaining guy kept it on to A2. He's a smart lad, got an offer for Medicine, but he just really struggled with the maths at A2 level physics  and if he wasn't taking 4 A2's would probably miss his offer as a result of the maths because he really hates it.
If you're only taking 3 AS levels  so you wont be able to drop one at A2  I would have a proper think about taking it, because there's no point in doing it if you're not going to achieve your potential and ultimately enjoy the subject as it gets much more difficult in terms of maths at A2. Equally, people are successful at physics without having taken maths. And at worse case scenario, you can change in the first week or two, so just make sure you have a backup subject.
EDIT: Perhaps even have a look on the specification of your exam board to see what maths [will be called quantitative skills or similar] is required of you, and if you would be happy undertaking it.Last edited by vimto39; 10072014 at 15:23. 
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 10072014 15:22
AS physics, at least for AQA, isn't too taxing to be honest, if you are dedicated and can grasp concepts quickly, you can definitely get an A at AS. A2, however, the difficulty picks up and there is more maths. It really depends on if you are going to enjoy 2 years of physics, you pick ALevels you enjoy, and if physics is a subject you enjoyed at GCSE, then go ahead and take it further.

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 10072014 15:23
(Original post by vimto39)
Right okay, I see. To be completely honest, without doing maths, you would be most likely making physics a lot harder than it needs to be, because you'd have to take extra time to understand some of the mathematical concepts that are expected to be known. The maths isn't especially hard, it's just that you wont have seen it whereas everyone else will have done.
To illustrate my point  out of 3 classes of 20 at my college, about 12 people took physics without maths. Of those people, 3 are now resitting the year, 6 failed physics, 2 passed but only just ie E and the remaining guy kept it on to A2. He's a smart lad, got an offer for Medicine, but he just really struggled with the maths at A2 level physics  and if he wasn't taking 4 A2's would probably miss his offer as a result of the maths because he really hates it.
If you're only taking 3 AS levels  so you wont be able to drop one at A2  I would have a proper think about taking it, because there's no point in doing it if you're not going to achieve your potential and ultimately enjoy the subject. Equally, people are successful at physics without having taken maths. And at worse case scenario, you can change in the first week or two, so just make sure you have a backup subject.
EDIT: Perhaps even have a look on the specification of your exam board to see what maths [will be called quantitative skills or similar] is required of you, and if you would be happy undertaking it. 
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 10072014 15:25
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
Thanks for the advice, it really has meant a lot. It's helped me get around some things that have been bombarding my thoughts. I will think thoroughly of the advice. If i need more information or advice, i will PM you. For now, need to go. 
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 10072014 15:29
Hey
I did maths (OCR not MEI) and physics a level (OCR A).
I would say physics is much harder to understand as there is a lot of theory and the exams have a lot of wordy questions at AS and A2.
Mechanics is very maths heavy and the 2nd module is half and half.
A2 the modules are maths heavy in the course and in the exams until the last module in the last section of medical physics which is really wordy and the exam gives you marks on the quality of you written communication. And the formula book gives you nearly all the equations you need.
Maths is nice because you can pick the applied modules that you like. Eg decision, stats and mechanics.
There is only 1 module that isn't allowed a calculator but the exam is reasonably easy. You are given some formulas but you will need to learn a lot of information.
But I guess overall it depends on your strengths and weaknesses and which exam board you will be on.
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 10072014 15:36
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
Science i would say I'm good in. I normally get A or A*'s in mocks. Maths, i would get B's. Theres something about GCSE maths that is challenging to me. Whilst i find the work generally easy, like Sin Cos tan rules and all the other A* questions, when it comes to the exams, they just word the question horribly and associate the questions to real life situations.
The kind of things you need to be able to do are GCSE level generally and would include:
Substituting into a formula, possibly quite a long one such as:
Rearranging a formula, again it could be quite long, e.g.
And simple arithmetic (simple that is, once you've got a calculator, which you will have). If you think you can do all that, then you will have time to learn any other bits you may need. But it is a little worrying that you say you don't like maths questions relating to real world applications, as physics is the most obvious example of this. (E.g. how long does it take for a rock to fall 100m if it has initial velocty u=0ms^{1} and acceleration a=9.8ms^{.}. If you think you can do the kind of stuf in my post, then physics ought to be doable I think, 
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 10072014 18:13
(Original post by lerjj)
This might be a problem. While there is quite little hard, pure maths in the physics spec (there's a little trig in the the mechanics sections), you will be expected to be able to do maths that relates to real life.
The kind of things you need to be able to do are GCSE level generally and would include:
Substituting into a formula, possibly quite a long one such as:
Rearranging a formula, again it could be quite long, e.g.
And simple arithmetic (simple that is, once you've got a calculator, which you will have). If you think you can do all that, then you will have time to learn any other bits you may need. But it is a little worrying that you say you don't like maths questions relating to real world applications, as physics is the most obvious example of this. (E.g. how long does it take for a rock to fall 100m if it has initial velocty u=0ms^{1} and acceleration a=9.8ms^{.}. If you think you can do the kind of stuf in my post, then physics ought to be doable I think,
I would have absolute confidence in OP being able to approach the examples you mention. What I was referring to in terms of the maths being difficult was the rearranging of natural logarithms and Euler number, differentiation of sine and cosine functions, differential equations and harder algebraic manipulation when multiple equations are combined and some of the mechanics concepts.
Yet the biggest problem I see is not in the mathematical content itself, rather the approach of the maths questions in the physics exams. At GCSE you can very much get away with rote learning [smashing the CGP guide] and getting a good grade, at A level there is a greater emphasis on the problem solving element; combining equations, applying to different scenarios  this is the only way to add difficulty to otherwise simple equations. I would be fairly certain in asserting that maths, or further maths if you're being pedantic, teach you problem solving techniques far better than physics does. I think this is the reason why studying maths has the greatest advantage, except with mechanics where for the obvious reasons that is advantageous. 
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 10072014 18:21
physics is a great subject but why people say its the most difficult is because the books for it are poor and go into unnecessary detail you have to do 34 past papers which will take you a month and thereafter it will actually be the most easiest subject.
now chemistry A2 that last module.... 
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 10072014 18:27
(Original post by lerjj)
This might be a problem. While there is quite little hard, pure maths in the physics spec (there's a little trig in the the mechanics sections), you will be expected to be able to do maths that relates to real life.
The kind of things you need to be able to do are GCSE level generally and would include:
Substituting into a formula, possibly quite a long one such as:
Rearranging a formula, again it could be quite long, e.g.
And simple arithmetic (simple that is, once you've got a calculator, which you will have). If you think you can do all that, then you will have time to learn any other bits you may need. But it is a little worrying that you say you don't like maths questions relating to real world applications, as physics is the most obvious example of this. (E.g. how long does it take for a rock to fall 100m if it has initial velocty u=0ms^{1} and acceleration a=9.8ms^{.}. If you think you can do the kind of stuf in my post, then physics ought to be doable I think, 
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 10072014 19:37
(Original post by Protoxylic)
Although this post is correct entirely, you miss out the details of the harder sections of A2 physics, such as the level of integrity needed to answer 6 mark questions. Circular motion equations have more derivation than gravitational field equations. Most equations are given on a data sheet, but the data sheet, I find, is rarely used since you have used all the equations for 1 year so it becomes trivial to regurgitate. Derivations and show that questions require more skill then one perceives. Derivations actually require some level of physical knowledge. Yes physics isn't as hard as some people make it out to be on this post, but it certainly isn't as easy as you instigate.
I don't think you do actually need a very strong knowledge of derivations and such, because that isn't usually asked. Yes, for the understanding you need the derivation, but you could probably get by with relatively superficial knowledge on some stuff for A level physics. But to the OP: maths might be of more use to you, especially in terms of helping with bio/chem. 
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 10072014 20:01
(Original post by lerjj)
To be fair, I don't know much about A2 physics it's true. Does the maths get significantly harder? I might be doing a different board or something, AQA As Physics has very little maths outside of a few plug and chug formulas. The further mechanics module in A2 might have a bit more, I'd have to check, sorry.
I don't think you do actually need a very strong knowledge of derivations and such, because that isn't usually asked. Yes, for the understanding you need the derivation, but you could probably get by with relatively superficial knowledge on some stuff for A level physics. But to the OP: maths might be of more use to you, especially in terms of helping with bio/chem. 
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 10072014 21:02
(Original post by Protoxylic)
It doesn't get significantly harder, although the notion of "significantly" is individual, but there's definitely a gradient of difficulty. Derivation is needed for AQA show that questions and application, however, if you really wanted you could just learn the derivation blindly and not know the physics behind it and technically, with reasoning, get the marks. Further mechanics is basically M2 with words, there are more difficult topics in phys 4 than M2 and vice versa, it's hard to make a direct comparison.
But, to the OP: maths fits in better with Chem/Bio imo. Unless you <really> don't like maths, I'd take that instead. 
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 10072014 21:08
Don't do physics unless you think you are super good at it and are really good at it
I got an A* in both maths and physics at GCSE but struggled through the entire year of AS and am dropping it for A2 it was so horrible do another science like biology if u like science and aren't particularly keen on maths
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 11072014 15:02
Wouldnt they teach us all the maths based questions in physics? Therefore maths A level wouldnt be needed?

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 11072014 19:19
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
Wouldnt they teach us all the maths based questions in physics? Therefore maths A level wouldnt be needed? 
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 11072014 19:23
(Original post by loperdoper)
Yes, but they would teach you the physics of the questions. It's assumed you already know how to do the maths when you come to do it. You don't need to take maths to A2, just to AS to give you enough backing to understand the maths behind the physics. 
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 11072014 19:32
(Original post by Dumbledore'sArmy)
Thanks. Ive looked into A level maths, and will probably pick that as an A level. Just waiting for results day now
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