Trying to get A*A*A*A*A* at A-level

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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Hi,

    I'm creating this thread as a way to track my progress throughout the year and motivate myself to study. In my AS year I took AS-Maths, A-level Maths, AS Physics and AS Computer Science. I got 4A's. It might sound great but I missed the A* in Maths by 2 marks in my Core 4 paper. I got 100% in Core 1, Core 2 and Core 3 but my Core 4 dropped to just under 80%. This annoyed me a lot because I know I was ready for Core 4 and I know that I should've done miles better. It annoyed me because now I have to retake that module this year despite knowing it last year...it was just a bad day for me I reckon. My predicted grades are currently 3A*s (Maths, Physics, Computer Science) however my Further Maths looks to be an A, however I will try to get this bumped to an A* (I mean, I did really well in terms of UMS discounting Core 4). I am also taking the EPQ this year on Computer Science and I hope to be predicted an A*.

    So my teachers believe me to be capable of achieving A*'s due to high A-grades last year however I must admit I think I won't manage it. I just feel like the margins for error are too high and I'll slip up like I did in my AS-year. I intend to try my hardest though and I hope this thread motivates others too.
    I am applying to study Computer Science at Oxford, Imperial, Bristol, Warwick and Durham/Sheffield. My internal deadline for UCAS is next week. I also have to take the MAT in around a months time. Thus a lot of preparation is required. The work load is huge at the moment but I'm just about managing.

    I will be working my socks off this year and I will begin my first post on Monday which will be my second full week at college. My first week was just appalling.
    For Further Maths I will be studying the Edexcel syllabus (FP1,FP2,FP3,M2,S2,D1) and I hope to have FP1,M2,S2 finished by December.
    For Physics I'm studying the AQA Syllabus and doing AstroPhysics for my option despite having chosen Turning points... my college sucks so bad.
    For Computer Science I am doing the OCR exam board and I will be working on my coursework for the most part, I'm aiming to have that complete by December also. This will give me time to prepare for the exam.
    Core 4, I will prepare for starting from January. There is no way I miss the A* in Maths next year. It scares me to think I might miss it again if I flop this exam.
    My EPQ will be alongside my studies, I will sacrifice whatever time I have to it.
    I am also a disadvantaged student in the sense that I attend a college that is underperforming and I am part of various schemes that allow me to apply to University. People from my area don't usually go to University and I will be the first in my family to attend University hopefully. Also I always thought Oxford/Cambridge were only for rich kids who could afford it lol..Glad they put that misconception away.
    I am more than willing to pull my weight this year to achieve these grades. Oxford and Imperial are just hopes, I at least want to get offers from Bristol and Warwick and Sheffield/Durham.
    If you have any advice about anything whether it be Universities, or how to succeed or A-levels I would be more than happy to receive it!
    With that being said, I think this will be the opener to my thread.

    Thanks for reading,
    Someboady
    Wow! You're inspirational mate! Following this blog!
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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Day 2
    Further Maths
    We work very quickly with one teacher and very slowly with the other. It's very frustrating really. But I'm self teaching all the modules that my slow teacher teaches, because he's awful. Though I probably already mentioned that. Either way, today we completed Complex numbers and we'll begin Co-ordinate systems next week. I spoke to my teachers once more and have confirmed a 5A* predicted for all my subjects which again, I am well happy about. Unfortunately however my teacher who teaches very slowly does our statistics 2 module.. I need statistics 2 to be completed as soon as possible so that I can self-teach S3 for my Additional Further Maths AS. Maybe I'm overdoing it... Maybe. But If we do finish on time I wouldn't mind self-teaching S3. But right now I'm bogged down my MAT prep. My college offers no support for this and the support classes are not for MAT questions because apparently the teachers arent "qualified" to help with MAT. And plus my timetable currently is packed to the brim and some of my lessons aren't timetabled and I have to go to them at Lunch times... So i can't really have much of a lunch either but sacrifices must be made.
    Physics
    Not much interesting today... actually we did Simple Harmonic Motion and my teacher who is actually decent showed us the graphical proof and mathematical proof of the equations. I absolutely LOVED the mathematical proof because it integrates C3 into it. So we did that, even though its not part of the syllabus.
    Computer Science
    I feel held back by my Computer Science lessons as we don't do much in them... its just headphones in, listen to music whilst you prepare for your programming project. I can't exactly do my programming project because its on my home laptop which I'm not allowed to take to college. But I'm working on finding a way of trd toansferring it over. I've completed the login page for my program and I nee submit that tonight. So I'll do that after this post. Today I spent the lesson looking at Mathematical proofs.
    EPQ
    This is slow but we've been given resources. My EPQ supervisor wants me to narrow down my title but I'm not sure this is entirely possible. But I'll give it a shot.
    MAT
    Today I worked on some questions. I haven't finished them and I want to attempt them myself and learn the various proofs behind some of the shortcuts that can be taken. I kind of tried figuring out each one and understood some of them. In future posts I will talk about the proofs behind these questions and why they were so enthralling. The focus for me today was on Algebra. I'm upping my MAT prep hours.
    UCAS
    My UCAS form is almost ready for submission, I have to discuss it with my school tutor and then hit the submit button and that... I also registered for the MAT and should hopefully get a confirmation soon. The internal deadline is upon us and I have to submit that UCAS form!

    I think I'll cut down the amount I post on these threads in terms of days because as you can see, a lot doesnt happen in a day... So maybe every other day or so
    Thanks for reading!
    Can't you just take your CS projet in a pen drive or upload it to google drive? Also, whats your project? sound interesting
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    (Original post by iHammmy)
    Can't you just take your CS projet in a pen drive or upload it to google drive? Also, whats your project? sound interesting
    Yes, but I've tried it before but the college has some kind of security that prevents me from moving unrecognised file formats (my Java files) to their drive. But my teacher promises to sort that out for me... (i hope)
    My project at the moment is basically going to be an quiz system but I'll be adding loads of features to make it complex which'll hopefully push it for the top marks!
    Are you doing a programming project?
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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Yes, but I've tried it before but the college has some kind of security that prevents me from moving unrecognised file formats (my Java files) to their drive. But my teacher promises to sort that out for me... (i hope)
    My project at the moment is basically going to be an quiz system but I'll be adding loads of features to make it complex which'll hopefully push it for the top marks!
    Are you doing a programming project?
    I'm only doing GCSE CS atm but I'm looking to A-Level CS (hopefully, as my school normally only allows you to do it if you also take A-Level maths with it would - which I don't plan on doing). Do you find the spec enjoyable and do you think there is much maths involved?

    Also, you could always copy all of your code to something like pastebin and then copy it back to eclipse or something when you get back to school.

    Gl
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    (Original post by iHammmy)
    I'm only doing GCSE CS atm but I'm looking to A-Level CS (hopefully, as my school normally only allows you to do it if you also take A-Level maths with it would - which I don't plan on doing). Do you find the spec enjoyable and do you think there is much maths involved?

    Also, you could always copy all of your code to something like pastebin and then copy it back to eclipse or something when you get back to school.

    Gl
    Ah, GCSE CS, good times that. It only gets worse from there buddy!
    Just kidding, if I might say so myself having done GCSE computing and i got an A* fortunately (entirely self-taught) ! A good 60% of the content is the same, so do try and remember what you've learnt. The programming project isnt till the A2 year but it would be good to learn some coding beforehand I'm fairly proficient in general coding and I catch on quite easily so it wasn't a problem for me but others are really struggling right now.

    Yes definitely take A-level maths, it will help just in general with Mathematical thinking. Maths is involved although not as much as I'd like... there is a section in the spec dedicated to binary/hex/denary and you've got a bunch of binary calculations to make. I would recommend A-level maths to you. Effectively COmputer Science is Maths, but applied to computers. The spec for me is not enjoyable... i enjoy Computer Science and a lot of the theory and I find it quite interesting. Parts of the spec are interesting as hell espec the maths parts but other parts are just annoying e.g. databases.
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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Ah, GCSE CS, good times that. It only gets worse from there buddy!
    Just kidding, if I might say so myself having done GCSE computing and i got an A* fortunately (entirely self-taught) ! A good 60% of the content is the same, so do try and remember what you've learnt. The programming project isnt till the A2 year but it would be good to learn some coding beforehand I'm fairly proficient in general coding and I catch on quite easily so it wasn't a problem for me but others are really struggling right now.

    Yes definitely take A-level maths, it will help just in general with Mathematical thinking. Maths is involved although not as much as I'd like... there is a section in the spec dedicated to binary/hex/denary and you've got a bunch of binary calculations to make. I would recommend A-level maths to you. Effectively COmputer Science is Maths, but applied to computers. The spec for me is not enjoyable... i enjoy Computer Science and a lot of the theory and I find it quite interesting. Parts of the spec are interesting as hell espec the maths parts but other parts are just annoying e.g. databases.
    Eh, if maths a-level is 100% required then I probably won't end up taking A-level CS. I'm on track for an A* and might try and go for 100% in the exam I think my school does AQA so the spec will probably be different
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    (Original post by iHammmy)
    Eh, if maths a-level is 100% required then I probably won't end up taking A-level CS. I'm on track for an A* and might try and go for 100% in the exam I think my school does AQA so the spec will probably be different
    Well at my college it isn't 100% required and it shouldnt be at any college because A-level maths is not required at some Unis for CompSci anyways. You can definitely argue it! If you want to go into compsci, to enhance your interest you should pick up compsci. Unis will love to see that you went ahead and picked Computing to show your passion though it isnt a requirement
    Go for it dude! Best of luck!!! AQA and OCR aren't all too different
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    Hi.

    Just started my AS year, currently taking Maths, Physics and Further Maths (may change).

    I want to study Physics at uni (out of interest for the subject) and aim for a career as a Developer. I only plan on taking 3 A Levels in my second year due to the workload and was wondering if anyone can recommend me taking 4 AS subjects instead of my 3 current ones.

    If i were to do this I would adopt Computer Science, making my AS subjects Maths, Physics, Further Maths and Computer Science.

    My only doubt about Computer Science is concerning the hardware side as I am really only interested in the software development (programming) side. Wondering what people think about this change and whether or not it would be wiser to take these 4 AS Levels or just take the 3 AS Levels and spend my spare time focusing on these subjects and developing my programming skills.

    I currently enjoy my 3 AS Levels (Maths, Physics and Further Maths) and am weary to take on another.I appreciate any response.
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    5 A*s:eek::eek2::eek3::eek4: I wish I could be that optimistic and intelligent Good luck with your studies, I really hope you get what you want
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    (Original post by ViewtifulJoe)
    Hi.

    Just started my AS year, currently taking Maths, Physics and Further Maths (may change).

    I want to study Physics at uni (out of interest for the subject) and aim for a career as a Developer. I only plan on taking 3 A Levels in my second year due to the workload and was wondering if anyone can recommend me taking 4 AS subjects instead of my 3 current ones.

    If i were to do this I would adopt Computer Science, making my AS subjects Maths, Physics, Further Maths and Computer Science.

    My only doubt about Computer Science is concerning the hardware side as I am really only interested in the software development (programming) side. Wondering what people think about this change and whether or not it would be wiser to take these 4 AS Levels or just take the 3 AS Levels and spend my spare time focusing on these subjects and developing my programming skills.

    I currently enjoy my 3 AS Levels (Maths, Physics and Further Maths) and am weary to take on another.I appreciate any response.
    Hey!
    Great choices! I obviously don't know you personally but 4 AS's will be more work than 3AS's so its up to you really. Computer Science would compliment the other 3 very well - it did for me as some topics appear in Decision Maths and surprisingly Physics (i forget which ones now). But they go together well. And fair enough about the hardware point! What you'll find is it is actually ALL software based with the exception of the first chapter on the processor architecture. There is no programming project in the first year however you will be programming algorithms etc. So yes it is all... id say 95% software based. The only topic I can think of that is hardware is structure and function of the processor. It is however 100% theory. So a lot of learning to do. I personally loved programming and so I picked it up and I think the rest of the content is fine (except databases I hate databases.)

    If you are weary to take another, don't do it. Different people can cope with different work loads. Like you've probably heard a billion times, 3As is better than 2 A's and 2 B's.
    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Hey!
    Great choices! I obviously don't know you personally but 4 AS's will be more work than 3AS's so its up to you really. Computer Science would compliment the other 3 very well - it did for me as some topics appear in Decision Maths and surprisingly Physics (i forget which ones now). But they go together well. And fair enough about the hardware point! What you'll find is it is actually ALL software based with the exception of the first chapter on the processor architecture. There is no programming project in the first year however you will be programming algorithms etc. So yes it is all... id say 95% software based. The only topic I can think of that is hardware is structure and function of the processor. It is however 100% theory. So a lot of learning to do. I personally loved programming and so I picked it up and I think the rest of the content is fine (except databases I hate databases.)

    If you are weary to take another, don't do it. Different people can cope with different work loads. Like you've probably heard a billion times, 3As is better than 2 A's and 2 B's.
    Hope this helps!
    Thanks very much for the fast reply!

    I'm going to attend the Computer Science lesson tomorrow and see what I think of it, have 5 more weeks or so until I have mocks and I'll be encouraged to make a final decision on my subjects. Hopefully I'll get a better viewpoint by then and will be able to cope with the work load alright as I feel like Computer Science would be a great asset to have.

    Thanks again for the help, I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind, especially concerning the fact that it sounds like we'll be starting off with the hardware side *gag*.
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    (Original post by ViewtifulJoe)
    Thanks very much for the fast reply!

    I'm going to attend the Computer Science lesson tomorrow and see what I think of it, have 5 more weeks or so until I have mocks and I'll be encouraged to make a final decision on my subjects. Hopefully I'll get a better viewpoint by then and will be able to cope with the work load alright as I feel like Computer Science would be a great asset to have.

    Thanks again for the help, I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind, especially concerning the fact that it sounds like we'll be starting off with the hardware side *gag*.
    Hahaha, don't worry the hardware side is entirely theoretical, it's a very simplistic model of Computer Architecture. We didn't cover this chapter first, in fact I think it was closer to the end. (well technically we never covered anything #noTeacher)
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    Day 4
    Further Maths
    To keep it short, I struggled with Binomial Distribution a LOT in class and I pretty much didn't understand a thing because I couldn't remember any of it. However I managed to learn it in my free but I still need to practice questions. We're due to complete the first 2 chapters of M2 (there are 5) by this week. FP1 is more slow but we're going to start FP2 whilst finishing FP1. It's not exactly as efficient as I'd hoped but heyo.
    So I need to practice S2 Binomial Distribution questions and recap the first two chapters of M2 and the first 2 chapters of FP1 this weekend.
    Physics
    We've done a few experiments and questions on Simple Harmonic Motion. But other than that not much progress which is really really irritating me and I might have to start working ahead. I need to practice questions on SMH and Circular Motion this weekend too.
    Computer Science
    Got my program working on the college computers and I'm now going to complete the Analysis section of the write-up before the end of September. I'm aiming for breathing space so that I can prepare for admissions tests. Aside from this, not much else happening, I'm too focused on meeting deadlines at the moment.
    EPQ
    I have come up with a title that I think will be sufficient and I need to fill in all the relevant logs and paperwork for this. The deadline isn't till next week so I've left that for a later date.
    UCAS/University
    My application is about ready to be sent off now. I'm just dabbling with my personal statement. I need to submit it tomorrow. It'll be nice to finally get that off my chest along with my assignments for Computer Science! Then I can start the next week with a fresh mind knowing I've met the deadlines and all I need to do is keep up with all the work!
    In other news Oxford is #1 in the world university ranking which I think is amazing... to think that someone like me (university isn't a normal option from my background) can apply to the world's best university is incredible... doubt I'll get in but I'll give it a shot!

    Thanks for reading! Fairly short, because I have deadlines incoming tomorrow. I've already met one; I literally just submitted my assignment. I'll be adding some subject-specific tips in my next post!
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    (Original post by Someboady)
    Day 4
    Further Maths
    To keep it short, I struggled with Binomial Distribution a LOT in class and I pretty much didn't understand a thing because I couldn't remember any of it. However I managed to learn it in my free but I still need to practice questions. We're due to complete the first 2 chapters of M2 (there are 5) by this week. FP1 is more slow but we're going to start FP2 whilst finishing FP1. It's not exactly as efficient as I'd hoped but heyo.
    So I need to practice S2 Binomial Distribution questions and recap the first two chapters of M2 and the first 2 chapters of FP1 this weekend.
    Physics
    We've done a few experiments and questions on Simple Harmonic Motion. But other than that not much progress which is really really irritating me and I might have to start working ahead. I need to practice questions on SMH and Circular Motion this weekend too.
    Computer Science
    Got my program working on the college computers and I'm now going to complete the Analysis section of the write-up before the end of September. I'm aiming for breathing space so that I can prepare for admissions tests. Aside from this, not much else happening, I'm too focused on meeting deadlines at the moment.
    EPQ
    I have come up with a title that I think will be sufficient and I need to fill in all the relevant logs and paperwork for this. The deadline isn't till next week so I've left that for a later date.
    UCAS/University
    My application is about ready to be sent off now. I'm just dabbling with my personal statement. I need to submit it tomorrow. It'll be nice to finally get that off my chest along with my assignments for Computer Science! Then I can start the next week with a fresh mind knowing I've met the deadlines and all I need to do is keep up with all the work!
    In other news Oxford is #1 in the world university ranking which I think is amazing... to think that someone like me (university isn't a normal option from my background) can apply to the world's best university is incredible... doubt I'll get in but I'll give it a shot!

    Thanks for reading! Fairly short, because I have deadlines incoming tomorrow. I've already met one; I literally just submitted my assignment. I'll be adding some subject-specific tips in my next post!
    If you manage to do this all the way until your last exam ill be impressed xD
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    (Original post by iHammmy)
    Eh, if maths a-level is 100% required then I probably won't end up taking A-level CS. I'm on track for an A* and might try and go for 100% in the exam I think my school does AQA so the spec will probably be different
    i got 100% ums in the computing exam and only started revising like a few days before, I regret not picking it at a-levels to late to change and economics is boring me, would probably do better at CS
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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    i got 100% ums in the computing exam and only started revising like a few days before, I regret not picking it at a-levels to late to change and economics is boring me, would probably do better at CS
    Do you find that struggle because you didn't take it at a-level?
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    (Original post by iHammmy)
    Do you find that struggle because you didn't take it at a-level?
    Didn't take what?
    I'm doing a-levels now
    And not picking computing just means that i picked economics instead and I would probably do better in CS, but i'll still try get a good grade in economics. Didn't pick it at gcses so its all new
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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Didn't take what?
    I'm doing a-levels now
    And not picking computing just means that i picked economics instead and I would probably do better in CS, but i'll still try get a good grade in economics. Didn't pick it at gcses so its all new
    Oh, I thought you meant you not taking a-level maths with CS

    Nvm
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    Time goes by fast. You have nothing to lose! Get those grades. Good Luck!
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    Day 6

    Short update:
    The weekend is here, I have to study. The last few days have been incredibly hectic with UCAS and other deadlines but I managed to meet them. The relief after submitting that UCAS form is incredible. However, I think I've made a mistake by choosing Sheffield over Durham/UCL so I'm thinking about this and looking to change it within the next few days. Yes I know very last minute. But the UCAS form isn't over yet... I need to chase up my teachers for references etc.
    Also we're redecorating so I haven't had access to my room/study materials for the past 48 hours.... Which SUCKS because I haven't done ANY work.
    I visited Warwick and I'm happy with that decision on UCAS though which is always plus.
    The plan for the weekend is outlined above so this evening + sunday is dedicated to that studying!
 
 
 
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