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    Hi there, I'm soon to start my AS-levels and am not completely decided on my options. I definitely want to do biology, chemistry and geography - however, I don't really want to do Economics (it's my second option because my other option was over-subscribed). Anyway, I'm not happy about doing Economics at all. I was hoping to change it to Mathematics (which I'd probably drop at AS anyway). I would just like to know from former A-level students what Mathematics is like at AS? In terms of my ability, I am unsure. I was in the top set for most of my GCSEs, but I asked to be moved down to Intermediate in the hope that I'd attain a B grade effortlessly. I'll probably achieve a B for maths. My algebra is very strong, and I am familiar with most GCSE higher concepts; index notation, quadratic functions etc... My trig is good, and I am also pretty confident with things like surds. However, my numeracy skills aren't that great. I am not too great with times tables and quick mental arithmatic. Will I be lacking necessary skills in order to succeed and gain a proficient grade for maths at AS? Thoughts please.

    EDIT: Oh, and I forgot to say that I suck at fractions... Percentages and decimals are easy stuff, but I missed valuable schooling periods where they were taught fractions (this was during some of year 8) I've never really grasped the concept of them. Is it necessary to have good understanding of rfractions?
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    not at all, the main thing i have found with maths is that previous grades are no indicator, its how much u grasp the underpinning of the subject. GCSE is very different to Alevel and someone who got a C at GCSE may end up with an A where as someone with an A* at GCSE may endup with a U at Alevel. u mentioned that ur algebra skills were good, that will help as that is a key skill for alevel (especially factorising etc) and if ur already familiar with the laws of surds and indecies i see no problem for u, dont worry u'll be fine
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    (Original post by stoney)
    not at all, the main thing i have found with maths is that previous grades are no indicator, its how much u grasp the underpinning of the subject. GCSE is very different to Alevel and someone who got a C at GCSE may end up with an A where as someone with an A* at GCSE may endup with a U at Alevel. u mentioned that ur algebra skills were good, that will help as that is a key skill for alevel (especially factorising etc) and if ur already familiar with the laws of surds and indecies i see no problem for u, dont worry u'll be fine
    Thanks, that's given me a great boost! Like I said I've missed important parts of school (I broke my leg in year 7 and missed important things like fractions) and because of my lack of knowledge on those, I've always been held back somewhat. I'm glad that algebra is used alot as I have a passion for it! I just want to ask, what sort of topics are mainly covered for Edexcel specifications if anyone knows? Circle theorems, loci etc... Are geometical and similar concepts studied for AS?
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    geometry tends to be more "obscure" than it was at GCSE. calculus is studied rather heavily but dont worry if you havent come across it before if ur good at algebra its quite easy to pick up. circle theorems and trig come up in the second unit of core maths, trig at alevel introduces negative sines/cosines (i.e. by cartesian coordinates) and builds on the idea that trigenometry is the solving of triangles in circles. btw the spec this year has changed i.e. they made it a little easier by taking some stuff out
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    (Original post by stoney)
    geometry tends to be more "obscure" than it was at GCSE. calculus is studied rather heavily but dont worry if you havent come across it before if ur good at algebra its quite easy to pick up. circle theorems and trig come up in the second unit of core maths, trig at alevel introduces negative sines/cosines (i.e. by cartesian coordinates) and builds on the idea that trigenometry is the solving of triangles in circles. btw the spec this year has changed i.e. they made it a little easier by taking some stuff out
    Cool - I think I'll go ahead and take it then; on an impulse! :p: As for the trig solving triangles in circles, I had to implement that some of that theory into my GCSE coursework, so I hopefully shouldn't find it too daunting when I lay eyes on it. Thanks for your help mate.
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    no probs m8 glad to help
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    It's really easy at AS level, especially now.
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    (Original post by Lauren)
    It's really easy at AS level, especially now.
    lol cheers.
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    AS is easy, A2 is harder, but do-able. Tis all very interesting though if you're mathematically minded
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    (Original post by stoney)
    not at all, the main thing i have found with maths is that previous grades are no indicator, its how much u grasp the underpinning of the subject. GCSE is very different to Alevel and someone who got a C at GCSE may end up with an A where as someone with an A* at GCSE may endup with a U at Alevel. u mentioned that ur algebra skills were good, that will help as that is a key skill for alevel (especially factorising etc) and if ur already familiar with the laws of surds and indecies i see no problem for u, dont worry u'll be fine
    I have to agree ^ I had an A* at GCSE but got a C at AS to be honest I found it really hard, but then again I had no motivation. I think that's the main drives in maths, motivation and practice at the end of the day. If you're already pretty confident with Maths, especially algebra, I'm sure you'll do pretty fine
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    (Original post by Pixelated)
    Thanks, that's given me a great boost! Like I said I've missed important parts of school (I broke my leg in year 7 and missed important things like fractions) and because of my lack of knowledge on those, I've always been held back somewhat.
    You could have learned fractions yourself (toward the gcse exams)?
    Maths requires lots of practice and hours of your time. You'll often find yourself reading up a section then going at the questions yourself without assistance-- this is normal. I'm sure you'll cope but there'll be plenty of stuff you'll just have to learn yourself, rather than wait on the teacher to go through step-by-step.
 
 
 

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