Sitting AS/A2 Level Maths as private candidate, can i just use the books?

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katx
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Hey,

I am at University but want to sit & pass an A Leevel in Maths - as i only got a C in GCSE , and know im competent to get a good A-level in Maths

I have looked at the AQA site and it seems 2 exams i have to sit first are Core 1 and Core 2, with a 3rd exam/module from a selection.
So just to get familiar with the course i am thinking of buying the AQA Mathematics Core 1 and Core 2 ,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Core-AQA-SMP...104442&sr=8-10

But these books were published in 2004 yet are the current ones!
How often are these textbooks re-published/updated? i thought the syllabus would be constantly chaging to some extent.
- as i dont know exactly when i will be ready for the exams

Also is this book sufficient to learn all the material independently ?
i will get a revision guide later i just want to understand the content of the syllabus - including all the theory i will have to know

- do i need to go back over any GCSE maths to begin studying AS Level Mathematics?

- is it possible to learn and pass this core 1/2 module/exam from a book alone?
ive always been confident numerically and i just had mitigating circumstances when studying/sitting my GCSE's which hampered my grades, but now i dont have them problems, so should be fine

thank you
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QwertyG
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Do edexcel
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The Polymath
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(Original post by katx)
Hey,

I am at University but want to sit & pass an A Leevel in Maths - as i only got a C in GCSE , and know im competent to get a good A-level in Maths

I have looked at the AQA site and it seems 2 exams i have to sit first are Core 1 and Core 2, with a 3rd exam/module from a selection.
So just to get familiar with the course i am thinking of buying the AQA Mathematics Core 1 and Core 2 ,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Core-AQA-SMP...104442&sr=8-10

But these books were published in 2004 yet are the current ones!
How often are these textbooks re-published/updated? i thought the syllabus would be constantly chaging to some extent.
- as i dont know exactly when i will be ready for the exams

Also is this book sufficient to learn all the material independently ?
i will get a revision guide later i just want to understand the content of the syllabus - including all the theory i will have to know

- do i need to go back over any GCSE maths to begin studying AS Level Mathematics?

- is it possible to learn and pass this core 1/2 module/exam from a book alone?
ive always been confident numerically and i just had mitigating circumstances when studying/sitting my GCSE's which hampered my grades, but now i dont have them problems, so should be fine

thank you
As someone who did Edexcel, I can safely say that the books and past papers alone will get you an A*. I don't know about AQA though.
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geditor
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Do Edexcel, the books are so much better; I personally self-studied my entire A-level Mathematics and managed to get A* with 100% in C4. A word of advice, make sure you understand the content rather than just apply it.
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Zenzic
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I did AQA and you'll have no problem doing the course and achieving well with the books alone. It might also be worth to have a tutor every now and then just to help clarify certain things. Best of luck.
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lisa.k
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What are you currently studying at university?
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katx
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Thank you for the replies,

Why are some recommending Edexcel over AQA?
Are the AS/A2 Maths exams easier with Edexcel? Any noticable differences?

Realistically, how many long (hours of private learning) do you think it wold take to fully learn/comprehend the core 1 unit, so i would be ready for the exam?
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L'Evil Fish
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(Original post by katx)
Thank you for the replies,

Why are some recommending Edexcel over AQA?
Are the AS/A2 Maths exams easier with Edexcel? Any noticable differences?

Realistically, how many long (hours of private learning) do you think it wold take to fully learn/comprehend the core 1 unit, so i would be ready for the exam?
You can teach yourself C1 in a day use www.examsolutions.co.uk

to be getting 100% it'll take a few days with past papers
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krisshP
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Do edexcel and use examsolutions.co.uk and use the following book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pure-Mathema...7109136&sr=8-1

The book's VERY good

good luck
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katx
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ok i sense sarcasm, learning an entire unit in one day or even weeks, must be unattainable

or is studying a level maths that much different in terms of study time needed compared with all other a levelsubjects?

krish , that book was published in 2004! surelythe content and syllabus has changed somewhat since then?


By the way, edexcel offer different maths a levels:

Mathematics
Further mathematics
Pure mathematics

which is best to pass?
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L'Evil Fish
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(Original post by katx)
ok i sense sarcasm, learning an entire unit in one day or even weeks, must be unattainable

or is studying a level maths that much different in terms of study time needed compared with all other a levelsubjects?


By the way, edexcel offer different maths a levels:

Mathematics
Further mathematics
Pure mathematics

which is best to pass?
No I wasn't being sarcastic when I say a day I mean 24 hours... if you used www.examsolutions.co.uk along with the recommended text books and past papers and TSR! Iys perfectly possible! I'm in year eleven now and I'm teaching my friend C1 C2 M1 and we'll do S1 by January

But considering you had a C at GCSE it may take a few full days...

As for mathematics qualifications, you either want to do:

Mathematics
Pure Mathematics

C1-4 are the core modules
M1-5 are the mechanics
S1-5 are the statistics
D1-2 are decisions
FP1-4 are Further Pure..

Tell me which ones you like and then I'll recommend which course
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gdunne42
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(Original post by katx)
Thank you for the replies,

Why are some recommending Edexcel over AQA?
Are the AS/A2 Maths exams easier with Edexcel? Any noticable differences?

Realistically, how many long (hours of private learning) do you think it wold take to fully learn/comprehend the core 1 unit, so i would be ready for the exam?
There's no real difference in the syllabus overall. There are some differences between different A levels in terms of what topic is which unit. Other than a few minor changes for 2008, it has not changed since 2004 and there are no current plans for it to change in the immediate future (though consulations are under way).
Edexcel is the most widely taken syllabus and so you'll find
- easier access to past papers and mark schemes on this and other sites
- free resources like examsolutions that specifically target Edexcel
- a wider selection of text books etc cheaply available on ebay (25% or less of new price)
- more people on tsr familiar with the text books and exam papers to help
- more centres offering the exams potentially making easier to find one to take you as a private candidate

Find the centre you will take the exams (maybe easier said than done) and then follow the specification they offer.

Hard to say how much time you need but 1. you only have a C at GCSE and 2. you have not studied maths for some time so I'd plan for about 60 hours per unit to study the material, do loads of practice questions and then do past papers prior to the real exam.
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katx
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Hi Shadab,
As its been so long since i studied Maths, im a bit confused which of the optional modules to study for between:

Mechanics (M1)
Statistics (S1)
Decision (D1)

Is any more easier to get a high grade in?
Further pure doesnt include the other core subjects , so i assume i sit less exams with this a level?

Which 1 of the 4 A levels (Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics (Additional)) would be more impressive on a CV for an accountancy career?


I see Gdunne,
Edexcel now does seem to be the best exam body to sit with, thanks for explaining

Does that examsolutions website cover/teach the entire syllabus for C1 and C2?
As looking at a few videos they're only short ish videos for each topic
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L'Evil Fish
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(Original post by katx)
Hi Shadab,
As its been so long since i studied Maths, im a bit confused which of the optional modules to study for between:

Mechanics (M1)
Statistics (S1)
Decision (D1)

Is any more easier to get a high grade in?
Further pure doesnt include the other core subjects , so i assume i sit less exams with this a level?

Which 1 of the 4 A levels (Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics (Additional)) would be more impressive on a CV for an accountancy career?


I see Gdunne,
Edexcel now does seem to be the best exam body to sit with, thanks for explaining

Does that examsolutions website cover/teach the entire syllabus for C1 and C2?
As looking at a few videos they're only short ish videos for each topic
Out of those I'd sit S1 for easier marks, but I couldn't advise as I'm with WJEC and D1 isn't an offer, from what I've heard it's easy, but also easy to lose marks without working

Mathematics A Level:
C1-4 M1 S1 (is standard)

Further Mathematics A Level:
FP1 FP2 FP3 M2 S2 M3 S3 M4 S4 you choose six you want but you have to do FP1 FP2/3 I think

For a career in accountancy Pure Mathematics may be the best one, which consists of:
C1-4 FP1-2

Also I used www.examsolutions.co.uk

To learn my whole mathematics A level, everything is covered! And very well too!
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gdunne42
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(Original post by katx)
Which 1 of the 4 A levels (Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Further Mathematics (Additional)) would be more impressive on a CV for an accountancy career?
Your only choices are maths or pure maths (further and additional require you have a complete maths A level first).
Hardly anybody does pure maths, regular maths would be easier to achieve a good grade and equally good on a CV.
For AS Maths by self study I'd choose S1 with C1 & C2 - it will be the easiest as a lot of S1 just builds on the handling data/stats part of GCSE maths
Depending on how that goes you could then do either M1, D1 or S2 with C3&C4 to complete the full A level.
Exam solutions has good instructional videos for most of the syllabus (Their worked solutions to past exam papers will be invaluable to you.) but you still need the detail and practice from a text book.
Get a text book that is matched to the syllabus you study - while the content is almost identical each examiner has their own way of asking questions and it's good to get used to it from the start.
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katx
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great, thank you,
I will go for C1, C2 , S1 at AS Level,
then see how i do at S1 before deciding on the 2nd year 3rd module,


Now i need books on C1, C2, S1
As there are a few authors i wanted to know which people think is the best book/s available for Mathematics C1, C2 and S1 ?

Which has the best structure/readability & practice exams question & answers?


- I will use the exam solutions website as it looks great, but do want a textbook for each module for the theory & practice questions
K
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L'Evil Fish
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(Original post by katx)
great, thank you,
I will go for C1, C2 , S1 at AS Level,
then see how i do at S1 before deciding on the 2nd year 3rd module,


Now i need books on C1, C2, S1
As there are a few authors i wanted to know which people think is the best book/s available for Mathematics C1, C2 and S1 ?

Which has the best structure/readability & practice exams question & answers?


- I will use the exam solutions website as it looks great, but do want a textbook for each module for the theory & practice questions
K
Hmmm... I used examsolutions for explanations and then the edexcel /C1 and C2) AS core book for more explanation and questions

As for S1 I have no idea I'm getting my teacher to teach that but I taught myself the other 5 modules
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katx
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is this the edexcel core book you talk of, well for C1:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-AS-L...7184266&sr=8-1
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L'Evil Fish
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(Original post by katx)
is this the edexcel core book you talk of, well for C1:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-AS-L...7184266&sr=8-1
No.. Type in:

Edexcel.Core AS TextBook

A big black one.should.come up I've never used the one.you linked but it might be just as.good
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Dubstepp
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(Original post by katx)
ok i sense sarcasm, learning an entire unit in one day or even weeks, must be unattainable

or is studying a level maths that much different in terms of study time needed compared with all other a levelsubjects?

krish , that book was published in 2004! surelythe content and syllabus has changed somewhat since then?


By the way, edexcel offer different maths a levels:

Mathematics
Further mathematics
Pure mathematics

which is best to pass?
do edexcel normal maths. You'll do c1-c4 and two applied modules be it d1, s1 or m1 etc.

i think u can do c1 in 2-3 weeks around your uni commitments. I did maths and further maths edexcel and we did P1 (old c1) in a month or so, alongside all the other subjects and maths modules i did. So that's 2 lessons a week for 4 weeks. If you spend around 4/5 hours a week on c1 i reckon u can do it in 2 weeks

Maths is easy - you'll be fine! Good luck
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