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    Like everyone has said, Maths is essential for further maths.
    Those subjects are hard enough so I think if you do the solid 4 at AS and A2 you'll be fine. They only ask for 3.

    My friend does Maths and Further Maths.
    He is in my regular 'Maths Class' 5 periods a week, but he has an extra 5 hours doing Further Maths in his FM class.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Yeah to be honest, I struggled to think of a 4th one! I really can't think of another one, so I reckon I'll just do 4 at AS.
    Yeah definitely do those 4 then :five: we'll have the same subjects but different languages
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Hey everyone,
    Basically, I have a few questions regarding A-Level choices. I am currently studying 12 GCSEs and am predicted an A* in all of them, in the future I hope to go on to do Computer Science at Cambridge university. I was thinking about doing: Further Maths, Physics, German and then something else. I do not know whether Further Maths 'counts as' 2 A-levels, or it is simply one. Also, is there any point doing Maths as well as Further Maths, or is the Maths qualification included in Further Maths? I assumed that the reason Further Maths was seen as 2 A-Levels was because it included the Maths qualification, but I saw on here someone who had taken both Maths and Further Maths for A-level, so that has made me quite confused. Anyway, I read on the Cambridge website that the average number of A-levels that people have who study Computer Science there is 5, so my question is, how hard is it to do 5?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    Edit - Meh, now I'm confused, I just talked to my Sister, and she said that one cannot take Maths without Further Maths, I thought that Further Maths included everything in the Maths course, and you just did it in a shorter period of time, and then in the second year you did extra maths? Is it more like you put down Maths and Further Maths, and on your timetable it would just say 'Maths' or would there be two different lessons, Maths and Further Maths... My head hurts.
    I'm currently doing 5 AS levels, but I'll have 3 full A levels at the end of A2. I'm doing Maths, Further maths (AS over 2 years), Physics, Design Technology and ICT.

    Please do not do ICT. It's a waste of time! Also, you could do further maths as an AS if you're concerned; the use of imaginary numbers and certain methods for solving is useful in computer science, I'm told. I find it more interesting that Core tbh.

    I think you should definitely do a language.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Hey everyone,
    Basically, I have a few questions regarding A-Level choices. I am currently studying 12 GCSEs and am predicted an A* in all of them, in the future I hope to go on to do Computer Science at Cambridge university. I was thinking about doing: Further Maths, Physics, German and then something else. I do not know whether Further Maths 'counts as' 2 A-levels, or it is simply one. <snip>Anyway, I read on the Cambridge website that the average number of A-levels that people have who study Computer Science there is 5, so my question is, how hard is it to do 5?
    Thanks,
    Tom
    This is an Oxford answer, rather than a Cambridge one, but hopefully useful to you anyway. (It also reiterates much of the helpful advise above.)

    Our standard conditional offer for straight Computer Science is A*AA with at least an A in Maths. The A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing.

    There's lots of helpful posts above on the Maths/Further Maths question so I won't go into much detail. As computing is a very mathematical subject we want you to have developed your mathematical thinking. Maths is essential. We consider Maths and Further Maths as two separate A Levels and think that Further Maths is the best preparation for one of our courses. It's therefore strongly recommended. We also suggest a science subject such as Physics.

    We only make offers based on three A Levels. We would notice if you'd done more, but they wouldn't form part of our standard conditional offer. AAAA, for example, wouldn't be seen as equivalent to A*AA, so it's important not to overstretch yourself and miss out on the A*.

    If you're doing really relevant subjects (like Maths, Further Maths and Physics) what you choose to do as a fourth is less important to us. We quite commonly see successful candidates who've taken a language, Chemistry, Economics, or even Music as their fourth (sometimes 5th) A Level. We'd be very happy see an application with the Maths/Further Maths/Physics/German combination you mention.

    ICT isn't a particularly relevant subject so wouldn't be a particular plus point on your application.

    Hope that helps.
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    If you're up to the job, consider:

    Maths
    Further maths
    Physics
    Computing
    + other

    ... although the other subject wouldn't be too beneficial but rather a hinderance.
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    (Original post by myusername.)
    Hi, obviously studying 5 A Levels would be considerably harder than studying 3 or 4, because you will have a heavier workload. However, with your grades and capability, I think you should go for it!
    This is something I have never understood and probably never will.

    I agree with you, so someone who has 100 A-Levels (all at grade B for example) SHOULD be deemed brighter than someone else has "only" 3 A-Levels, again all at grade B (also assume the person who 100 also did the 3 A-levels the other person did, as well as 97 other subjects).

    So why is the one with 100 A-Levels not given preference over the other, all else being equal?

    Maybe something the OCSD can comment on.


    (Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
    This is an Oxford answer, rather than a Cambridge one, but hopefully useful to you anyway. (It also reiterates much of the helpful advise above.)

    Our standard conditional offer for straight Computer Science is A*AA with at least an A in Maths. The A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing.

    There's lots of helpful posts above on the Maths/Further Maths question so I won't go into much detail. As computing is a very mathematical subject we want you to have developed your mathematical thinking. Maths is essential. We consider Maths and Further Maths as two separate A Levels and think that Further Maths is the best preparation for one of our courses. It's therefore strongly recommended. We also suggest a science subject such as Physics.

    We only make offers based on three A Levels. We would notice if you'd done more, but they wouldn't form part of our standard conditional offer. AAAA, for example, wouldn't be seen as equivalent to A*AA, so it's important not to overstretch yourself and miss out on the A*.

    If you're doing really relevant subjects (like Maths, Further Maths and Physics) what you choose to do as a fourth is less important to us. We quite commonly see successful candidates who've taken a language, Chemistry, Economics, or even Music as their fourth (sometimes 5th) A Level. We'd be very happy see an application with the Maths/Further Maths/Physics/German combination you mention.

    ICT isn't a particularly relevant subject so wouldn't be a particular plus point on your application.

    Hope that helps.
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    (Original post by speakerfone)
    This is something I have never understood and probably never will.

    I agree with you so someone who has 100A-Levels (all at grade B for example) SHOULD be deemed brighter than someone else has "only" 3 A-Levels, again all at grade B (also assume the person who 100 also did the 3 A-levels the other person did, as well as 97 other subjects).

    So why is the one with 100 A-Levels not given preference over the other, all else being equal?
    I agree:

    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*AA

    And they have supposed no preference? Or even if person B had A*A*AAA(A) I'd rather have person B right?
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I agree:

    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*AA

    And they have supposed no preference? Or even if person B had A*A*AAA(A) I'd rather have person B right?
    Person B is very unlikely... It's unfair to applicants like (me) who have not being given the choice to take 4as levels (so I have to opt in for self-teaching) I can't self teach anything other than a subject like fm, so I think having 3A2's reaching the requirement a good PS and other stuff should make you a strong applicant. Remember you have to consider a lot of people come from state schools, and get less opportunities/not encouraged by peers to take up 5alevels (we have 1 person in our year group take 5 AS levels) So it'd be unfair to judge some purely on, they got one more A they must be more smarter, instead reviewing the whole applicants profile and making a solid judgement.

    Besdies your going to have 6 AS levels, so you may agree with your viewpoint as it makes your application stronger + you believe opting in early/getting alevels done in year 11 to get more qualifications. Quality not quantity.

    People under-perform at gcse as well, alevels give leeway to late developers, of whom would not be able to enter for 5AS levels due to poor gcse grades.
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    (Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
    This is an Oxford answer, rather than a Cambridge one, but hopefully useful to you anyway. (It also reiterates much of the helpful advise above.)

    Our standard conditional offer for straight Computer Science is A*AA with at least an A in Maths. The A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing.

    There's lots of helpful posts above on the Maths/Further Maths question so I won't go into much detail. As computing is a very mathematical subject we want you to have developed your mathematical thinking. Maths is essential. We consider Maths and Further Maths as two separate A Levels and think that Further Maths is the best preparation for one of our courses. It's therefore strongly recommended. We also suggest a science subject such as Physics.

    We only make offers based on three A Levels. We would notice if you'd done more, but they wouldn't form part of our standard conditional offer. AAAA, for example, wouldn't be seen as equivalent to A*AA, so it's important not to overstretch yourself and miss out on the A*.

    If you're doing really relevant subjects (like Maths, Further Maths and Physics) what you choose to do as a fourth is less important to us. We quite commonly see successful candidates who've taken a language, Chemistry, Economics, or even Music as their fourth (sometimes 5th) A Level. We'd be very happy see an application with the Maths/Further Maths/Physics/German combination you mention.

    ICT isn't a particularly relevant subject so wouldn't be a particular plus point on your application.

    Hope that helps.
    Wow, thanks for that! I am almost positive now that I will be taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and German. I'm pretty pleased that I don't have to take 5, as I'm not sure whether I'd become too stressed. Thanks again for the extremely informative and helpful post. Oh and one more thing, I noticed that you said Computing would be considered helpful, I have the opportunity to do Computing at A Level, and have done it at GCSE, but I don't feel that any of the teachers at my school are of a very good standard, so would only take Computing if it really would boost my chances of getting into University.
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    (Original post by Robbie242)
    Person B is very unlikely... It's unfair to applicants like (me) who have not being given the choice to take 4as levels (so I have to opt in for self-teaching) I can't self teach anything other than a subject like fm, so I think having 3A2's reaching the requirement a good PS and other stuff should make you a strong applicant. Remember you have to consider a lot of people come from state schools, and get less opportunities/not encouraged by peers to take up 5alevels (we have 1 person in our year group take 5 AS levels) So it'd be unfair to judge some purely on, they got one more A they must be more smarter, instead reviewing the whole applicants profile and making a solid judgement.

    Besdies your going to have 6 AS levels, so you may agree with your viewpoint as it makes your application stronger + you believe opting in early/getting alevels done in year 11 to get more qualifications. Quality not quantity.
    I'll be in a state school, but surely all these things were a consequence to something else.

    I'm not saying it should be a decisive factor but they should be acknowledged, otherwise people are wasting time even if they did achieve optimum results.

    You're saying that as if I'm not aiming for quality grades, I can assure you I am

    So if:
    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*A*a

    And they had the same PS standard and work experience, and interview. That person A who wasn't offered 4 a levels because of (lets say gcse results) should get the offer purely because they achieved all they could.

    Person B has also achieved optimum results but had more opportunities?

    In this scenario it'd be clear who should be accepted. I think anyway.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I agree:

    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*AA

    And they have supposed no preference? Or even if person B had A*A*AAA(A) I'd rather have person B right?
    A levels don't test higher level thinking so getting a large number of A*s is more about memory and work ethic than anything else.

    If I were an admissions tutor say, taking on someone doing physics, I would much rather he had some fascinating insights into the nature of the subject than have a string of unnecessary A-levels.

    So yes, all being equal, A*A*A*AA > A*A*A*, but in real life candidates are never equal and so at interview it is usually a passion for your chosen subject area that swings the day. A-levels are just there for ticking boxes.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    I'll be in a state school, but surely all these things were a consequence to something else.

    I'm not saying it should be a decisive factor but they should be acknowledged, otherwise people are wasting time even if they did achieve optimum results.

    You're saying that as if I'm not aiming for quality grades, I can assure you I am

    So if:
    Person A: A*A*A*
    Person B: A*A*A*A*a

    And they had the same PS standard and work experience, and interview. That person A who wasn't offered 4 a levels because of (lets say gcse results) should get the offer purely because they achieved all they could.

    Person B has also achieved optimum results but had more opportunities?

    In this scenario it'd be clear who should be accepted. I think anyway.
    I think both of them should get offers.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Edit - Meh, now I'm confused, I just talked to my Sister, and she said that one cannot take Maths without Further Maths, I thought that Further Maths included everything in the Maths course, and you just did it in a shorter period of time, and then in the second year you did extra maths? Is it more like you put down Maths and Further Maths, and on your timetable it would just say 'Maths' or would there be two different lessons, Maths and Further Maths... My head hurts.
    You can definetly take Maths without taking Further Maths - its the other way round, you CAN'T take Futher Maths without doing Maths
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    (Original post by 3nTr0pY)
    A levels don't test higher level thinking so getting a large number of A*s is more about memory and work ethic than anything else.

    If I were an admissions tutor say, taking on someone doing physics, I would much rather he had some fascinating insights into the nature of the subject than have a string of unnecessary A-levels.

    So yes, all being equal, A*A*A*AA > A*A*A*, but in real life candidates are never equal and so at interview it is usually a passion for your chosen subject area that swings the day. A-levels are just there for ticking boxes.
    Aah, I agree

    (Original post by Robbie242)
    I think both of them should get offers.
    If they had to decide between the two?
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    In order to take Further Maths, you need to be taking Maths (as far as I know). So if you take both Maths and Further Maths, that counts as 2 A-levels. Further Maths is only an extension upon maths (it is very good however).

    Some universities however, only consider Maths and Further Maths as 1 A-level (I have no idea why...). But my advice is, check university websites, check the entry requirements, if you're still unsure, email the admissions tutor.
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    Aah, I agree



    If they had to decide between the two?
    That's a very tough decision. Personally I'd have to look at their subject choices.

    Applicant A: Maths Further Maths, Economics, Physics
    Applicant B: Maths Further Maths, Physics

    Both are applying for pure mathematics.
    If we condense this into useful and not useful it simply goes
    Maths, FM, Physics are all relevant to mathematics degree, economics is a nice touch, but not relevant.
    Given applicant B has had less opportunity and has shown significant improvement since gcse.

    The amount of Alevels you do usually corresponds with how you did at gcse. So applicant A had mainly A*'s and Applicant B and 1A* few B's C's and A's we've seen hes made progress in maths - It would have to be applicant B.

    Amount of alevels correlates directly with how you did at gcse, though in an ideal world both applicants should be chosen.

    However if it was a case of applicant A has physics applicant B doesn't, then Applicant A is more desirable.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Wow, thanks for that! I am almost positive now that I will be taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and German. I'm pretty pleased that I don't have to take 5, as I'm not sure whether I'd become too stressed. Thanks again for the extremely informative and helpful post. Oh and one more thing, I noticed that you said Computing would be considered helpful, I have the opportunity to do Computing at A Level, and have done it at GCSE, but I don't feel that any of the teachers at my school are of a very good standard, so would only take Computing if it really would boost my chances of getting into University.
    No problem at all. Our courses start from first principles, so there's no need to have studied computing at school. We are looking for a students with a real interest in the subject. A Level Computing is one way of demonstrating this but there are many others. Having said that, it can help you find out more about the subject, and to ensure it really is what you want to do at Uni - that's never a bad thing. It can be used towards the A* bit of the standard conditional offer, so it's useful in that sense. To give you an idea, around 30% of our successful A Level-taking candidates this year have taken computing, but the rest hadn't.

    If you're doing M/FM/P for your first three A Levels, and you want to make it four, pick something you want to do. We'd be happy with either German or Computing in that slot. We certainly wouldn't penalise you for having chosen not to take Computing A Level, especially if there was a good reason like the one you mention.
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    You have to do standard maths as well, yes. In answer to the title, I did 5 ASs and whilst I found I coped well when I dropped down to 3 A2s my marks all went up 10%, so it was definitely having a detrimental effect.
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    (Original post by tom1011)
    Thanks for your reply, how well did you cope with doing 5 AS and then 4A2? Did you find yourself with literally no free time at home? I don't do much in my free time, but I do spend quite a lot of time coding and selling stuff so that requires a decent amount of time.
    er well I hated maths and decided to take up further maths in my second year because I was originally going to apply for economics. That was a huge mistake (especially because I'm now taking biology), I definitely recommend not messing around with your subjects. I definitely think that if I had stuck with my subjects then it would be fine.

    They key is just time management and making sure you understand stuff throughout the year. I felt like I had quite a lot of work throughout the week but I never worked on a friday evening or saturday and I was fine.
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    (Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
    No problem at all. Our courses start from first principles, so there's no need to have studied computing at school. We are looking for a students with a real interest in the subject. A Level Computing is one way of demonstrating this but there are many others. Having said that, it can help you find out more about the subject, and to ensure it really is what you want to do at Uni - that's never a bad thing. It can be used towards the A* bit of the standard conditional offer, so it's useful in that sense. To give you an idea, around 30% of our successful A Level-taking candidates this year have taken computing, but the rest hadn't.

    If you're doing M/FM/P for your first three A Levels, and you want to make it four, pick something you want to do. We'd be happy with either German or Computing in that slot. We certainly wouldn't penalise you for having chosen not to take Computing A Level, especially if there was a good reason like the one you mention.
    That's great to hear, I'll find another way of demonstrating that I am genuinely interested in the subject, I already am fluent in a number of programming languages so hopefully that would suffice. Once again, thanks for your help!
 
 
 
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