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How hard is Further Maths (OCR) How does it work with normal Maths? Watch

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    Still deciding on A-level subjects. Looking at doing a Engineering/Computer course at a top uni (aiming for Cambridge). Looking at doing Further Maths.

    I've heard that its ridiculously difficult, but I'm not sure whether thats bs or not. Is there anyone who's done or doing the course that could give me a little bit of info on how 'hard' it is, the workload, is it worth it ect.

    I'm solid A* GCSE maths already. And definitely doing normal maths A-level, just unsure whether I'd be good enough to do further. I like maths, although its not a huge passion of mine. My other subjects are Physics, Maths and History.

    Thank you!!

    Tom
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    You probably could handle it. Just work really hard.
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    Any particular engineering discipline you have in mind?

    Further maths extends the A-level syllabus and adds a few new topics.

    If you are getting A* at GCSE then definitely do further maths.

    To get into engineering at Cambridge you will need to show real aptitude and desire for engineering. Hobbies, clubs and self build projects are good.

    Engineering should be a passion of yours.
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    You'll be fine, it's not nearly as hard as everyone says - just work hard and make sure you understand the topics throughout the year, then do loads of past papers. Further Maths is pretty much essential for the engineering + computer science courses at Cambridge (although it is not always officially 'essential' beyond AS as some schools don't teach it, but if you have the opportunity to take it you really should).
    Out of interest, why are you taking AS history? If you are sure you want to go into engineering/ computer science/ possibly related sciences, why not take more science subjects - you probably won't be able to take any humanities/ history at uni without more humanities subjects. Also, you'll have loads of essays for history, whereas the workload if you do another science will be much lower as your subjects will complement each other more. Why not take chemistry?
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    It would be beneficial with engineering, its not as majorly difficult as people make it out to be, saying that its not a walk in the park. FP1 is usually alright, FP2 is just pure filth, FP3 i think is easier than FP2, then your applied module. We don't do FP4 so can't comment but Differential Equations is not too bad
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    Out of interest, why are you taking AS history? If you are sure you want to go into engineering/ computer science/ possibly related sciences, why not take more science subjects - you probably won't be able to take any humanities/ history at uni without more humanities subjects. Also, you'll have loads of essays for history, whereas the workload if you do another science will be much lower as your subjects will complement each other more. Why not take chemistry?
    History is also a different passion of mine. It's certainty not something i want to take foreword, but it's good to show you can do other types of subjects as well. Academic diversity and all that

    To get into engineering at Cambridge you will need to show real aptitude and desire for engineering. Hobbies, clubs and self build projects are good.
    Honestly my passion is for electronics. I read about it at night, I've spent way too much time on my GCSE project (which I actually would like to build and use myself) and its always something that has interested me. Would the fact that I only really like one part of engineering disadvantage me in going for cambridge?
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    If you have an A* at GCSE, then you'll be fine, as long as you put the work in.

    I do OCR Maths/Further Maths, the way you get an AS in maths is your overall results from C1, C2 and FP1. The AS in further maths is your 2 highest scoring results in S1, D1 and M1.

    To get an A* at A level in maths, you need 80% overall, including 90% in C3 and C4, for further maths, it's the same except you need 90% in at least 3 of the A2 modules you have chosen (which is usually all of them).
    In terms of workload, it is quite a lot and a lot of it depends on you. If you don't do the past papers and worksheets, then it'll be very difficult to obtain high marks in the exam. Make sure you read your work carefully, just using a '-' instead of a '+' could get you from full marks to 1 or 2, so be wary if you're (like me) prone to making tiny little mistakes.

    In terms of difficulty, the core modules (C1, C2) are not that difficult, but it depends on the applied modules (D1, S1 and M1). Because you're doing physics, then M1 should be no problem for you, as well as D1 (since you want to do computing, D1 deals with algorithms and what not, I haven't finished that module yet). The most difficulty (from what I've heard) comes from the A2 modules, primarily C3 and FP2 (or FP3, if you're doing that instead). FP1 can be a little confusing, so it's paramount that if you do FP1, you PRACTICE!

    I hope this helps , in terms of your other subjects, I strongly suggest trying to keep hold of them. History is a good A level that will help you stand out (since it is an essay based subject and one of the hardest ones) towards universities and physics is essential for engineering.
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    (Original post by dathtom)
    Still deciding on A-level subjects. Looking at doing a Engineering/Computer course at a top uni (aiming for Cambridge). Looking at doing Further Maths.

    I've heard that its ridiculously difficult, but I'm not sure whether thats bs or not. Is there anyone who's done or doing the course that could give me a little bit of info on how 'hard' it is, the workload, is it worth it ect.

    I'm solid A* GCSE maths already. And definitely doing normal maths A-level, just unsure whether I'd be good enough to do further. I like maths, although its not a huge passion of mine. My other subjects are Physics, Maths and History.

    Thank you!!

    Tom
    If you don't do it, you won't be going to Cambridge to read engineering or computing.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    If you don't do it, you won't be going to Cambridge to read engineering or computing.
    It isn't essential to take FM to do engineering or compsci, but your point still stands. I have no idea why someone would want to study one of the two subjects anywhere (never mind Cambridge) and not be sure about taking FM at A-Level.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    It isn't essential to take FM to do engineering or compsci, but your point still stands. I have no idea why someone would want to study one of the two subjects anywhere (never mind Cambridge) and not be sure about taking FM at A-Level.
    I didn't think it was a requirement but every serious applicant will have FM unless their school/college was unable to offer it. Even then a student could (and should) have taken FM through the Further Maths Support Group.
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    Good for you. I did Electronic Engineering followed a few years later with a M.Sc. in Aerospace Systems Engineering.

    FM at A-level will put you in very good standing for your first year maths at uni'.

    You will cover everything on the syllabus for FM and several other topics will also be covered in greater depth as part of your first year maths course.

    I agree that History will be looked upon favourably as it does show you are a well rounded individual capable of both strong science and humanities which the cultural guru's at Cambridge love.

    Not necessary to do all three sciences, but physics and maths are essential. There is an element of chemistry involved in electronics mainly to do with manufacturing processes for electronic components: charge carrier doping concentrations, gas vapour deposition, e-beam lithography that sort of thing. But really nothing to worry about.

    The physics at uni' will obviously cover sub-atomic theory, quantum theory as well as needing all of the other physics topics since electronics is the central part of interfacing between science and the real world. You need to understand how to apply the physics.

    If you want to study electronics, there are other equally well respected establishments besides Cambridge: Imperial College, Southampton, Surrey, Bristol, UCL are all highly regarded and in no way would it disadvantage you to study at one of these.

    If you are shooting for Cambridge, have you thought of studying abroad? MIT, Stanford etc. are within your grasp too. A long way from home though.

    Good luck and go for it.
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    (Original post by dathtom)
    History is also a different passion of mine. It's certainty not something i want to take foreword, but it's good to show you can do other types of subjects as well. Academic diversity and all that
    In which case it is fine, as you are likely to get good grades due to enjoying it. Although you may still want to look into studying another science subject as well...
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    (Original post by uberteknik)

    If you are shooting for Cambridge, have you thought of studying abroad? MIT, Stanford etc. are within your grasp too. A long way from home though.

    Good luck and go for it.
    OOoo... always dreamed of studying in California at Stanford. Would their entry requirements be higher than Cambridge?
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    (Original post by dathtom)
    OOoo... always dreamed of studying in California at Stanford. Would their entry requirements be higher than Cambridge?
    It isn't cheap is all I will say. Around £40,000 PA.

    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/uga/basics/index.html
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    I'm going against the general theme of things - don't do Further Maths, unless you enjoy maths. Getting an A* in GCSE means that you have the ability to improve to Further Maths standards, but realistically you won't make that jump unless you enjoy Maths.

    I know many people who hit their glass ceiling, got an A* and then drowned in Further Maths, they couldn't keep up with the speed or the concepts. This is especially true for the further topics, because the pure maths is ridiculous yet fun. Its all to do with imaginary numbers and the likes.

    If you don't enjoy maths, I wouldn't recommend the blemish.
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    (Original post by uberteknik)
    It isn't cheap is all I will say. Around £40,000 PA.

    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/uga/basics/index.html
    Stanford do offer needs-blind admission for international students though, although I'd imagine that admission would be very competitive.
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    (Original post by Hazofhorsham)
    Its all to do with imaginary numbers and the likes.
    Otherwise known as the mathematics necessary to understand the electronics he supposedly loves.
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    (Original post by Hazofhorsham)
    I'm going against the general theme of things - don't do Further Maths, unless you enjoy maths. Getting an A* in GCSE means that you have the ability to improve to Further Maths standards, but realistically you won't make that jump unless you enjoy Maths.

    I know many people who hit their glass ceiling, got an A* and then drowned in Further Maths, they couldn't keep up with the speed or the concepts. This is especially true for the further topics, because the pure maths is ridiculous yet fun. Its all to do with imaginary numbers and the likes.

    If you don't enjoy maths, I wouldn't recommend the blemish.
    What stupid advice, even the content covered in Further Maths is so fundamental to any reputable engineering/compsci course, not doing it is like shooting yourself in the foot. Not to mention anyone who can't survive further maths also won't survive any quantitative degree.
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    All right guys and gals, didn't want to start an argument here . Gonna try to speak to my teachers again but the advice I've had here is better than I've ever had from school or anyone. Thank you!

    Opinions are still welcomed, as I suspect this topic will be good for other people to.
    Tom
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    (Original post by Hazofhorsham)

    I know many people who hit their glass ceiling, got an A* and then drowned in Further Maths, they couldn't keep up with the speed or the concepts. This is especially true for the further topics, because the pure maths is ridiculous yet fun. Its all to do with imaginary numbers and the likes.
    Can I point out something if I may?

    NOTHING about pure maths is ridiculous, just your lack of understanding where those concepts are applied.

    One of THE most fundamental concepts of maths used in all engineering disciplines is that of Imaginary or more appropriately termed 'Complex Numbers'

    And probably none more so than for electronics.

    It's used everywhere in differential calculus, to waveform synthesis, to harmonic motion, understanding electrical circuits, components, frequency domain analysis, energy storage the list goes on forever.

    I would also say that absolutely NO topic studied in FM pure maths is wasted in engineering. ALL of it is used.

    At university, those topics are greatly expanded in both scope and depth.

    EVERYTHING: real and Imaginary complex numbers, series expansions, matrix algebra, 3D vectors calculus, logs (both exponential and Naperian), hyperbolic functions, binomials, parametrics, trig identities, Integration, simultaneous multi-order derivatives, partial differentiation, Eigen functions, Argand diagrams, stats.......EVERYTHING

    I see Further Maths as a preparation for making your first year at university in engineering less onerous.

    Goodness knows the shock from spoon fed A-level to learning the stuff on your own is difficult enough.
 
 
 
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