N3nvy
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I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I've been thinking about the future and what path I might want to go down.
I really enjoy Computer Science and want to start a career involving software for a worldwide company.

In order to study Computer Science at university, what A-Level choices would be wise? People say Mathematics is rather vital, and other choices like Physics help too.
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A. Same with Sciences.

The best case scenario is that I come out with an A in both Maths and Physics, what (roughly) would that be equal to in A-Levels? I really don't want to come out with a C or D.

Thanks.
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PrinceUpsb
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(Original post by N3nvy)
I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I've been thinking about the future and what path I might want to go down.
I really enjoy Computer Science and want to start a career involving software for a worldwide company.

In order to study Computer Science at university, what A-Level choices would be wise? People say Mathematics is rather vital, and other choices like Physics help too.
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A. Same with Sciences.

The best case scenario is that I come out with an A in both Maths and Physics, what (roughly) would that be equal to in A-Levels? I really don't want to come out with a C or D.

Thanks.
A lot of CS courses require Maths, with many requiring a high grade.

There is no straight comparison between GCSEs and A-Level grades, it depends how hard you work and how well you cope with the change.

If you don't enjoy maths my final advice would be do not take it. I really enjoyed GCSE maths and I lost all enjoyment at AS. Fortunately my enjoyment is back and I like studying it again, but I could not imagine doing it if I never liked it.

Really it comes down to a trade off between doing something you don't enjoy for two years and being able to do the course you want at uni. Its up to you, but I think the most important point to consider is whether you like a subject!
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Henry.Lister
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Maths A level is a time consuming subject which requires a good amount of consolidation. This is even more true if you are not naturally gifted and cannot acquire an A* at GCSE with close to no work.

If you get any worse than an A at GCSE then getting a good grade at A level will prove to be especially tough though in my opinion.
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GoodDay
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Computer science, is very very heavily linked to maths, in all honesty if you don't like maths then CS probably isn't for you. Most CS courses would probably expect Further Maths if your college offerred it I think.

http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...urses/compsci/

it says maths is a definite and further maths is highly desirable
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dragonkeeper999
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If you are currently working at a B grade in maths, you are unlikely to do very well at A level. This is because most collages require a B grade as a minimum, and most students will have at least an A. Therefore, the grades A*-E at A level are spread over those students who achieved A*-B at GCSE, putting you at the bottom of the pack. If you work really hard and get a good A, you still have a fairly good chance, but you certainly don't want to be taking a subject you don't enjoy and aren't very good at as you will get a bad A level grade.
Physics A level is actually very easy, but requires strong mathematical skills (particularly at A2, where you use A level maths in your physics course). I would definitely not recommend doing Physics A level without Maths A level, unless you are expecting to get an A* at GCSE Physics.
Does your college offer computing as an A level? You may find that interesting, and obviously it would be relevant to the degree. I'm not sure if it is particularly highly regarded with the top unis, but most should be fine with it for a degree in CS.
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N3nvy
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Well, I do enjoy Maths when it's explained well but a lot of other factors have put me off, like my teacher and the bad lessons I have. As a subject, it's actually a favourite of mine.
When they ask for an A-Level in Maths, does that mean AS AND A2? Would it matter if I dropped it after AS?

Yeah I was thinking about Physics, but I thought Maths would have been more important. I think they have a CS A-Level, because they have CS at GCSE.
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Jophesxi
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If you think you can do it, yes. Try looking at some of the stuff they'll be teaching you beforehand so you get an idea of what it'll be like. I got a B at maths GCSE and I got a U in my statistics exam (Part of maths AS). I warn you - It's extremely difficult: If you struggle with maths now, I wouldn't reccommend it. It's a lot of work and requires hours of work to be done at home: My maths teacher was always drilling it into me that we always need to 'review work at home, answering questions etc'. If you do decide to take it, make sure you put the work in, or you will be disappointed - It really is worth doing the work at home, because I haven't, and I'm most likely going to fail. Don't be fooled into thinking you can get away with doing very little work at home because you most probably can't and it'll bite you in the ass when it comes to the exams :/

Good luck with making your decision - if you're confident with maths, then go for it!
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Emma:-)
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(Original post by N3nvy)
I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I've been thinking about the future and what path I might want to go down.
I really enjoy Computer Science and want to start a career involving software for a worldwide company.

In order to study Computer Science at university, what A-Level choices would be wise? People say Mathematics is rather vital, and other choices like Physics help too.
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A. Same with Sciences.

The best case scenario is that I come out with an A in both Maths and Physics, what (roughly) would that be equal to in A-Levels? I really don't want to come out with a C or D.

Thanks.
Id consider doing it as it will be beneficial, but be warned, it is a very hard subject (i tried it). If you think you can do it, then go for it. Im not sure if unis require maths for computer science courses or not, you would have to check the entry requirements.
What other subjects where you thinking of doing?
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Jophesxi
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Also - AS is the qualification you recieve after completing a year of the course. It's not a full A-level: You get this after completing A2 (Which is the second year of sixth form, and the second year of your course)
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BayHarborButcher
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If you want to do maths and physics you need to enjoy them and have a passion for them! Trust me, people who wern't sure about liking maths and took it aren't doing very well. And the same goes with physics, it's good but it can be boring sometimes
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N3nvy
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I plan on Economics, CS, History, General Studies and either Maths or Physics.

Most of all, I want to be able to study CS without any problems. So I'm not sure if I can manage university level, without a Maths A-Level or if (even if I struggle and fail) it will be worth it.
I do find some Maths hard but I have been really lazy with it in high school, I have my GCSE in about three weeks and I want to revise really hard and secure an A.
It's a hard one because the last thing I want is to crash and burn, would Physics be an alternative?
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dragonkeeper999
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(Original post by N3nvy)
When they ask for an A-Level in Maths, does that mean AS AND A2? Would it matter if I dropped it after AS?
yes. If they specifically say 'A level Maths' that means the full A level - AS and A2. obviously, you will probably have only completed the AS when applying to uni, but you will need to continue with studying maths for the rest of the year to A2 level - this will almost certainly be a requirement of any uni offer where the uni has specified in their prospectus that you need a maths A level.
Some unis may say in their prospectus that you only need AS maths - however, it is probably worth sticking with Maths to A2 (unless you are struggling) as CS is apparently a very maths-heavy course.
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08rbut
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(Original post by N3nvy)
I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I've been thinking about the future and what path I might want to go down.
I really enjoy Computer Science and want to start a career involving software for a worldwide company.

In order to study Computer Science at university, what A-Level choices would be wise? People say Mathematics is rather vital, and other choices like Physics help too.
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A. Same with Sciences.

The best case scenario is that I come out with an A in both Maths and Physics, what (roughly) would that be equal to in A-Levels? I really don't want to come out with a C or D.

Thanks.
I'd say predicted grades wise I was very similar to you, I was actually predicted a C in Maths but worked pretty hard in my first two units (I actually retook the second because I got a B) and am currently on an A now. Although its very unlikely, it is possible to get an A*.

I'm planning on definitely taking Maths for A level (at least AS), and I asked my teacher if she thought it was possible I could get an B at A level. She said to me, knowing how hard I had worked previously 'Yes, with a lot of hard work. But please don't expect to come out with an A at AS.' Although I should have expected that response, I couldn't help feel... a little disappointed.

I hope this helped

EDIT: I remember asking what Physics grade I'd get at A level (even though I knew I didn't think I would be able to cope being on a B) and my teacher said C or D.
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Lunch_Box
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Considering Cambridge CompSci want Maths/FM(or Phys) + sometimes STEP, you can see why they think it is very mathematical. Don't let this put you off applying for it though!

I didn't enjoy maths GCSE, but at A level it is much more interesting and rewarding.
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hahaian
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(Original post by N3nvy)
I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I've been thinking about the future and what path I might want to go down.
I really enjoy Computer Science and want to start a career involving software for a worldwide company.

In order to study Computer Science at university, what A-Level choices would be wise? People say Mathematics is rather vital, and other choices like Physics help too.
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A. Same with Sciences.

The best case scenario is that I come out with an A in both Maths and Physics, what (roughly) would that be equal to in A-Levels? I really don't want to come out with a C or D.

Thanks.
For compsci maths is pretty much essential, physics and further maths very very preferable. I hated maths at GCSE as well, but remember A-level is algebra, statistics, mechanics and computer science, not GCSE maths as you know it. If you like computer science you'll enjoy the D1 and D2 modules. If you like algebra you'll love maths A level. I hated maths at GCSE but now I'm doing the FSMQ (which is almost A level) and it's my favourite subject. I'm going to study maths and further maths next year.
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Jimmymanc
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Take some time to think long and hard about what you really, really enjoy. Think back to your childhood and your school years, look at what you do in your spare time, and think about which subjects you've truly thrived in and enjoyed. Are you scientific, or artistic, for example?

It's always good to have a career in mind, but be open-minded as if you're 16 now, a *lot* can change until you finally graduate. In my humble opinion, it *might* be better to start with the subjects you like and enjoy, and the career will naturally follow, because you *might* be trying to tailor your subjects around a career which you actually might not like at all.

Maybe dip your toe into the water, go and talk to maths teachers at your future place of study, or if you're staying where you are, talk to teachers of maths that you like (if your current one is bad). Take an A-Level book out of the library and try a few exercises out of it, look at past exam papers.

Also, as someone else put here, do exactly the same for computer science - find out as much as you can about it, speak to teachers, people who are studying it already, look at the topics, see if they interest you. IMHO put the subjects before the career.

Just don't do anything because it "looks good", or because you feel you should, or because of people pressuring you.
Do what you enjoy and will really excel in, whatever it is. The career will follow, and you may even find yourself going down a different, better path, or indeed you may find you have made the right choices and it *will* turn out how you all planned.
Also, don't avoid doing it just because the teacher is bad. Just be sure it *is* the teacher and not the subject you don't like though!
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wildbluesun
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I got an A* at maths iGCSE after working hard, and am finding the A Level ridiculously challenging; having to practically kill myself to just about get As. I think that if the best you can get at GCSE with hard work is a B or scrape an A then you will be very, very hard pressed to get a decent grade at A Level.

Look at university prospectuses to see what A Levels they require for computer science courses, but if they're all requesting maths at A* or A grade it might not be the best choice for you. You can still end up working in IT or software development though, just possibly not through the uni route; if that's your goal and you're absolutely sure of it, seeing if there's any career-focused BTECs offered by local colleges might be a good route.
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N3nvy
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Thanks for the responses.

I didn't really know what I enjoyed until I started programming as a hobby, and then I found out there was a GCSE CS course, so I was really happy. Even now, I really love CS and it's my favourite out of all my choices.

But in order to pursue a career in that area, I will need Mathematics, which I don't mind at all. Honestly, I'm scared of failure, and then everything going wrong for me.
I could choose Maths A-Level and if I don't enjoy it enough, I could drop it and then re-evaluate. Does that sound fair?

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/ug/2014/1512/30018#tabs-3

No particular reason to why it's Sussex, except I like the location, but here it says ABB entry requirement and at least a B in GCSE Maths, which really suits me.
Also, I assume you come out of each university with the same degree? It wouldn't matter which university I choose, as long as there is a degree at the end of it?
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Jimmymanc
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To be honest, *all* A-Levels are hard though, and in varying degrees for different people
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m4ths/maths247
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(Original post by N3nvy)
I don't particularly enjoy Maths but I'm predicted a B, and with a lot of hard work, I hope to receive an A.
As a teacher reading that I would say (from past experience) pick subjects you want to do.
I appreciate some uni courses require certain A levels but I don't think studying a subject you dislike is going to be ideal to get you through the tough times.
From experience a large number of B grade students find A Level maths challenging even when they are giving it 100%
This of course is not all and many 'mature and blossom' in terms of their maths.
I don't think the current GCSE is rigorous enough to say a B grade student is 100% ready for the ramp up in AS maths.
There are though lots of support mechanisms you can use and with application good students (those who study hard, not those who are necessarily intelligent) can do very well.
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