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Should I bother doing science Alevels? watch

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    Hi all
    This has been bugging me for a while and now I think it's the best time to ask.
    I absolutely suck at maths. I only got a C in GCSE maths in November and I'll be one lucky guy if I manage to get a B in the exam I did this year. :l
    The problem I'm having is, should I bother choosing science alevels if I blow at maths? I'm an A* in all of my GCSE sciences (Biology, chemistry and physics) and I can do the maths perfectly fine in those exams, but people have been telling me the demand of maths goes well above and beyond anything it was like at GCSE. People say if you do Alevel physics you should at least have an A at GCSE maths and do Alevel maths (!!!). The Sixth Form I'm going to says that a "B in maths is ideal" to do Physics.
    And thinking way into the future when I want to do a Chemistry degree.. you can't really have good science without maths, and I can only begin to imagine what the maths is like at degree chemistry. ><
    It's a shame because I can pick up scientific ideas perfectly fine and I can remember them, but if you give a triangle and tell me to use sine, cosine or tan, my mind turns to mushy peas.
    There's no way in a MILLION years that I'm doing Alevel Mathematics, but I really really wish I was capable of doing it because I noticed degrees in sciences can ask for an Alevel in maths..
    I'm hoping to do Biology, Chemistry, Physics and French at Alevel, and their exam boards are all AQA if that helps. (Maybe different exam boards have more maths involved than others(?))
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    The maths you use in Science is completely different to the maths you will use in Maths. Most of the maths you learn will be applied meaning mostly putting numbers into equations, however you will have to learn how to derive and manipulate equations, especially in Physics. You only need to look at a formula booklet to realise how many equations there is for Physics.

    For Chemistry, the maths isn't that complicated, sure you might have to remember several equations, but the complicated part comes from the question and figuring out what information you have to use to find the desired answer.

    I am guessing you are taking higher maths? Is there any parts of the subject that you struggle with compared to others?
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    Hi all
    This has been bugging me for a while and now I think it's the best time to ask.
    I absolutely suck at maths. I only got a C in GCSE maths in November and I'll be one lucky guy if I manage to get a B in the exam I did this year. :l
    The problem I'm having is, should I bother choosing science alevels if I blow at maths? I'm an A* in all of my GCSE sciences (Biology, chemistry and physics) and I can do the maths perfectly fine in those exams, but people have been telling me the demand of maths goes well above and beyond anything it was like at GCSE. People say if you do Alevel physics you should at least have an A at GCSE maths and do Alevel maths (!!!). The Sixth Form I'm going to says that a "B in maths is ideal" to do Physics.
    And thinking way into the future when I want to do a Chemistry degree.. you can't really have good science without maths, and I can only begin to imagine what the maths is like at degree chemistry. ><
    There's no way in a MILLION years that I'm doing Alevel Mathematics, but I really really wish I was capable of doing it because I noticed degrees in sciences can ask for an Alevel in maths..
    I'm hoping to do Biology, Chemistry, Physics and French at Alevel, and their exam boards are all AQA if that helps. (Maybe different exam boards have more maths involved than others(?))
    If you want to do science, then do science subjects at A level; the maths required isn't really that extensive- all you have to learn is how to put numbers into a formula. If you are worried about the maths teach yourself the first AS modules of Maths, because they're not all that difficult, and it would help you a lot I think. You definitely don't need an A in maths for AQA AS Physics though, like I said, it's all plugging numbers into formulae.
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    Hi all
    This has been bugging me for a while and now I think it's the best time to ask.
    I absolutely suck at maths. I only got a C in GCSE maths in November and I'll be one lucky guy if I manage to get a B in the exam I did this year. :l
    The problem I'm having is, should I bother choosing science alevels if I blow at maths? I'm an A* in all of my GCSE sciences (Biology, chemistry and physics) and I can do the maths perfectly fine in those exams, but people have been telling me the demand of maths goes well above and beyond anything it was like at GCSE. People say if you do Alevel physics you should at least have an A at GCSE maths and do Alevel maths (!!!). The Sixth Form I'm going to says that a "B in maths is ideal" to do Physics.
    And thinking way into the future when I want to do a Chemistry degree.. you can't really have good science without maths, and I can only begin to imagine what the maths is like at degree chemistry. ><
    There's no way in a MILLION years that I'm doing Alevel Mathematics, but I really really wish I was capable of doing it because I noticed degrees in sciences can ask for an Alevel in maths..
    I'm hoping to do Biology, Chemistry, Physics and French at Alevel, and their exam boards are all AQA if that helps. (Maybe different exam boards have more maths involved than others(?))
    In honesty, I think biology is realistically the only science subject you have a chance of studying to any real level without strong GCSE maths skills:

    -It's often recommended (or even required, as it was where I did my A Levels) that maths is done with physics A Level because you get into things like logarithms and generally just need decent numerical ability to succeed in a subject where maths is the language we use to describe what's going on

    -Chemistry, especially in the first unit, is a lot of rearranging formula. Unless you can do so to a high level, you'll struggle. A C at GCSE might be enough to get on the course but realistically I'm not sure it'll be enough to pull out good grades

    -Biology, to the best of my memory, don't really require any maths skill at all. A C at GCSE would surely be sufficient. Interestingly, my sixth form have noticed a strong correlation over the years of success in GCSE English and A Level Biology results :dontknow:


    Of course, take what I say with a grain of salt but with chemistry degrees saying that A Level maths is either preferred or essential, and a level maths always being essential for a physics degree, you'd be hard pressed to do so with just a B.
    I hope you don't take what I say as offense or even as absolute - this is just from my experience of science A Levels and what everybody around my achieved.

    Whatever you do, good luck
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    (Original post by _Morsey_)
    The maths you use in Science is completely different to the maths you will use in Maths. Most of the maths you learn will be applied meaning mostly putting numbers into equations, however you will have to learn how to derive and manipulate equations, especially in Physics. You only need to look at a formula booklet to realise how many equations there is for Physics.

    For Chemistry, the maths isn't that complicated, sure you might have to remember several equations, but the complicated part comes from the question and figuring out what information you have to use to find the desired answer.

    I am guessing you are taking higher maths? Is there any parts of the subject that you struggle with compared to others?
    Oh I can do that! I actually enjoy that part of maths~
    Yeah I do the higher tier maths GCSE, I struggle with the handling data side of things.. like.. histograms, boxplots, cumulative frequency graphs and stuff like that. I can never seem to remember the rules that apply to each.. OH and trigonometry. I can't use sine, cosine or tan properly...
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    (Original post by Doomlar)
    If you want to do science, then do science subjects at A level; the maths required isn't really that extensive- all you have to learn is how to put numbers into a formula. If you are worried about the maths teach yourself the first AS modules of Maths, because they're not all that difficult, and it would help you a lot I think. You definitely don't need an A in maths for AQA AS Physics though, like I said, it's all plugging numbers into formulae.
    I'm so happy that it's just plugging numbers into a formulae! XD We did that at GCSE OCR 21st Century Physics so I'll just work on the skills more to get to the Alevel standard.
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    (Original post by Physmecieng)
    In honesty, I think biology is realistically the only science subject you have a chance of studying to any real level without strong GCSE maths skills:

    -It's often recommended (or even required, as it was where I did my A Levels) that maths is done with physics A Level because you get into things like logarithms and generally just need decent numerical ability to succeed in a subject where maths is the language we use to describe what's going on

    -Chemistry, especially in the first unit, is a lot of rearranging formula. Unless you can do so to a high level, you'll struggle. A C at GCSE might be enough to get on the course but realistically I'm not sure it'll be enough to pull out good grades

    -Biology, to the best of my memory, don't really require any maths skill at all. A C at GCSE would surely be sufficient. Interestingly, my sixth form have noticed a strong correlation over the years of success in GCSE English and A Level Biology results :dontknow:


    Of course, take what I say with a grain of salt but with chemistry degrees saying that A Level maths is either preferred or essential, and a level maths always being essential for a physics degree, you'd be hard pressed to do so with just a B.
    I hope you don't take what I say as offense or even as absolute - this is just from my experience of science A Levels and what everybody around my achieved.

    Whatever you do, good luck
    Mhmm.. I knew there'd be more to it than just plugging numbers into formulae. >< Gee, now I'm unsure.. I guess I'll have to give it a shot. I'm not dropping chemistry and physics because biology would be pretty much worthless on its own.. I'll give them all a try. Thanks though, and I didn't take offense because it's only the truth. It's a shame that I can pick up science so well but pick up maths like it was a bowl of jelly..
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    One must always do science A evlevls.
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    (Original post by FrankJaegar)
    One must always do science A evlevls.
    Haha they seem to have a pretty high reputation, I just want to them because I enjoy science. :P
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    Don't do Physics if your school does OCR B. Just don't do it.
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    OH and trigonometry. I can't use sine, cosine or tan properly...
    Physics will be very hard then tbh, you need to be fairly confident on basic trig. I disagree with the previous users - there is quite a bit more to the maths in physics than just plugging numbers into a formula. If you do A-Level maths, then the Maths in physics does seem much, much easier, but the people who didn't do A-Level maths last year really did struggle. :sadnod:

    Also, I don't want to ruin your plans or anything, but a chemistry degree actually has quite a bit of maths in it apparently (see here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...c_Requirements). Even at A-Level, you need to be able to manipulate things like logs (both in physics and chemistry), and you may find that a bit hard.

    Please don't take what I said in the wrong way, I don't mean to sound mean. I just thought I'd give my honest opinion. You could try brushing up on your maths skills over the summer or something?


    (Original post by Physmecieng)
    In honesty, I think biology is realistically the only science subject you have a chance of studying to any real level without strong GCSE maths skills:

    -It's often recommended (or even required, as it was where I did my A Levels) that maths is done with physics A Level because you get into things like logarithms and generally just need decent numerical ability to succeed in a subject where maths is the language we use to describe what's going on

    -Chemistry, especially in the first unit, is a lot of rearranging formula. Unless you can do so to a high level, you'll struggle. A C at GCSE might be enough to get on the course but realistically I'm not sure it'll be enough to pull out good grades

    -Biology, to the best of my memory, don't really require any maths skill at all. A C at GCSE would surely be sufficient. Interestingly, my sixth form have noticed a strong correlation over the years of success in GCSE English and A Level Biology results :dontknow:


    Of course, take what I say with a grain of salt but with chemistry degrees saying that A Level maths is either preferred or essential, and a level maths always being essential for a physics degree, you'd be hard pressed to do so with just a B.
    I hope you don't take what I say as offense or even as absolute - this is just from my experience of science A Levels and what everybody around my achieved.

    Whatever you do, good luck
    I agree with this post. :yep:
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    Haha they seem to have a pretty high reputation, I just want to them because I enjoy science. :P
    Science is b0ss. It's piss easy if you're good at it.
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    Maths in Biology & Chemistry is just bunging some numbers in a calculator. The worst it'll get is remembering a couple of really simple equations for Chemistry
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    (Original post by lilypear)
    Don't do Physics if your school does OCR B. Just don't do it.
    The Sixth Form I'm going to does AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
    At GCSE we did OCR 21st Century Science Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

    (Original post by usycool1)
    Physics will be very hard then tbh, you need to be fairly confident on basic trig. I disagree with the previous users - there is quite a bit more to the maths in physics than just plugging numbers into a formula. If you do A-Level maths, then the Maths in physics does seem much, much easier, but the people who didn't do A-Level maths last year really did struggle. :sadnod:

    Also, I don't want to ruin your plans or anything, but a chemistry degree actually has quite a bit of maths in it apparently (see here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...c_Requirements). Even at A-Level, you need to be able to manipulate things like logs (both in physics and chemistry), and you may find that a bit hard.

    Please don't take what I said in the wrong way, I don't mean to sound mean. I just thought I'd give my honest opinion. You could try brushing up on your maths skills over the summer or something?
    Oh.. I knew my lack of maths skills would bite me one day. DX At the Sixth Form I'm going to they let you resit maths and English GCSEs if you want, so I'll do that.
    I thought it was a bit weird to be told that it's just plugging numbers into a formulae at AS/Alevel Physics. XDD I guess I'm going to have to brush up on my maths skills over the summer holiday, oh and don't worry you didn't sound mean! You just sounded like you were telling me the truth and not sugar coating it to give me a false sense of security, so thanks! :P
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    (Original post by Folks)
    Maths in Biology & Chemistry is just bunging some numbers in a calculator. The worst it'll get is remembering a couple of really simple equations for Chemistry
    Conflicting responses. DX Mhm.. I guess I'll just have to go and look at some AQA Alevel Physics papers for myself on their website. ~
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    Oh I can do that! I actually enjoy that part of maths~
    Yeah I do the higher tier maths GCSE, I struggle with the handling data side of things.. like.. histograms, boxplots, cumulative frequency graphs and stuff like that. I can never seem to remember the rules that apply to each.. OH and trigonometry. I can't use sine, cosine or tan properly...
    Handling data basically ****s off once you get to A level- trigonometry however you'd have to gee up on a little for physics, but nothing too complicated just SOHCAHTOA. I haven't touched logarithms in physics yet so I don't know what the other person was talking about. Biology and Chemistry definitely do not require much mathematical knowledge beyond being able to plug numbers into formulae however.
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    I have to disagree with everyone here saying that you don't need maths for AQA AS Physics.

    PHYA2 is very maths intensive and if you don't have a good, solid grasp of mathematics you will strugle a little bit. That being said, it's not like you can't do physics with maths, you would just have to put a little bit more work in.

    When it comes to chemistry, you don't need to be too concerned with your mathematical ability at all. From what I can remember, AS chemistry has very little in the way of maths and, where the maths does crop up, you only need to know how to stick some numbers into a formula.

    I can't speak for biology as I haven't had any experience there, but I do remember some friends using some statistics from S1 but I think that was A2 Biology.

    At the end of the day, only you can make the choice of whether or not to take the sciences. If you're up for a challenge then I would say dive in. Good luck with your choices, and your results.
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    (Original post by Doomlar)
    Handling data basically ****s off once you get to A level- trigonometry however you'd have to gee up on a little for physics, but nothing too complicated just SOHCAHTOA. I haven't touched logarithms in physics yet so I don't know what the other person was talking about. Biology and Chemistry definitely do not require much mathematical knowledge beyond being able to plug numbers into formulae however.
    Oh my.. that explains a lot. I thought it was "SAHCOHTAO".. Oh gee no wonder I always get no marks for those questions! XD
    Loads of people are saying it's just plugging numbers and others are saying it's much more than that. O.o I guess I'll just have to wait and see, I'll brush up on my maths during the summer holidays and hope for the best, then resit maths GCSE at Sixth Form.
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    (Original post by HappyHylian)
    Oh I can do that! I actually enjoy that part of maths~
    Yeah I do the higher tier maths GCSE, I struggle with the handling data side of things.. like.. histograms, boxplots, cumulative frequency graphs and stuff like that. I can never seem to remember the rules that apply to each.. OH and trigonometry. I can't use sine, cosine or tan properly...
    From that i would definitely say you would be able to cope with Biology, at most you may have to plot or analyse a graph just as you might have done during GCSE. Biology from what i have heard from peers, is not very maths intensive.

    For Chemistry, the maths you use will come from interpreting data that you are given in the question, and this is key throughout the subject, you will need to know how to use the information that is provided before you can put it in the equations (there aren't that many in Chemistry, although you do get progressively more at A2).

    You may however struggle with Physics though since one of the topics at AS for most exam boards includes motion, which will include trigonometry for components of forces as an example, and that in itself can get confusing remember which trigonometry function to use.

    To some extent i agree with Physmecieng, however having also experienced science at A-Level, the only only subject that Maths has really every contributed to is Physics with logarithmic and exponential functions (for Doomlar, you should come across this if your board covers capacitance/exponential decay of radioactive nuclei), as well as the mechanics module helping out.

    I personally do not believe Maths at A-Level is required for Chemistry and Biology, it may help, but at the same time 95% of the information you learn will not benefit you. The main benefit i believe is practice, practice with manipulating algebra (and thus equations).

    If you want to study a Chemistry at degree level then i would always advise to follow that because it is amazing how interest in a subject can help you get better, but there may become a point where the level of maths you have obtained will make your progression to reach that degree more difficult.
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    (Original post by lebron_23)
    I have to disagree with everyone here saying that you don't need maths for AQA AS Physics.

    PHYA2 is very maths intensive and if you don't have a good, solid grasp of mathematics you will strugle a little bit. That being said, it's not like you can't do physics with maths, you would just have to put a little bit more work in.

    When it comes to chemistry, you don't need to be too concerned with your mathematical ability at all. From what I can remember, AS chemistry has very little in the way of maths and, where the maths does crop up, you only need to know how to stick some numbers into a formula.

    I can't speak for biology as I haven't had any experience there, but I do remember some friends using some statistics from S1 but I think that was A2 Biology.

    At the end of the day, only you can make the choice of whether or not to take the sciences. If you're up for a challenge then I would say dive in. Good luck with your choices, and your results.
    I think I'll end up dropping Physics after doing the AS level then.. and thanks I might as well improve my maths sooner or later and now's the best time if I'm doing Alevel sciences.
 
 
 
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