Need lots of help! Watch

lei_armstrong
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Hi, I’m 17 & have just received my AS Level results. I have started drafting my personal statement and have been to a number of university open days to see where I want to apply.

I have always loved Maths since a young age and throughout secondary school participated in maths challenges etc. At the beginning of my AS Levels I chose to study Computing, Maths, Chemistry and Photography (for a creative release :p:). I got really frustrated with Computing though, as after I had learnt all the programming, I felt that the rest of the syllabus could be learnt out of a book and felt that it was a waste of my time. Around January, as Maths was my favourite subject and I was thoroughly enjoying it, I decided that I would swap and take Further Maths instead of Computing as a number of Universities require this subject for you to study Maths (or at least prefer it – as long as it makes my life easier!)

This meant that I missed taking the Stats module, which I am now going through independently with a friends notes and help from my teachers if I need it. It also meant that I had to catch up on half of the FP1 module and a few chapters of Decision. This has resulted in me getting an A in the Decision module but a high C in the FP1 module or a B (78%) overall but an incomplete one at that!

I was wondering whether this would matter in my applications as I would really hate to apply and for them to see that I gained a B in Further Maths and think I’m not capable, when I know that I am and are passionate about the subject. I also got an A in Maths, A in Photography (100%) and an A in Chemistry. I am expecting/hoping (fingers crossed) to get 4 As in my A Levels as this is what I have been predicted but I’m not sure whether they’ll count Photography.

What I was also wondering is I have already decided on a few Universities to apply to – Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, Kings College (maybe – going to visit it on Thurs) but I abviously want to apply to the full six and there’s no point applying to six Universities that are going to give me an offer of AAA incase I get a B. What Universities are top ranking with a high teaching standard? I think Imperial is my firm favourite but I’m not naïve and understand how difficult it is to get a place there or how hard it will be. I would prefer a London University doing a straight forward Mathematics degree as I am planning to stay at home (I’m about a 40 minute train journey from London) to save on costs.

Anyway let me know what you think – sorry about the essay, I’m just all over the place at the moment trying to choose Universities, do my personal statement, teach myself Stats etc and need all the help I can get!

Thanks

Laura x
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davem7
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I don't think you need to panic. You've got the A in maths, and if you state that your B in Further Maths is due to the fact that you took the subject up late, then I don't think it'd be a problem. If you're planning on resitting the module, then maybe state this as well. As far as the personal statement goes, list any maths-related books that you've been reading recently, but make sure not to lie as it may come up on interview. If you're not currently reading any, then there are several popular ones by Simon Singh (I highly recommend Fermat's Last Theorem) and Ian Stewart.

Your university choices seem to be pretty good. Obviously, since I study at Warwick, I would suggest that. But if you're keen to stay around London, it's probably not the most ideal of choices. I don't think that I'd be all to keen on the 40-minute commute in the mornings though

Best of luck.
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lei_armstrong
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Thanks for your reply! I don't mind the commute as I do it often anyway and if it saves me a couple of grand a year I can live with it! I'm hoping that I will be able to work for that time on my laptop, as it's a straight forward journey on a reasonably quieter line.

I was considering Warrick but as I have yet to visit there I didn't mention it. I was considering applying there instead of Cambridge as although it has a high reputation I'm not sure if it's for me - it's a bit too academic and they expect you to be working extrememly hard all of the time, limiting the number of hours you can work in a part time job, etc. Not that these are necessarily bad things but it all sounds extremely stressful!

I have been to a few lectures of Simon Singh's and other Decision and Problem Solving lectures at UCL but haven't read any Maths books yet. I will have a look at the one you've mentioned and others on the suggested reading lists, as it will expand my knowledge and give me something to discuss at my interview!

Thanks again for your help!
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ssmoose
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My friend's Kings offer was AAB, UCL AAB and Imperial AAB. Chances are one will give you an offer less than AAA.
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lei_armstrong
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Really? Was that for 2006 entry? If so, I hope they give similar offers next year because I am really scared that if I do poor in a module and end up getting a B that I won't get into my preferred University. Someone in another thread also mentioned that the Uni's care more about your predicted grades than your AS Levels. This has made me feel sooo much better!

Cheerz x

Btw are there many girls around here wanting to do Maths or studying Maths? We seem to be a minority lol! Oh well, doesn't bother me.
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