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    Hello guys,

    I have been reconsidering my options for A levels after my attempt at GCSE Maths as I lost a lot of marks.

    I still think I managed to get myself a B but my school requires an A to take it at A level but my head of Maths said I can take it as long as I complete the set MyMaths tasks over the holidays.

    For me Maths is not naturally my best subject but rather my worst but after years of dedication to the subject and hard work I managed to get into the top 60 people in my large school.

    It's just my mind doesn't work well with numbers, if someone was to ask me to do a multiplication or simple addition I wouldn't know it off the top of my head and I would add it up in a long column down my paper, so I tend to struggle on the more basic things at the start of the paper.

    However the "harder" things at the back the of the paper seem to be a lot easier and interest me more. A level surds have started to cause doubt for me again as it took me a long time to simplify the square root for 227 without a calculator.

    So is A level Maths a good thing for an English minded person like me, or is hard work not going to cut it without the natural ability first?
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    Hard work will get you the grades
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    (Original post by BinaryJava)
    Hello guys,

    I have been reconsidering my options for A levels after my attempt at GCSE Maths as I lost a lot of marks.

    I still think I managed to get myself a B but my school requires an A to take it at A level but my head of Maths said I can take it as long as I complete the set MyMaths tasks over the holidays.

    For me Maths is not naturally my best subject but rather my worst but after years of dedication to the subject and hard work I managed to get into the top 60 people in my large school.

    It's just my mind doesn't work well with numbers, if someone was to ask me to do a multiplication or simple addition I wouldn't know it off the top of my head and I would add it up in a long column down my paper, so I tend to struggle on the more basic things at the start of the paper.

    However the "harder" things at the back the of the paper seem to be a lot easier and interest me more. A level surds have started to cause doubt for me again as it took me a long time to simplify the square root for 227 without a calculator.

    So is A level Maths a good thing for an English minded person like me, or is hard work not going to cut it without the natural ability first?
    Firstly you don't need to do much things in your head except for core 1 (as this is the only module which is non-calculator)

    if the harder things are easy at GCSE, all A level questions are like hard GCSE questions, if not harder. Another thing is simplifying sqrt(227) is actually difficult and you won't ever get a number like that, you will get fractions with surds but the surds will be more simple and the teacher will explain step by step how to get the answer. Surds are one of the easier modules in Maths.

    Maths isn't all about natural ability, i mean it helps but if you are willing to work hard then you can do it regardless of what people say.

    You could have got an A in the exam for all you know, maybe you are just being too doubtful. I am pretty much the exact opposite to you, I've just now finished AS and starting A2 next year. At GCSE I got A* in maths and scraped a C in english. So I do understand where you are coming from with not working well with numbers because I just can't do english, no matter how hard I try the teachers just never ever give me a good grade.
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    Apart from the very first unit (core 1), I believe calculators are permitted for every other paper by all exam boards. So not being the quickest with addition and multiplication isn't the end of the world. You tend to find that by the end of A2 most people are rusty on doing things without a calculator since they use them soo much!

    I am interested into your motives about why you want to do maths at A level given what you have said (other than Maths is amazing of course ). Well done by the way on your improvement, it takes a lot of dedication to seriously try and then improve at something you are not naturally good at.

    Hard work will pay off at A Level, even if some people seem to breeze through it naturally. You can still get a good grade with determination.

    A Level maths is a big step up, hence the school entry requirements. But I think the key thing is knowing what you want to do and why. Answering questions like: Why do I want to do maths? Is my reason a good one? Am I sure there are not other subjects I'd rather do? Am I willing to put the extra work in, considering I do not seem as naturally gifted as others? etc.

    If you are at a good school then the maths department will help you as much as they can. Just make sure you do your research before hand. A level maths is quite different at points to GCSE (although not as different as the A level --> degree gap) so you really should make sure you know your stuff before deciding.

    If you have any queries feel free to PM me or ask on the thread. I am doing maths at Bath uni at the moment for reference

    Good Luck with your choices!!

    EDIT: Oh I didn't see you THINK you got a B. In that case wait till your results, if you are pessimistic like me when it comes to exams you could've easily gotten an A and then (of course with hard work) be perfectly capable of doing AS Level at least!
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    From what you've said, probably not. Maths is very hard at A level and the jump is very big from GCSE to A level, so your B at GCSE might not even get you close to an E. If I was you I'd do something else but if you really want to or it's necessary you'll just have to do a lot of work and practice consistently.
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    If you're determined, you'll be fine. My mental maths is........... not amazing, and I suffered for that in Core 1 (non-calculator) revision, but after a lot of hard work my Core 1 is now more or less as good as my Core 2 (calculator) work, so you can get there. Work hard, try a range of methods, get your homework done and practise past papers, it'll all be fine
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    Unless you have aspirations to do a degree with some mathematics involved - I wouldn't bother
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    There's not really much mental maths involved, even in C1. The 'harder things' you see is what you'll be seeing more of at A-level.
    You just need to put the effort in. Mental maths is great and all, but you don't need to be exceptional at it to be good at maths.

    This is coming from someone that has only done AS so what I said probably doesn't apply to A2, but I'd like to think that it does.
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    Maths A level is strongly recommended for my Computer Science degree that I want to do. I would need to get a B in Maths to get in as long as my economics and physics hold up well. I was thinking of King's college but student reviews have been low recently due to budget cuts and the cost of living is high. I was thinking Birmingham which doesn't need Maths but 3 A's. Lancaster is one A and two B's with no maths required.

    Furthermore, does anyone know how Maths orientated Computer Science is going to be?
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    Maths in high school for me Was a struggle because like you, I can't do mental maths but through hard work (and a calculator) it helped me get an A in maths GCSE(a miracle believe me).
    So I wanted to pursue it, i wasn't naturally good at maths so I worked so hard in my maths A-level. That's the key to it, just keep practicing.
    Now, i'm hoping for an A in maths this year.

    I also took English Literature and Business Studies where I would hopefully get a B and A for uni.


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    (Original post by BinaryJava)
    Hello guys,

    I have been reconsidering my options for A levels after my attempt at GCSE Maths as I lost a lot of marks.

    I still think I managed to get myself a B but my school requires an A to take it at A level but my head of Maths said I can take it as long as I complete the set MyMaths tasks over the holidays.

    For me Maths is not naturally my best subject but rather my worst but after years of dedication to the subject and hard work I managed to get into the top 60 people in my large school.

    It's just my mind doesn't work well with numbers, if someone was to ask me to do a multiplication or simple addition I wouldn't know it off the top of my head and I would add it up in a long column down my paper, so I tend to struggle on the more basic things at the start of the paper.

    However the "harder" things at the back the of the paper seem to be a lot easier and interest me more. A level surds have started to cause doubt for me again as it took me a long time to simplify the square root for 227 without a calculator.

    So is A level Maths a good thing for an English minded person like me, or is hard work not going to cut it without the natural ability first?
    To do a level maths and get a decent grade you need to be good with numbers. I know some people say that hard work can get you anywhere but that's *******s - hard work will make you better, but you still need the natural ability. If there is no natural ability hard work will bring you average, but if there is natural ability you will succeed.

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    My past papers that I did 2007-2010 where A's and A*'s but the paper this year was too functional skills based. There was one question where I had to convert miles to kilometres which I must of done ages ago. By the end of the paper I wasn't feeling very good and managed to mess up my graph transformation at the end which is really annoying since I have been revising them for a few months up until he exam.
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    (Original post by BinaryJava)
    My past papers that I did 2007-2010 where A's and A*'s but the paper this year was too functional skills based. There was one question where I had to convert miles to kilometres which I must of done ages ago. By the end of the paper I wasn't feeling very good and managed to mess up my graph transformation at the end which is really annoying since I have been revising them every day up till the exam.
    Must have been on the same paper as me. But if you have to revise every day for GCSE then the a level might not be for you.

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    I dont know if you would be good enough...
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    I thought I was good at maths, I got an A at GCSE and took Maths at A-level and ended up failing it.. (Don't mean to put you off, just saying) I just didn't sort of understand the concepts but if you are willing to put in the effort (you'll probably need to do 5 hours a week or so of revision) then go for it.
 
 
 
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