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# Statistics or Mechanics? Watch

1. I'm starting my a levels in september and I'm not very sure if I should do statistics, Maths AS. I want to study mechanical engineering at university and I find the mechanics modules much more easier than the statistics ones and I was planning to go up to at least M3. Is statistics compulsory at AS?

Also, I'm planning to study further mathematics as well.
2. (Original post by AbdulA1996)
I'm starting my a levels in september and I'm not very sure if I should do statistics, Maths AS. I want to study mechanical engineering at university and I find the mechanics modules much more easier than the statistics ones and I was planning to go up to at least M3. Is statistics compulsory at AS?

Also, I'm planning to study further mathematics as well.
It depends on your sixth form. Technically, statistics is not compulsory in terms of the exams board doesn't require you to do any stats modules. However, there are a lot of different maths modules and most sixth forms don't have the resources to allow you to choose which modules you do. For instance, at my school, everyone does FP1-3, S1, D1 and M1-3. So you'll need to check at the sixth form to see.

But if you're doing Mechanical Engineering and you do have the option, do as much mechanics as possible. Just be warned - most people find it much harder than stats.
3. might be a challenge but why don't yopu do additional further maths too?

for mech eng make sure you have good as grades, very good as ums scores and good predicted gardes ideally 3 a stars thats if you want to apply to imperial or better
4. i think you stats is compulsory because for both edexcel maths and f. maths, ypou have do core and applied modules which are different ie one module can't be sed for both subjects.
i did s1 and s2
5. (Original post by Chlorophile)
It depends on your sixth form. Technically, statistics is not compulsory in terms of the exams board doesn't require you to do any stats modules. However, there are a lot of different maths modules and most sixth forms don't have the resources to allow you to choose which modules you do. For instance, at my school, everyone does FP1-3, S1, D1 and M1-3. So you'll need to check at the sixth form to see.

Yes, I have a choice at my sixth form. Although the usual exam system for the first year is that we do S1,C1 and C2. The head of mathematics department at my school said she could "arrange something like that". I'm just concerned as to whether I would be missing out on a lot if I didnt do statistics.

But if you're doing Mechanical Engineering and you do have the option, do as much mechanics as possible. Just be warned - most people find it much harder than stats.
I have a friend who's just finished his A levels and He's given me his M1 book to do over summer. So far I have enjoyed it and I have found the concepts easy to understand ( i still have to practice more questions though!)
6. (Original post by Ilovemaths96)
i think you stats is compulsory because for both edexcel maths and f. maths, ypou have do core and applied modules which are different ie one module can't be sed for both subjects.
i did s1 and s2
I've never been very fond of statistics. Plus the fact that I would need an average of 90 UMS over all my AS modules to apply to somewhere like cambridge or imperial college.
7. (Original post by AbdulA1996)
I'm starting my a levels in september and I'm not very sure if I should do statistics, Maths AS. I want to study mechanical engineering at university and I find the mechanics modules much more easier than the statistics ones and I was planning to go up to at least M3. Is statistics compulsory at AS?

Also, I'm planning to study further mathematics as well.
You can do 12 modules for Maths and Further without doing any Stats if you don't want to. I have read remarks from admissions staff at Cambridge that Mechanics is more highly regarded and indeed there is no Stats in STEP. Good luck.
8. (Original post by AbdulA1996)
I've never been very fond of statistics. Plus the fact that I would need an average of 90 UMS over all my AS modules to apply to somewhere like cambridge or imperial college.
That's the view held by everyone i know, stats is just so frustrating
9. I studied up to M3 when I finished this year and it becomes very interesting from M2 onwards (M1 is just a starter like C1/S1/D1).

If you take Maths and Further Maths, the only compulsory modules are
-C1/C2/C3/C4 (Maths)
-FP1/FP2 (Further Maths)

and then you must have some additional modules for both A levels.

Here is the full list
Mechanics-M1/M2/M3/M4/M5
Statistics- S1/S2/S3/S4
Decision Maths- D1/D2

For regular maths A level
-Take two applied modules from the list (usually do C1/C2 and your first applied choice in AS year then C3/C4 and your other choice in A2 year)

For further maths A level
-Take 4 applied modules from the list (ones you aren't already doing in regular maths) OR 3 applied modules and then take FP3 (the only non-compulsory core module to my knowledge).

If you know that you enjoy mechanics already and would like to learn as much as you can then specialising in mechanics up to M5 would be extremely advantageous. Despite what people often say, that you should pick some from all the applied topics, it is much more rewarding to specialise in one topic and if you understand it then it is easier than picking stats/decision.

Statistics is also enjoyable (only after S1 though) but requires a different mindset to mechanics, where you are expected to learn formulae and then select the correct one for the problem before slotting in relevant data (this is what S1 mainly is though the final chapter on normal distributions is interesting).

Mechanics also requires you to learn formulae but far less. The vast majority of problems will require you to examine the situation of a system then solve the problem using
-F=MA (This comes up everywhere and I mean everywhere even for complex motions like SHM).
-Conservation of mechanical energy (Very useful for problems where F=MA would overcomplicate)
-Conservation of momentum

Mechanics becomes very calculus dependent from M2 onwards so as long as you are strong in core modules, you should be fine.
The real difficulty in mechanics is understanding the concepts.

Of course this all assumes that your school can teach up to M5 (which usually only private schools can because it's so specialised) so check with your maths department if it's possible.

If you can, then I would encourage you to specialise in mechanics where possible.
10. (Original post by Old_Simon)
You can do 12 modules for Maths and Further without doing any Stats if you don't want to. I have read remarks from admissions staff at Cambridge that Mechanics is more highly regarded and indeed there is no Stats in STEP. Good luck.
Thank you, I'll look that up.
11. (Original post by Complex solution)
I studied up to M3 when I finished this year and it becomes very interesting from M2 onwards (M1 is just a starter like C1/S1/D1).

If you take Maths and Further Maths, the only compulsory modules are
-C1/C2/C3/C4 (Maths)
-FP1/FP2 (Further Maths)

and then you must have some additional modules for both A levels.

Here is the full list
Mechanics-M1/M2/M3/M4/M5
Statistics- S1/S2/S3/S4
Decision Maths- D1/D2

For regular maths A level
-Take two applied modules from the list (usually do C1/C2 and your first applied choice in AS year then C3/C4 and your other choice in A2 year)

For further maths A level
-Take 4 applied modules from the list (ones you aren't already doing in regular maths) OR 3 applied modules and then take FP3 (the only non-compulsory core module to my knowledge).

If you know that you enjoy mechanics already and would like to learn as much as you can then specialising in mechanics up to M5 would be extremely advantageous. Despite what people often say, that you should pick some from all the applied topics, it is much more rewarding to specialise in one topic and if you understand it then it is easier than picking stats/decision.

Statistics is also enjoyable (only after S1 though) but requires a different mindset to mechanics, where you are expected to learn formulae and then select the correct one for the problem before slotting in relevant data (this is what S1 mainly is though the final chapter on normal distributions is interesting).

Mechanics also requires you to learn formulae but far less. The vast majority of problems will require you to examine the situation of a system then solve the problem using
-F=MA (This comes up everywhere and I mean everywhere even for complex motions like SHM).
-Conservation of mechanical energy (Very useful for problems where F=MA would overcomplicate)
-Conservation of momentum

Mechanics becomes very calculus dependent from M2 onwards so as long as you are strong in core modules, you should be fine.
The real difficulty in mechanics is understanding the concepts.

Of course this all assumes that your school can teach up to M5 (which usually only private schools can because it's so specialised) so check with your maths department if it's possible.

If you can, then I would encourage you to specialise in mechanics where possible.

That was very informative, Thanks. I'll check with the school if they teach up to M5.
12. If grades are your top priority then working up to M3 can be a good idea.
Just remember that if you're good at mechanics then M4/M5 is probably easier than S1/S2 since it could be harder getting used to the 'statistics frame of mind'.

e.g. Here are my applied module grades out of 100 UMS (Raw marks are converted to UMS).
Some are predicted using Arsey's unoffical markschemes and are denoted by '*'.

M1 - 100
M2* - 100
M3* - 93
S1 - 84
S2 - 76 (Messed up the very first question which was worth 11 marks out of 75)
D1* - 80 (Easiest module to understand but ran out of time)

I would probably have done better if I did M4 but my class had a mutiny and voted for D1 instead.
Point is, if you really enjoy mechanics then it can actually be detrimental to choose 'easy modules' like D1/S1.
13. Tbh you would probably find S1 easier than the likes of M4/M5

I would say 60% of it is pretty much Gcse maths.

Just be aware that if your still up for going purely mechanics route, theres a high chance you would have to partially self teach yourself it (unless for some reason, your entire maths class all vote not to do Stats/Decision)

Uni's don't really care toooooo much if you don't do all the mechanic modules anyways. Someone in my year got a Cambridge engineering offer doing up to M3
14. (Original post by Jkizer)
Tbh you would probably find S1 easier than the likes of M4/M5

I would say 60% of it is pretty much Gcse maths.

Just be aware that if your still up for going purely mechanics route, theres a high chance you would have to partially self teach yourself it (unless for some reason, your entire maths class all vote not to do Stats/Decision)

Uni's don't really care toooooo much if you don't do all the mechanic modules anyways. Someone in my year got a Cambridge engineering offer doing up to M3
It's just that i've found that i'm better suited to do mechanics because i'm also doing physics aswell. At my school, people who want to do mechanics to M5 (for example) tend to be alone doing it with a single teacher it i think thats ideal for me.

I looked up engineering at cambridge admission and they recommended a high ability in maths - specifically mechanics

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