Mature Newbie Requires Module Assistance Watch

Anthonyy
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hi Guys,


Hope everybody's well, and that I'm posting in the correct section


Thanks for taking time to read my thread.


I'm a mature student (and forum newbie) that's just started self-studying A-level Mathematics.


I'm planning to study Maths, Further Maths, and Additional Further Maths, with a view of going on to Cambridge/Oxford/Warwick/Imperial, and eventually gaining my Professorship.


So far I'm using the examsolutions website, and making my way through the edexcel books by Keith Pledger. I've also spoken with various schools and colleges, and I've got my test centre taken care of.


I think I'm headed in the right direction, but have a couple of thoughts on my mind. My main question is regarding which order I should learn the various modules.


As I'd be sitting all 18 edexcel exams I'd have to sit nine in each year, but which ones? And in which order are they best learnt?


I've read the m4ths website where he talks about juggling/manipulating your modules once you have your results to allow yourself the best grade possible, and I'm aware I need 80% for an A, and 90% in a combination of some modules for an A*, but I'm unsure of the best way to set out my learning.


Will sitting the modules in certain orders mean I end up accidentally cashing in early (before all 18 modules are sat) or is this not possible? However I sit the exams I'd need to ensure all three qualifications were awarded in the same year.




My other (loaded) question is, how long should I be thinking of spending studying per day/week/module?




I'm aware this is a very subjective question to ask, but hoped to get a ballpark figure to start off at. I work full time at present (72hours per week) and thought it'd make sense to check whether I have enough time to study three A-levels.


I've spoken to the local colleges in my area and most of them have two lessons per week, per subject, and each lesson is 2hrs 30mins.


They also recommend their students spend the same amount of time doing independent study away from college.


So, I'm thinking around 30hrs per week is a good starting point. Does that sound good to everyone else?




Thanks in advance to everyone for reading my post, and for any input you can offer.


I'm sure many more questions will follow.


All the best,
Anthony.
0
reply
Mr.Econometrics
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
I'm going to give you my personal advice for your scenario. I would learn C1/C2/C3/FP1/S1/M1 in that order to start with. I'm not sure about Additional Further Mathematics, as I only went up to Further Mathematics. I would then go on to do C4/FP2/FP3/M2/M3/M4 in your second year (once again, not including the Additional Further Maths). Spend about 2/3 hours a day per day, if possible. I understand working 72 hours per week and doing 3 A-Levels is quite difficult, but it can be done depending on your natural Mathematical ability. Past papers are key to success in Mathematics, don't underestimate their importance. (ExamSolutions was great too).
0
reply
Mr M
  • Study Forum Helper
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by Anthonyy)
Hi Guys,


Hope everybody's well, and that I'm posting in the correct section


Thanks for taking time to read my thread.


I'm a mature student (and forum newbie) that's just started self-studying A-level Mathematics.


I'm planning to study Maths, Further Maths, and Additional Further Maths, with a view of going on to Cambridge/Oxford/Warwick/Imperial, and eventually gaining my Professorship.


So far I'm using the examsolutions website, and making my way through the edexcel books by Keith Pledger. I've also spoken with various schools and colleges, and I've got my test centre taken care of.


I think I'm headed in the right direction, but have a couple of thoughts on my mind. My main question is regarding which order I should learn the various modules.


As I'd be sitting all 18 edexcel exams I'd have to sit nine in each year, but which ones? And in which order are they best learnt?


I've read the m4ths website where he talks about juggling/manipulating your modules once you have your results to allow yourself the best grade possible, and I'm aware I need 80% for an A, and 90% in a combination of some modules for an A*, but I'm unsure of the best way to set out my learning.


Will sitting the modules in certain orders mean I end up accidentally cashing in early (before all 18 modules are sat) or is this not possible? However I sit the exams I'd need to ensure all three qualifications were awarded in the same year.




My other (loaded) question is, how long should I be thinking of spending studying per day/week/module?




I'm aware this is a very subjective question to ask, but hoped to get a ballpark figure to start off at. I work full time at present (72hours per week) and thought it'd make sense to check whether I have enough time to study three A-levels.


I've spoken to the local colleges in my area and most of them have two lessons per week, per subject, and each lesson is 2hrs 30mins.


They also recommend their students spend the same amount of time doing independent study away from college.


So, I'm thinking around 30hrs per week is a good starting point. Does that sound good to everyone else?




Thanks in advance to everyone for reading my post, and for any input you can offer.


I'm sure many more questions will follow.


All the best,
Anthony.
You can re-certificate at any time so just take them in the order that makes sense. Core 1 would be a sensible starting point.
0
reply
Old_Simon
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
The specification is built around 65 hours of "directed study" eg lessons and homework of 65 hours per module. I am a mature maths self learner as well and that figure seems about right to me. You can do the weekly numbers from there.
0
reply
Anthonyy
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#5
Hi Guys

Thanks to everybody that's taken time to respond. Your help is very much appreciated.

As far as studying goes, I'm doing a couple of hours each morning before work, and then two or three hours again each night when I get back home again. That should give me ~120hrs per module.

I had a look on the edexcel website again today and found the provisional timetable for June 2015

Here's the link:

http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/Docum...ation%20v2.pdf


From the chart you can see the 18 modules are split over ten dates, so some exams coincide with others.

My options are therefore as follows:

13th May 2015
C1 or M3

14th May 2015
FP1

20th May 2015
C2 or S3

3rd June 2015
M1 or FP2

5th June 2015
S1 or M4

9th June 2015
D1 or M2

12th June 2015
C3 or M5

16th June 2015
C4 or S4

22nd June 2015
FP3 or S2

24th June 2015
D2


I've come up with three different scenarios and think Option C) is probably the best way to go, but as I don't know how the content follows on from other modules I thought I should run it by you guys for some feedback.

Let me know which option you prefer the look of....


Option A)

Year 1)
C1, FP1, C2, M1, S1, D1, C3, C4, S2

Year 2)
M3, S3, FP2, M4, M2, M5, S4, FP3, D2



Option B)

As option A, but switch M1 and FP2

Year 1)
C1, FP1, C2, FP2, S1, D1, C3, C4, S2

Year 2)
M3, S3, M1, M4, M2, M5, S4, FP3, D2



Option C)

As option B, but switch S2 and FP3

Year 1)
C1, FP1, C2, FP2, S1, D1, C3, C4, FP3

Year 2)
M3, S3, M1, M4, M2, M5, S4, S2, D2



Thanks again everyone
Have a great weekend
Ant
0
reply
Old_Simon
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
D might be best avoided altogether. Really.
0
reply
Anthonyy
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#7
I haven't even looked at the D modules yet. What is it you don't like about them?

If I missed them out I wouldn't have enough modules for three A-levels, and would struggle to get into the Universities I'm aiming for
0
reply
Old_Simon
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 years ago
#8
(Original post by Anthonyy)
I haven't even looked at the D modules yet. What is it you don't like about them?

If I missed them out I wouldn't have enough modules for three A-levels, and would struggle to get into the Universities I'm aiming for
I never did any D but all the mathmos here say it is ridiculously easy to drop silly points.
0
reply
L'Evil Fish
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 years ago
#9
(Original post by Old_Simon)
I never did any D but all the mathmos here say it is ridiculously easy to drop silly points.
He has to do them though.

The thing with option C is you won't be doing any pure in second year...
0
reply
davros
  • Study Helper
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 years ago
#10
(Original post by Anthonyy)
I haven't even looked at the D modules yet. What is it you don't like about them?

If I missed them out I wouldn't have enough modules for three A-levels, and would struggle to get into the Universities I'm aiming for
The 'D' modules are generally considered "soft" options by universities and don't really do anything to build up your mathematical ability or prepare you for university study. They won't be of any help whatsoever in preparing for STEP, and the time studying them would probably be better spent reading outside the syllabus and finding areas of mathematics that interest you.

Why do you think you need 3 full maths A levels - very very few people do AFM, even among Cambridge and Oxford mathmos! Or are you not taking any other A levels besides Maths?

Are your basic alternatives Maths at a top uni OR nothing - you seem to be considering a very narrow A level subject choice for general university admission.
0
reply
Anthonyy
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#11
Yeah, the aim is to study maths at a top University.

I'll need to take three a-levels, and as a private candidate I'd need something without assessments and coursework.

I know some degrees like to see a breadth of study and knowledge, but as it's mathematics I want to study at university it doesn't make sense to read other subjects.

It's also been quite a while since I left the education system, and I think it would take me a long time to get up to the required standards in other subjects.

Doing lots of maths just seems the right thing to do.

I'm open to all feedback and suggestions though. Let me know if you think there's anything else I should look into.

Thanks
Ant
0
reply
L'Evil Fish
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#12
Report 4 years ago
#12
(Original post by Anthonyy)
Yeah, the aim is to study maths at a top University.

I'll need to take three a-levels, and as a private candidate I'd need something without assessments and coursework.

I know some degrees like to see a breadth of study and knowledge, but as it's mathematics I want to study at university it doesn't make sense to read other subjects.

It's also been quite a while since I left the education system, and I think it would take me a long time to get up to the required standards in other subjects.

Doing lots of maths just seems the right thing to do.

I'm open to all feedback and suggestions though. Let me know if you think there's anything else I should look into.

Thanks
Ant
There is an alternative with no D modules.

Edexcel maths and further maths

C1-4 M1-2
FP1-3 M3-5

AQA Statistics A level S1-6. No coursework necessary.
0
reply
dragonkeeper999
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 years ago
#13
I don't see everyone's problem with decision modules. Yes, they're not that helpful in the long term, but in terms of getting good A level grades (which the OP needs since they are only taking the three Maths subjects and want to go to a top uni) D modules are SUPER easy. You just need to memorise some basic instructions ("algorithms") and follow them exactly. Yes, you can drop a couple of marks from making silly mistakes due to sheer boredom, but you can just as easily lose these marks in other modules too.

I suggest you take option A - because you keep a fairly even number of Pure modules (C1-4, FP1-3) each year and also have the easier modules in the AS year then the harder ones at A2. Since the FM system enables you to switch modules around loads, it doesn't matter which order you take exams in - they will be automatically arranged into AS/A2 and between each subject in order to give you the best grades. However, when you are applying to university (just after your ASs) you will want to have the best possible AS results - so option A which means you are taking all the easier modules (the ones with '1' after them - i.e. AS level modules) should get you the better grades/ UMS. Also, it is a natural progression to take modules in that order - with lower number modules followed by higher ones, since they are designed to build on each other.

You don't have to 'cash in' your modules each year, and I think that even if they are cashed it is still possible to undo it and re-jiggle the modules around a bit. This should be done automatically by your exam board anyway, so you shouldn't need to worry too much about this.

Regarding how much time to spend per week on each module, it depends a lot on how talented you are at maths and how quickly you learn. At sixth form, we had 5 hours of lessons for each subject and were advised to spend a similar amount of time working outside of lessons. Therefore, you should expect around 30 hours a week total.
However, I would say that the Maths modules (C1-C4, S1/D1/M1/ S2/ perhaps M2) they are a bit easier than the more advanced ones (FP1-3, M2, M3, probably D2/ S3/ DE/ FPT but I never studied them so don't know) - so you may find yourself spending different amount of time on each module. I suggest that you work through each module separately - i.e. don't start studying 9 at once! However, make sure you have time to revise ALL of them before the exam - particularly those you studied at the start of the year and haven't looked at since. I suggest that you start of with C1 and work through to C4, while studing S1 then M1 alonside. Then, move onto FP1, D1 and S2. Try and avoid studying more than 2/3 modules at the same time, but also keep looking back over stuff from modules you did right at the start of the year to refresh your mind

Also, double check that there is no coursework required - C4 had coursework on my exam board (OCR MEI)...
0
reply
davros
  • Study Helper
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#14
Report 4 years ago
#14
(Original post by dragonkeeper999)
I don't see everyone's problem with decision modules. Yes, they're not that helpful in the long term, but in terms of getting good A level grades (which the OP needs since they are only taking the three Maths subjects and want to go to a top uni) D modules are SUPER easy. You just need to memorise some basic instructions ("algorithms") and follow them exactly. Yes, you can drop a couple of marks from making silly mistakes due to sheer boredom, but you can just as easily lose these marks in other modules too.
I think it's less of an issue for someone who is doing M, FM and AFM because they will (of necessity) have to study all the essential Mech and Stats modules (as well as FP), whereas using the D modules as alternatives to what I would call "traditional" A level applied gives people a less solid background for uni.

I'm also nervous of people saying "do these A level modules because they're easy and will get you a top grade" when the recipient of the advice is hoping to apply for a really tough maths degree at a top uni - after all, if you don't want to confront some "difficult" maths at A level then how are you going to cope when facing something much, much harder later on?

However, given the OP's circumstances (which are highly unusual), he's almost certainly going to be doing the 'D' modules anyway as part of his studies. Of course, the next hurdle (if he aspires to Cambridge) is preparation for the STEP exam, which is a different ballgame entirely
0
reply
TenOfThem
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 years ago
#15
(Original post by Anthonyy)
Yeah, the aim is to study maths at a top University.

I'll need to take three a-levels, and as a private candidate I'd need something without assessments and coursework.

I know some degrees like to see a breadth of study and knowledge, but as it's mathematics I want to study at university it doesn't make sense to read other subjects.

It's also been quite a while since I left the education system, and I think it would take me a long time to get up to the required standards in other subjects.

Doing lots of maths just seems the right thing to do.

I'm open to all feedback and suggestions though. Let me know if you think there's anything else I should look into.

Thanks
Ant

Is your plan to just have these 3 A Levels and apply to university - if so please check with the relevant admissions people that they would be willing to make an offer based on maths A levels and no others
0
reply
TeeEm
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#16
Report 4 years ago
#16
Dear Anthony

I also returned to education as a mature student (22 in my case) but this is in 1987.

When I did my A levels, there was no Additional Further Maths or even AS, because it was before the modular exams came in. As I was going to do a maths degree, the only A levels that mattered were Maths and Further Maths. So I did Maths and Further Maths (by self study).

I know that requirements have changed, for example in 1987 you were classed as a mature student at 21. Once classed as a mature student there are different procedures and requirements for entry. To put it simply suppose somebody aged 50 decides to retire and do a degree in History purely for enjoyment and interest. I can assure you (s)he does not need 3 A levels. Maybe an A level in History (or a foundation course) and a demonstration of a strong desire to the University that (s)he is not a time waster.
So firstly you need to check your Status i.e. Mature or no Mature.

The next question to ask yourself is why are you doing all these modules. Is the priority mathematical knowledge, or just requirement for entry.
I went to UCL and the course all these years later has changed very little, so I am assuming similar for all top Universities.

It looks like you are on the EDEXCEL syllabus, so this is my advice:
Cover EVERY core/pure module, EVERY mechanics module, and up to S3 in stats.
Cover even the old M6 (no longer examinable)
Cover even simple university mathematical methods such as partial differentiation, more differential equations, multivariable integration, Fourier series, simple vector calculus, Laplace transforms, Complex integration etc.
Cover some very hard questions from AEA and STEP.

Cover does not mean exam, it means you have seen, understood and had some practice without quite reaching exam standard.

I wish you success

You might find some of the resources in my site useful
madasmaths.com
0
reply
Anthonyy
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#17
Hi Guys

Just wanted to give everybody an update, and ask some more questions.....


I've decided to sit 12 modules to begin with (and may sit the remaining 6 afterwards)

My question this time around is with regards to revision times and techniques as well as past papers

I'm wondering, if I'm sitting six modules this year, and my first exam is 13th May, when should I be aiming to have finished learning all the modules, and when should I start prepping for the exams?

ie: I can't finish learning the sixth module on the 12th of May and then walk straight into my first exam without refreshing the memory ......how long is good to allow myself to flick through my notes and refresh myself on things I forgot?

Also, with regards to past papers, when should I begin doing them?

My mind says I should begin doing them as soon as I've finished learning the module, and to just keep going over them whilst I begin reading/learning the next module, but I'm concerned that I've only got a finite amount of papers to practice with

I don't want to risk just memorising them as opposed to sitting and working through them just because I've done them so many times

Should that be of real concern to me, or am I right to start them as soon as I finish the module it relates to?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Solent University
    Postgraduate and Professional Open Evenings Postgraduate
    Mon, 20 May '19
  • London Metropolitan University
    Postgraduate Mini Open Evening - Holloway Campus Undergraduate
    Tue, 21 May '19
  • Brunel University London
    Postgraduate Open Evening Postgraduate
    Wed, 22 May '19

How has 2019 been so far?

Amazing!!! (39)
5.72%
Fairly positive (227)
33.28%
Just another year... (270)
39.59%
Is it 2020 yet? (146)
21.41%

Watched Threads

View All