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Should I go over GCSE mathematics or get straight into the AS/A-Levels content? watch

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    (Original post by AsherA)
    I want to begin by saying that I am moving to the UK next year but I don't fully understand the education system so if I make any mistakes, please let me know!

    I will be starting in September 2015 by doing my AS-Levels. One subject that I am particularly concerned about is AS/A-Level mathematics. After calling up the school I plan to attend in the UK, they recommended that I get a GCSE mathematics textbook and start going through it. This is so that next year when I start my AS-levels, I will be at the same level as everyone else. I have a couple of questions:

    1. I am currently in year 10 at the moment (16 years old) and from years 7 - 10 (13 - 16 years old) I have always struggled with mathematics so my foundations are extremely weak. What is the best GCSE mathematics textbook I can use to prepare for AS-Levels?

    2. I got two mixed opinions. One was that I should go through a GCSE mathematics textbook. Another person said to me that I should just get straight into an AS/A-Levels textbook as it will go over the GCSE mathematics content at the beginning of the textbook. What should I do?
    You could always try this edition of Maths textbook:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maths-Revisi...cgp+maths+gcse
    It's a revision guide for higher level Maths GCSE, but you might find it useful.
    I would definitely suggest going over some GCSE stuff, especially if your foundations are weak.
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    Don't bother buying a book just yet, instead go to the BBC GCSE bitesize website and have a look at the level of problems (especially the higher tier). If you find them easy then move on to a AS Level book. If you find them hard then work through the questions and do the little tests until you have mastered them and then move on.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z6pfb9q
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    Core 1 involves a lot of higher-level GCSE tier work, hence why you've been advised to jump straight in, so theoretically you should be okay without going over it.

    But, as the poster above says, check out BBC Bitesize who have a lot of information on GCSE. As well as that, and I can't believe I'm recommending this, see if your school has a MyMaths login, which has loads of online lessons and worksheets that hopefully get you up to speed.
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    I want to begin by saying that I am moving to the UK next year but I don't fully understand the education system so if I make any mistakes, please let me know!

    I will be starting in September 2015 by doing my AS-Levels. One subject that I am particularly concerned about is AS/A-Level mathematics. After calling up the school I plan to attend in the UK, they recommended that I get a GCSE mathematics textbook and start going through it. This is so that next year when I start my AS-levels, I will be at the same level as everyone else. I have a couple of questions:

    1. I am currently in year 10 at the moment (16 years old) and from years 7 - 10 (13 - 16 years old) I have always struggled with mathematics so my foundations are extremely weak. What is the best GCSE mathematics textbook I can use to prepare for AS-Levels?

    2. I got two mixed opinions. One was that I should go through a GCSE mathematics textbook. Another person said to me that I should just get straight into an AS/A-Levels textbook as it will go over the GCSE mathematics content at the beginning of the textbook. What should I do?
    I'm not sure where you're from, but if you're from Europe then you should have no problem at all with understanding Maths AS/A2 level, as you've probably been taught most of the topics covered. I moved to the UK in 2011 and prior to my A Levels I had done only 9 years of school (year 10 "equivalent" in England, as they have 13 years of school). +I chose to do Further Maths as well cause normal Maths was boring - e.g. topics like Complex Numbers and Matrices aren't part of the standard Maths A Level and they're teaching them to us now, in the 1st year of uni. I suggest you look at some C1/C2 past papers and see if there's anything you wouldn't understand. (go on the Edexcel/AQA website)

    The course structure is weird as well: they teach you differentiation and integration without teaching limits and continuity first, and you're given a formulae sheet in the exam so you don't have to worry that much about remembering formulae. (except maybe in Mechanics) +if your teacher can't be bothered, they wont prove you theorems (e.g. Pythagoras) and all that, as they aren't compulsory.

    Optional modules aren't hard either: Mechanics - just basic Physics; Statistics - pretty straight forward; Decision - just playing with graphs and networks;

    But on the other side, if you struggle with Mathematics, there's no one forcing you to do it in college/sixth-form. Why not choose another A Level?

    Anyway I hope you'll enjoy your time in England and don't worry about the level of difficulty!
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    We don't use MyMaths but I'll look into BBC Bitesize. Could you also recommend a book though?
    I only used the official textbooks for my exam board (OCR MEI), so I can't give you anything without knowing your exam board.
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    I'm from Australia and from what I can see, we haven't been taught most of the topics. However I'll try to enjoy my time in England!



    Our exam board will be OCR MEI. I heard it was the hardest exam board for mathematics, is that true?
    It's not WAY harder than Edexcel/AQA but the exams actually require you to know/understand a little Maths, unlike Edexcel/AQA where you can get a really high B/low A by just doing past papers, as all the questions are the same throughout the years.

    Sorry if I seem rude, but why do you want to do a Maths A Level if you've been struggling with Maths? I'm crap at and I hate Chemistry and no one forced me to do it when I started my A Levels.
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    You're not rude at all! I struggled with maths from years 7 - 10 due to personal issues but now those issues have resolved so I really want to give maths a go!
    Ah, okay, I get it now! Then if you really want to give it a go and the most important, get to enjoy it, you'll be able to get a really good grade with not that much effort (not saying that you don't have to put any effort in!).
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    Our exam board will be OCR MEI. I heard it was the hardest exam board for mathematics, is that true?
    MEI stands for "Mathematics in Engineering and Industry", so it's course is more designed for "real life" and a lot of it's examples will be trying to link maths to the real world as opposed to other exam boards. People who prefer working entirely with the theory of maths as opposed to having practical examples may struggle more I guess? Having never been on any other exam board I couldn't tell you. I found the course to be really enjoyable.

    As for the reply in your other thread, I would simply advise using the standard textbooks. Your school will probably provide them for you, but if not, here's the link to C1&2 and C3&4. You'll also want FP1 for Further Maths.

    Also, I'm not sure what modules your school is doing, but with OCR MEI you are also able to do Numerical Methods (NM) at AS, instead of mechanics, statistics or decision. However, it has a lot of coursework and is a lesser-taken module, so resources for it outside that textbook are limited.
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    I have a few more questions:
    1. I will go over the GCSE content and am looking for a textbook. I found this one: https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/Student/b...nge.book_MHN41 . What do you all think of it?
    2. How long should I spend going over GCSE content?
    3. How long will it take for me to go over AS/A-Levels mathematics + further mathematics? Is it true that some people have gone through both of those courses in 2 months? :O
    1. Yeah, that was the book one of my maths teachers used for his GCSE class. Had a look through it out of curiosity, it seemed pretty good. It's got more exercises than actual explanations though, but it should be fine.
    2. Not that much, as GCSE Maths isn't advanced/hard to understand stuff; really depends on you. I'd say 1 month maybe 2 at MOST? You should be able to pick it up fast enough if you enjoy what you're doing.
    3. Mm.. don't know what to say. Again, it depends on the pupil's ability (and teacher's speed). It is possible to go through both the courses in 2 months (though it seems exaggerated) I believe, but without the essential practice (actually solving questions, rather than just teaching). It shouldn't take you more than 1-1.5 months per module though. (C1,C2 etc.) BUT: don't rush it. There's no point in flying through the spec and actually not understanding what you're doing. My teacher told us we should finish it at least 1-2 months before the exams so we can have time to solve past papers. So there's plenty of time.
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    Do you know anyone who went through both courses in 2 months and still got an A? :O
    I don't know anyone, but if you're really into maths I bet it's possible. Not saying it's normal, so don't worry about that. Do you want to do Further Maths as well?
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    Depends on what course I want to get into at university! I'm completely lost, I have no idea what I want to do!
    I just realised you're gonna start your A Levels next year, so there's one year time to go through the GCSE spec and understand and know the basics really good. If in the meantime (e.g. after 4-5 months) you decide that Maths isn't for you there's no problem in choosing another A Level.
    Have you thought about what course you want to do? Or at least what field? What subjects did you enjoy in school?
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    (Original post by AsherA)
    If I were to choose something it would be geology!
    For geology you'd definitely need at least one science subject. I'll just take two random universities: Bristol's requirements are: AAA including two science subjects (including Mathematics) whereas Manchester requires ABB but just one science subject. Unless you want to do a Maths degree at uni, I'd say don't take Further Maths. It's highly appreciated, but normal Maths is enough for non-Maths degrees.
 
 
 
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