A level Physics without maths?!

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Jjme123
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I'm in year 11 and I've been told I can take the A levels I asked for. My only worry is that I'm taking Physics without maths. Is there anyone who has taken Physics without maths? If so, how hard would you say the maths part is? I do like maths and I'm a fairly fast learner when it comes to it. I just want a rough idea of how hard it is. Thanks
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by Jjme123)
I'm in year 11 and I've been told I can take the A levels I asked for. My only worry is that I'm taking Physics without maths. Is there anyone who has taken Physics without maths? If so, how hard would you say the maths part is? I do like maths and I'm a fairly fast learner when it comes to it. I just want a rough idea of how hard it is. Thanks
I have a friend who studied Physics at AS level who didn't study Maths past GCSE. He loved the theoretical side of it but unfortunately did not pass as he found the Maths fairly difficult, and it took him more time to learn than others.

In a class of 5 at A2, 3 of us did Maths and Further Maths, one did just Maths and the other did neither, and the 3 who studied FM did better than the other 2, though they were only about a grade behind. Quite a small sample but anywho.

That was for AQA Physics anyway. The multiple choice questions often required quick manipulation and understanding how to rearrange equations - I'd say anyone studying Maths has a significant advantage when it comes to rapid fire multiple choice questions, but I'm sure you can practice and get the hang of it, just don't be disheartened if some people get it faster than you, just put in a bit more practice for the Maths bits.
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Jjme123
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(Original post by SeanFM)
I have a friend who studied Physics at AS level who didn't study Maths past GCSE. He loved the theoretical side of it but unfortunately did not pass as he found the Maths fairly difficult, and it took him more time to learn than others.

In a class of 5 at A2, 3 of us did Maths and Further Maths, one did just Maths and the other did neither, and the 3 who studied FM did better than the other 2, though they were only about a grade behind. Quite a small sample but anywho.

That was for AQA Physics anyway. The multiple choice questions often required quick manipulation and understanding how to rearrange equations - I'd say anyone studying Maths has a significant advantage when it comes to rapid fire multiple choice questions, but I'm sure you can practice and get the hang of it, just don't be disheartened if some people get it faster than you, just put in a bit more practice for the Maths bits.
Thanks for the answer. I was aware it was going to be difficult, but that's okay. I will be willing to attend after school sessions, if need be, so I can get a good grasp of the mathematical side.
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Kevin De Bruyne
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(Original post by Jjme123)
Thanks for the answer. I was aware it was going to be difficult, but that's okay. I will be willing to attend after school sessions, if need be, so I can get a good grasp of the mathematical side.
With that attitude I think you'll get very far

Just practice and don't hesitate to ask your teacher questions if you don't understand something about the maths or indeed the non-maths bits as well.

Best of luck!
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Jjme123
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(Original post by SeanFM)
With that attitude I think you'll get very far

Just practice and don't hesitate to ask your teacher questions if you don't understand something about the maths or indeed the non-maths bits as well.

Best of luck!
Will do. Thanks
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reallydontknow
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The most able person in my physics class doesn't do Maths. Kinda annoys me tbh.

So yeah it is very possible.

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Makashima
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I do OCR...
Ummm the maths side is not too complicated imo in physics. Basically you just need to put numbers in the correct equation and calculate. Done. I only got a B in GCSE maths. I also thought I would fail physics without maths alevel hence resulted a lack of motivation in AS physics and avoid classes etc thus achieving grade C but only 2 marks off a B.

Now in A2. In my mocks I'm achieving Bs and As...cos gotta get ma game up and hopefully get this in the real thing doe so it is do-able.

But prob depends which exam board.

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Jjme123
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(Original post by reallydontknow)
The most able person in my physics class doesn't do Maths. Kinda annoys me tbh.

So yeah it is very possible.

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That sounds promising. Thanks!
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Jjme123
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(Original post by Makashima)
I do OCR...
Ummm the maths side is not too complicated imo in physics. Basically you just need to put numbers in the correct equation and calculate. Done. I only got a B in GCSE maths. I also thought I would fail physics without maths alevel hence resulted a lack of motivation in AS physics and avoid classes etc thus achieving grade C but only 2 marks off a B.

Now in A2. In my mocks I'm achieving Bs and As...cos gotta get ma game up and hopefully get this in the real thing doe so it is do-able.

But prob depends which exam board.

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I see. My school did AQA for GCSE so I think that's what we'll be doing for A levels. Thanks for the answer.
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gdunne42
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What do you want to do after A levels?
Although it is perfectly possible to succeed in A level physics without maths, many degree courses that build on your physics will require or prefer that you also do A level maths.


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lucyjane_x
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I'm doing OCR physics and also maths, however personally I don't think you'd need to do maths at A level because the maths in physics isn't very complicated. Basically all you need to be able to do is rearrange equations, use equations you're given and apply general maths knowledge, which is just GCSE. I'm currently doing AS so I don't know if it would be harder in A2 though, probably would.
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Jjme123
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(Original post by lucyjane_x)
I'm doing OCR physics and also maths, however personally I don't think you'd need to do maths at A level because the maths in physics isn't very complicated. Basically all you need to be able to do is rearrange equations, use equations you're given and apply general maths knowledge, which is just GCSE. I'm currently doing AS so I don't know if it would be harder in A2 though, probably would.
I see. Thanks for that. I think I'm doing AQA so I'm not sure how similar, or how different, the mathematical parts will be.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jjme123)
I'm in year 11 and I've been told I can take the A levels I asked for. My only worry is that I'm taking Physics without maths. Is there anyone who has taken Physics without maths? If so, how hard would you say the maths part is? I do like maths and I'm a fairly fast learner when it comes to it. I just want a rough idea of how hard it is. Thanks
Not hard. You will need to be confident in using:

Graphs. straight line, exponential, gradients;
Surface area and volume for various shapes (rectangles, cubes, cylinders, spheres etc.), Pythogoras' theorem,
Trigonometry. definition of sine, cosine, tangent and using angles and radians, vectors and vector addition;
Basic calculus including simple differentiation, rates of change and delta notation, limits;
Exponential notation, powers, nth roots;
Logarithms and bases;

That's pretty much it.

Beware though, the maths content of physics at A-level is nothing like that needed for further study at university. If science or engineering is your aim, then maths will also be a pre-requisite.
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Jjme123
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Not hard. You will need to be confident in using:

Graphs. straight line, exponential, gradients;
Surface area and volume for various shapes (rectangles, cubes, cylinders, spheres etc.), Pythogoras' theorem,
Trigonometry. definition of sine, cosine, tangent and using angles and radians, vectors and vector addition;
Basic calculus including simple differentiation, rates of change and delta notation, limits;
Exponential notation, powers, nth roots;
Logarithms and bases;

That's pretty much it.

Beware though, the maths content of physics at A-level is nothing like that needed for further study at university. If science or engineering is your aim, then maths will also be a pre-requisite.
I'd say there is only 2-3 things I'm not too sure about, the rest is fine. Thanks a lot for this information, it really was useful!
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jjme123)
I'd say there is only 2-3 things I'm not too sure about, the rest is fine. Thanks a lot for this information, it really was useful!
.......and add to that: nested parenthesis (use of brackets), linear and periodic functions and graphs of the same and also quadratic equations and factorising.

Signs and their correct use when expanding brackets etc. is very important. Also make sure you understand rounding with the use of significant figures and decimal places.

Of the topics mentioned, I'd say algebra, trigonometry, exponential functions, logarithms and basic concepts of differential notation are the topics to concentrate effort on learning so you can hit the ground running.
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Jjme123
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(Original post by uberteknik)
.......and add to that: nested parenthesis (use of brackets), linear and periodic functions and graphs of the same and also quadratic equations and factorising.

Signs and their correct use when expanding brackets etc. is very important. Also make sure you understand rounding with the use of significant figures and decimal places.

Of the topics mentioned, I'd say algebra, trigonometry, exponential functions, logarithms and basic concepts of differential notation are the topics to concentrate effort on learning so you can hit the ground running.
Okay! Sounds alright. Also, do you know what exam board you did for Physics? I think I'm doing AQA but I'm not entirely sure.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jjme123)
Okay! Sounds alright. Also, do you know what exam board you did for Physics? I think I'm doing AQA but I'm not entirely sure.
Ha ha. My exam board was a long time ago (Oxford).

The course content will be pretty much the same for Excel and AQA.

Take a look at the 2015 AQA specification. From what you have already said, I don't think you will have a problem with the maths.

Concentrate your efforts on interpreting and understanding what the equations are telling you and how they relate to physical behaviour and the modelling of that behaviour in both words and numbers.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/scien...sics-7407-7408
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Jjme123
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Ha ha. My exam board was a long time ago (Oxford).

The course content will be pretty much the same for Excel and AQA.

Take a look at the 2015 AQA specification. From what you have already said, I don't think you will have a problem with the maths.

Concentrate your efforts on interpreting and understanding what the equations are telling you and how they relate to physical behaviour and the modelling of that behaviour in both words and numbers.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/scien...sics-7407-7408
That website was really helpful. Thanks! One question though. In the second year it has test papers for Physics engineering, astrophysics, electronics and medical. Does this mean we are taught all of these or is a kind of choice you can make? In meaning in your second year you can go off and study astrophysics, for example.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Jjme123)
That website was really helpful. Thanks! One question though. In the second year it has test papers for Physics engineering, astrophysics, electronics and medical. Does this mean we are taught all of these or is a kind of choice you can make? In meaning in your second year you can go off and study astrophysics, for example.
Look at page 7 and 8 of the specification.

Yr 1 (As) sections 1 to 5 are all mandatory (no option at As level.

Yr 2 (A-level) sections 1 to 8 are mandatory. To complete the course you must must choose one subject from sections 9 to 13.

The final subject chosen will be at the discretion of your school who may or may not have the capability to teach all of the optional content. So you need to speak with them to find out which ones you can choose from that list.

For example, they may teach astrophysics but not electronics so you may not have the choice of studying electronics. As I said, do check with your school.
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Jjme123
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Look at page 7 and 8 of the specification.

Yr 1 (As) sections 1 to 5 are all mandatory (no option at As level.

Yr 2 (A-level) sections 1 to 8 are mandatory. To complete the course you must must choose one subject from sections 9 to 13.

The final subject chosen will be at the discretion of your school who may or may not have the capability to teach all of the optional content. So you need to speak with them to find out which ones you can choose from that list.

For example, they may teach astrophysics but not electronics so you may not have the choice of studying electronics. As I said, do check with your school.
Just had a good look. Everything makes sense now! Thanks a lot for clearing things up, you've done a great deal of help
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