Luiswright31
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I've just started my AS levels, and everything is going reasonably well.
Except maths.
I had my first 2 lessons today, and let's just say I barely understood a word of what my teachers said, and I could only complete the first 3 or 4 questions out of about 20. Whilst the rest of the class were moving on to extension work. (including people that got a C/B at GCSE) I got a B at GCSE, a couple marks off an A. The questions I understand are basically GCSE B level questions, but as soon as it gets past this point, I just can't focus on what I have to do and don't feel I have the mental capacity for it. In terms of mental maths I consider myself very good, but when it comes to Surds, quadratic equations, at I simply have no clue, and when I ask for help, the information just goes straight through me. I don't feel like a tutor would help at all as I said, I just can't focus and take the info in. I usually have a growth mindset in most things I do, but when it comes to maths I simply feel like I can't do it.
What do you think I should do? I've thought about dropping it but I feel bad on myself doing so, I feel like I should at least give it a try but I don't know..
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Luiswright31)
I've just started my AS levels, and everything is going reasonably well.
Except maths.
I had my first 2 lessons today, and let's just say I barely understood a word of what my teachers said, and I could only complete the first 3 or 4 questions out of about 20. Whilst the rest of the class were moving on to extension work. (including people that got a C/B at GCSE) I got a B at GCSE, a couple marks off an A. The questions I understand are basically GCSE B level questions, but as soon as it gets past this point, I just can't focus on what I have to do and don't feel I have the mental capacity for it. In terms of mental maths I consider myself very good, but when it comes to Surds, quadratic equations, at I simply have no clue, and when I ask for help, the information just goes straight through me. I don't feel like a tutor would help at all as I said, I just can't focus and take the info in. I usually have a growth mindset in most things I do, but when it comes to maths I simply feel like I can't do it.
What do you think I should do? I've thought about dropping it but I feel bad on myself doing so, I feel like I should at least give it a try but I don't know..
AS Level Maths is a big step up from GCSE, particularly if you're starting from a GCSE B grade. Mental maths isn't going to be particularly helpful because that's arithmetic, not maths - and besides, almost all A Level Maths units allow you to use a calculator (C1 is the only exception). Without a doubt, you are going to have to get comfortable with surds, quadratics, trigonometry and algebra if you want to do well.

I don't think panicking is a very helpful thing to do right now, though. Firstly, you've only had two lessons! Whilst I find it hard to believe that everyone else was absolutely fine with the work, even if that's true, a tough first two lessons doesn't necessarily mean that everything else is going to be awful. One thing you absolutely have to do as soon as possible is to tell your teacher your concerns, because they're in the best position to help you and give you advice on where to go next. They may be able to go over things or maybe your school has an after school "Maths workshop" like mine does, where you can ask maths teachers for one-on-one support with work. Another thing you might be interested in is that there are a lot of really great YouTube channels (like UKMathsTeacher) that go over A Level maths content. They might explain it in a different way to how you're being taught in class which might just make it click, and also since it's a video, there's no time pressure and you can watch it in your own time.

It's possible that it still won't click after all of this in which case you might want to consider dropping it (which isn't the end of the world, as long as you do it within the first few weeks you can still catch up with another subject) but this is too early to get in a panic. Be proactive and make sure your teachers know how you feel, and you'll be in the best position to make this work. Good luck!
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Kevin De Bruyne
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I know how you feel. I often find it difficult to understand what someone is trying to explain to me, and I end up saying 'okay' when I don't really get it.

I felt like how you did for my first few lessons as well. The key is to spend your own time, going at your own pace, to look over the content and practice questions, and maybe use videos online as well.

Don't worry about the people around you - what matters is what grade you get and everyone works at a different pace.
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Luiswright31
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Thanks for the help guys, I just feel like my class will be going too fast for me to keep up but I guess I'll just have to try and make up for that in my own time.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Luiswright31)
I've just started my AS levels, and everything is going reasonably well.Except maths.
Same situation as me. Are you on Edexcel? Don't panic. The reality is that I got the highest in my year for Maths at GCSE but I've already tried a C1 paper over the summer and got a U. The same occurred on S1.
(Original post by Luiswright31)
I had my first 2 lessons today, and let's just say I barely understood a word of what my teachers said, and I could only complete the first 3 or 4 questions out of about 20. Whilst the rest of the class were moving on to extension work.
It sounds like I've had an easier introduction to A Level than you. All we've done is re-do the GCSE questinos we didn't get full marks on that are relevant to the A Level syllabus.
(Original post by Luiswright31)
(including people that got a C/B at GCSE) I got a B at GCSE, a couple marks off an A. The questions I understand are basically GCSE B level questions, but as soon as it gets past this point, I just can't focus on what I have to do and don't feel I have the mental capacity for it.
Why do you think this is?
(Original post by Luiswright31)
In terms of mental maths I consider myself very good, but when it comes to Surds, quadratic equations, at I simply have no clue,
Is it the sight of them you find that they appear complicated?
(Original post by Luiswright31)
when I ask for help, the information just goes straight through me. I don't feel like a tutor would help at all as I said, I just can't focus and take the info in. I usually have a growth mindset in most things I do, but when it comes to maths I simply feel like I can't do it.
Again can you think of a reason why?
(Original post by Luiswright31)
What do you think I should do?
Tell the teacher, go back after school and in your free periods spend every Saturday or Sunday just purely looking at Maths.
(Original post by Luiswright31)
I've thought about dropping it but I feel bad on myself doing so, I feel like I should at least give it a try but I don't know..
Give it a week or three first. We're at early days are we not?
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Luiswright31
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Yeah, edexcel
I'm really not sure, I guess others just generally have a better level of focus than me.
I do often over complicate things unnecessarily, probably because they appear harder than they actually are.
I will do be doing extra work for maths and I've planned to go back and explain to my teachers how I literally don't understand anything :/
Decided I'm not gonna drop and just see how it goes, I'm probably exaggerating to myself on how hard it actually is, I just find it really hard to concentrate on the maths especially when the teacher moves on very fast (Expected, it is A-level)

Thanks for the help.
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