# How does Further Maths work???

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#1
I am currently a Year 11 student with aspirations to study physics at Oxbridge or another top university. I am definitely taking Maths and Physics at A Level, and I am leaning towards Chemistry and Further Maths both at A2, so I will have 4 complete A Levels by the end.

Question 1: Is it wise to take the 4 options I have chosen, given how difficult they will be?
Question 2: How does Further Maths work? Do the modules with normal Maths overlap? What modules can I take and how do I decide?

Thanks, all comments and appreciated and welcomed.
0
5 years ago
#2
If you feel confident with them, you should go for it If you take those 4 at AS and find one or two of them difficult, you can always swap out. Bear in mind that going from AS to A2 is quite a large jump - taking 4 A2s might be difficult, and in my opinion doesn't really give much of an advantage in comparison to someone with 3 A2s. But, if you find after AS that you have found all 4 subjects very easy, then I suppose you could - but even it doesn't really seem logical to me.

The modules between maths and further maths can be on the same topic (for example, Mechanics 1 in AS further maths, Mechanics 2 in A2 maths is what we are doing), but the same module will never been done twice within maths and further maths.

Do you know which exam board you will be on for Maths & Further Maths? These are all of the modules for AQA: http://prntscr.com/98rt6c
Past papers can be found here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/mathe...d-mark-schemes

I believe that the AS modules for regular maths usually consist of: Core 1, Core 2, Stats 1
Usually for AS Further maths: Further Pure 1, Further Pure 2 (I think?), Mechanics 1, Decision 1
Usually for A2 Maths: Mechanics 2, Decision 2, Core 3, Core 4, Stats 2 (?)
Usually for A2 Further Maths: Further Pure 3, Further Pure 4, Stats 2 (?)

Other arrangements can be done (please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these), depending on your school. Also, your school should give you modules in both first, then I believe you can swap them if you dislike a module or like another module more.

Hope this helps
2
#3
(Original post by Jacobisswaggy)
If you feel confident with them, you should go for it If you take those 4 at AS and find one or two of them difficult, you can always swap out. Bear in mind that going from AS to A2 is quite a large jump - taking 4 A2s might be difficult, and in my opinion doesn't really give much of an advantage in comparison to someone with 3 A2s. But, if you find after AS that you have found all 4 subjects very easy, then I suppose you could - but even it doesn't really seem logical to me.

The modules between maths and further maths can be on the same topic (for example, Mechanics 1 in AS further maths, Mechanics 2 in A2 maths is what we are doing), but the same module will never been done twice within maths and further maths.

Do you know which exam board you will be on for Maths & Further Maths? These are all of the modules for AQA: http://prntscr.com/98rt6c
Past papers can be found here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/mathe...d-mark-schemes

I believe that the AS modules for regular maths usually consist of: Core 1, Core 2, Stats 1
Usually for AS Further maths: Further Pure 1, Further Pure 2 (I think?), Mechanics 1, Decision 1
Usually for A2 Maths: Mechanics 2, Decision 2, Core 3, Core 4, Stats 2 (?)
Usually for A2 Further Maths: Further Pure 3, Further Pure 4, Stats 2 (?)

Other arrangements can be done (please correct me if I'm wrong on any of these), depending on your school. Also, your school should give you modules in both first, then I believe you can swap them if you dislike a module or like another module more.

Hope this helps
Great! Thanks so much, appreciate it. My exam board will be OCR or Edexcel depending on where I go, however I am pleased with the information you gave me. I might just do 3 and not do chemistry as it isn't essential for physics, and it'll be easier for me. As for the modules for Maths and Further Maths, I think I'll ask my teachers as they will know the course, but thanks for the support!
0
5 years ago
#4
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Great! Thanks so much, appreciate it. My exam board will be OCR or Edexcel depending on where I go, however I am pleased with the information you gave me. I might just do 3 and not do chemistry as it isn't essential for physics, and it'll be easier for me. As for the modules for Maths and Further Maths, I think I'll ask my teachers as they will know the course, but thanks for the support!
You're welcome!
0
5 years ago
#5
For OCR
Maths full A level: C1, C2, C3, C4, AND TWO out of (M1, S1, D1 or M1, M2 or S1, S2 or D1, D2)
Further maths full A level: FP1 together with FP2 or FP3 or both, plus three or four other units as appropriate (not c1-c4).
1
5 years ago
#6
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Great! Thanks so much, appreciate it. My exam board will be OCR or Edexcel depending on where I go, however I am pleased with the information you gave me. I might just do 3 and not do chemistry as it isn't essential for physics, and it'll be easier for me. As for the modules for Maths and Further Maths, I think I'll ask my teachers as they will know the course, but thanks for the support!
You have quite a bit of freedom on applied modules

A level Maths: C1, C2, C3 and C4 plus two applied in these combinations - D1/M1, D1/S1, M1/S1, D1/D2, M1/M2 or S1/S2

A level F Maths: Edexcel say "FP1, FP2, FP3 and a further three Applications units (excluding C1–C4) to make a total of six units. FP1, either FP2 or FP3 and a further four Applications units (excluding C1–C4) to make a total of six units. Students who are awarded certificates in both Advanced GCE Mathematics and Advanced GCE Further Mathematics must use unit results from 12 different teaching modules"

Some schools 'make' you take specific modules but we offer all 18.
1
5 years ago
#7
(Original post by Jagraj16)
I am currently a Year 11 student with aspirations to study physics at Oxbridge or another top university. I am definitely taking Maths and Physics at A Level, and I am leaning towards Chemistry and Further Maths both at A2, so I will have 4 complete A Levels by the end.

Question 1: Is it wise to take the 4 options I have chosen, given how difficult they will be?
Yes. In fact that is the best combination of A-levels I can imagine. If you were to drop one, it would be Chemistry, not FM. If you can't hack this workload you'll struggle massively with Physics at a top uni.

Note that by the time you get to exam, you should be very comfortable with all four modules - A*A*A*A* is not uncommon for those subjects at a good uni for a maths or science degree (however don't worry, it's not universal either).

Question 2: How does Further Maths work? Do the modules with normal Maths overlap? What modules can I take and how do I decide?

Thanks, all comments and appreciated and welcomed.
No modules overlap. There are 6 modules in an A2 and 3 in an AS. You have the following types of modules for most exam boards:

Core: This is where you learn the fundamental methods and techniques in mathematics. Some will be a continuation of stuff you've learnt at GCSE (e.g. how to solve more complicated equations). Some will be completely new (e.g. calculus). This will make up four of your six modules.

Further Pure: More of the same, just taken at FM rather than Maths. Typically you're expected to take at least two out of three modules (but I would take as many as you can).

Mechanics: As a physicist, you should take as many of these as possible. This is the mathematics of how things move. There are up to 5 modules in mechanics (depending on the exam board). M4 and M5 are considered specialist, but really you might as well learn this stuff before you go to uni if you are set on doing physics.

Statistics: I'm guessing you know what this is already.

Decision: This looks at algorithms and things like how to optimise your way around a network. The material is actually interesting and important, however at A-level the D1 and D2 modules are seen as "easy" because you're basically just following a set of rules to answer most questions.
1
5 years ago
#8
(Original post by Jagraj16)
I am currently a Year 11 student with aspirations to study physics at Oxbridge or another top university. I am definitely taking Maths and Physics at A Level, and I am leaning towards Chemistry and Further Maths both at A2, so I will have 4 complete A Levels by the end.

Question 1: Is it wise to take the 4 options I have chosen, given how difficult they will be?
Question 2: How does Further Maths work? Do the modules with normal Maths overlap? What modules can I take and how do I decide?

Thanks, all comments and appreciated and welcomed.
1. I don't know, but most Oxford Physics applicants will have taken (at least) four difficult subjects and will have done well in them. If you want to study Physics at a top university, whilst Further Maths isn't required, most applicants will have it and you will find the course more difficult without it. I'm not even doing a course as mathematically intensive as Physics and the people who don't have Further Maths are finding it very difficult so it's probably even worse with Physics which has a huge amount of Maths.
2. No, they don't overlap. Like ordinary maths, there are certain compulsory units (you need FP1 + FP2/FP3) and a range of optional units. Which ones you can take depends on your school - my school didn't give us any choice but some allow students to specialise in Mechanics or Statistics units, and some give more freedom.
1
#9
(Original post by shamika)
Yes. In fact that is the best combination of A-levels I can imagine. If you were to drop one, it would be Chemistry, not FM. If you can't hack this workload you'll struggle massively with Physics at a top uni.

Note that by the time you get to exam, you should be very comfortable with all four modules - A*A*A*A* is not uncommon for those subjects at a good uni for a maths or science degree (however don't worry, it's not universal either).

So should I take all 4? I'm pondering whether or not to take all 4 at the moment, given that I'd prefer to have A*A*A* rather than AAAA. (All A*s in mocks at the moment )

No modules overlap. There are 6 modules in an A2 and 3 in an AS. You have the following types of modules for most exam boards:

Core: This is where you learn the fundamental methods and techniques in mathematics. Some will be a continuation of stuff you've learnt at GCSE (e.g. how to solve more complicated equations). Some will be completely new (e.g. calculus). This will make up four of your six modules.

Further Pure: More of the same, just taken at FM rather than Maths. Typically you're expected to take at least two out of three modules (but I would take as many as you can).

Mechanics: As a physicist, you should take as many of these as possible. This is the mathematics of how things move. There are up to 5 modules in mechanics (depending on the exam board). M4 and M5 are considered specialist, but really you might as well learn this stuff before you go to uni if you are set on doing physics.

Statistics: I'm guessing you know what this is already.

Decision: This looks at algorithms and things like how to optimise your way around a network. The material is actually interesting and important, however at A-level the D1 and D2 modules are seen as "easy" because you're basically just following a set of rules to answer most questions.
Thanks so much for the help, but I think you know what you're talking about which helps. I find statistics really boring, graphs and probability, whereas Mechanics looks interesting. Again, thanks for the help!

Do you know how I would go about achieving an A* in all 4 subjects? As in UMS requirements or marks in AS and A2?
0
5 years ago
#10
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Question 1: Is it wise to take the 4 options I have chosen, given how difficult they will be?
Question 2: How does Further Maths work? Do the modules with normal Maths overlap? What modules can I take and how do I decide?

Thanks, all comments and appreciated and welcomed.
Q1: your choice is wise and typical of a top Uni Physics applicant.
Q2: others have explained - six extra modules with some choice. Physics students would probably like to do several Mechanics modules.
1
#11
(Original post by Plagioclase)
1. I don't know, but most Oxford Physics applicants will have taken (at least) four difficult subjects and will have done well in them. If you want to study Physics at a top university, whilst Further Maths isn't required, most applicants will have it and you will find the course more difficult without it. I'm not even doing a course as mathematically intensive as Physics and the people who don't have Further Maths are finding it very difficult so it's probably even worse with Physics which has a huge amount of Maths.
2. No, they don't overlap. Like ordinary maths, there are certain compulsory units (you need FP1 + FP2/FP3) and a range of optional units. Which ones you can take depends on your school - my school didn't give us any choice but some allow students to specialise in Mechanics or Statistics units, and some give more freedom.
So do you think I would benefit more competitively to take all 4 given that most applicants will have more than me if I only take 3? Will having 4 boost my application? Yes, I do think Further Maths will be necessary as most of the first year as an undergraduate is spent using FM I think, but it will prepare me I agree.
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#12
(Original post by ian.slater)
Q1: your choice is wise and typical of a top Uni Physics applicant.
Q2: others have explained - six extra modules with some choice. Physics students would probably like to do several Mechanics modules.
Yes it is typical However, do you think I would still receive the same credit by a top uni for only doing 3 subjects, or would 4 subjects boost my application? Are universities picky about this?
0
5 years ago
#13
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Yes it is typical However, do you think I would still receive the same credit by a top uni for only doing 3 subjects, or would 4 subjects boost my application? Are universities picky about this?
Top Uni's shy away from requiring more than 3 A levels because they don't want to disadvantage students from schools which can't teach four at once. But if you can't handle four well-related A levels you can't cope with an Oxford course.
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#14
(Original post by ian.slater)
Top Uni's shy away from requiring more than 3 A levels because they don't want to disadvantage students from schools which can't teach four at once. But if you can't handle four well-related A levels you can't cope with an Oxford course.
Aha okay fair enough I understand it now It is fairly self-explanatory and justified I guess, thanks for your time!
0
5 years ago
#15
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Aha okay fair enough I understand it now It is fairly self-explanatory and justified I guess, thanks for your time!

It's a good choice for you.
0
5 years ago
#16
(Original post by Jagraj16)
So do you think I would benefit more competitively to take all 4 given that most applicants will have more than me if I only take 3? Will having 4 boost my application? Yes, I do think Further Maths will be necessary as most of the first year as an undergraduate is spent using FM I think, but it will prepare me I agree.
Technically they're not supposed to discriminate against applicants who only have 3 A Levels since some schools don't allow people to take more but if your school allows you to take four... it's kinda an unwritten rule that you should. You've got to ask yourself why you don't want to take 4 A Levels - if it's concerns about the workload or the difficulty of the Maths then you probably need to consider of Oxbridge is for you since the workload will be much harder there and the Maths will be significantly more difficult and intense.
1
#17
(Original post by Muttley79)

It's a good choice for you.
Realistically, how difficult is it? Like I've heard scary stuff such as complex numbers and matrices etc, but if I apply my time in free periods well, should I find it fairly simple? Granted I recently got an A* in my maths mock exam, and close to full marks.
0
#18
(Original post by Plagioclase)
Technically they're not supposed to discriminate against applicants who only have 3 A Levels since some schools don't allow people to take more but if your school allows you to take four... it's kinda an unwritten rule that you should. You've got to ask yourself why you don't want to take 4 A Levels - if it's concerns about the workload or the difficulty of the Maths then you probably need to consider of Oxbridge is for you since the workload will be much harder there and the Maths will be significantly more difficult and intense.
Partially due to the workload, however that should settle down as the year progresses as I am very good at managing my time well. The Maths I will be fine with, as Maths is something which comes naturally to me, it's just the pressure of 4 and not 3. I'm just wondering whether taking 4 would be suitable or not, considering 3 A*s will look better than 4 As. However taking into account your mention of not being able to cope with an Oxbridge course, I am inclined by the fact that it'll "look" better, which is prompting me to do 4 instead of just 3, but I don't want to sacrifice excellent grades to "look" better on an application, if that makes sense.
0
5 years ago
#19
(Original post by Jagraj16)
Realistically, how difficult is it? Like I've heard scary stuff such as complex numbers and matrices etc, but if I apply my time in free periods well, should I find it fairly simple? Granted I recently got an A* in my maths mock exam, and close to full marks.
Matrices isn't that difficult - we used to teach the basics at GCSE!

Complex numbers used to be in A level Maths and you'll meet them a lot in Physics at uni so this is another good reason for taking F Maths.

If I'd said Trigonometry to you in Year 7 you'd have been worried about it - but I'm sure you think it's fine now It's the same with F Maths
0
#20
(Original post by Muttley79)
Matrices isn't that difficult - we used to teach the basics at GCSE!

Complex numbers used to be in A level Maths and you'll meet them a lot in Physics at uni so this is another good reason for taking F Maths.

If I'd said Trigonometry to you in Year 7 you'd have been worried about it - but I'm sure you think it's fine now It's the same with F Maths
Thanks, that gives a good interpretation, but yes trigonometry isn't that hard, just need to remember some formulae and work a calculator. But I'm guessing instead of doing it over 5 years like secondary school, its in a much quicker and efficient 2 years?
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