Re-studying Maths after a 6 year hiatus

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BradPennick
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After leaving school 6 years ago with a B in GCSE in Mathematics, I want to study it at A Level after dropping out of college now that I've decided to want to pursue a degree in Physics.

After not studying any Maths whatsoever for 6 years my knowledge has dried up a bit, so what is the best way to refresh my knowledge back to a level at which I would have been going to college with, without retaking an entire GCSE?
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
After leaving school 6 years ago with a B in GCSE in Mathematics, I want to study it at A Level after dropping out of college now that I've decided to want to pursue a degree in Physics.

After not studying any Maths whatsoever for 6 years my knowledge has dried up a bit, so what is the best way to refresh my knowledge back to a level at which I would have been going to college with, without retaking an entire GCSE?
I would advise you to buy a GCSE textbook and focus on these topics : all algebra, pythagoras, trigonometry, graphs. And make sure you're confident with all the lower level number work e.g. fractions, decimals etc.

There are other topics that will be useful e.g. vectors, statistics etc. but I would say the above are the main topics that you will need. The most important thing is to make sure your algebra is at a high GCSE level before moving to A Level.

You could start by trying a GCSE past paper and see what you remember and what you need to work on.
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constellarknight
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Improve-Your.../dp/1861525516
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BradPennick
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(Original post by notnek)
You could start by trying a GCSE past paper and see what you remember and what you need to work on.
That's a very good idea, I might have to try that..

And thanks ConstellarKnight, I might have to see if I can find a torrent for a book like that :P
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
And thanks ConstellarKnight, I might have to see if I can find a torrent for a book like that :P
I think a GCSE book would be a better idea. A refresher book may be aimed at different levels / courses. GCSE is designed to be taught before A Level.
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BradPennick
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(Original post by notnek)
I think a GCSE book would be a better idea. A refresher book may be aimed at different levels / courses. GCSE is designed to be taught before A Level.
Very true actually. Would the simple Edexcel revision books be satisfactory or do they not go in depth enough?
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
Very true actually. Would the simple Edexcel revision books be satisfactory or do they not go in depth enough?
Could be okay but I would go for the main textbook.
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shamika
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(Original post by BradPennick)
After leaving school 6 years ago with a B in GCSE in Mathematics, I want to study it at A Level after dropping out of college now that I've decided to want to pursue a degree in Physics.

After not studying any Maths whatsoever for 6 years my knowledge has dried up a bit, so what is the best way to refresh my knowledge back to a level at which I would have been going to college with, without retaking an entire GCSE?
To add to notnek's advice, these days there are sites which have video solutions to questions or step by step guides to topics which might be an effective way to study.

If you want to do a physics degree, might I suggest taking further maths and the following modules: C1-C4, FP1-FP3, M1-M5? (That'd work for Edexcel or AQA). Trust me that will give you a great preparation for your degree, even if it's a tough set of A-level modules.
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BradPennick
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(Original post by notnek)
Could be okay but I would go for the main textbook.
I'll have a look at what the latest ones are If I remember rightly the textbooks go in to detail explaining everything anyway don't they?
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BradPennick
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(Original post by shamika)
To add to notnek's advice, these days there are sites which have video solutions to questions or step by step guides to topics which might be an effective way to study.

If you want to do a physics degree, might I suggest taking further maths and the following modules: C1-C4, FP1-FP3, M1-M5? (That'd work for Edexcel or AQA). Trust me that will give you a great preparation for your degree, even if it's a tough set of A-level modules.
Thanks for the suggestions Shamika My A Levels will be Physics, Maths and Chemistry (Specifically for Spectroscopy), and possibly Further Maths as well, so I'll definitely bare that in mind
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shamika
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(Original post by BradPennick)
Thanks for the suggestions Shamika My A Levels will be Physics, Maths and Chemistry (Specifically for Spectroscopy), and possibly Further Maths as well, so I'll definitely bare that in mind
Sounds good, wish you the best of luck!
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
I'll have a look at what the latest ones are If I remember rightly the textbooks go in to detail explaining everything anyway don't they?
It's a bit expensive but my recommendation would be this one : http://www.amazon.co.uk/GCSE-Mathema...maths+textbook

This gives plenty of explanations and questions.

The more modern ones aren't as good in my opinion. The GCSE course has changed recently so textbooks have been rewritten and it will take a bit of time for them to be as good as the older ones.
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
Thanks for the suggestions Shamika My A Levels will be Physics, Maths and Chemistry (Specifically for Spectroscopy), and possibly Further Maths as well, so I'll definitely bare that in mind
I'm assuming you'll be doing Mechanics as part of your A Level?

This means you can ignore all of GCSE statistics which is nice
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BradPennick
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(Original post by notnek)
It's a bit expensive but my recommendation would be this one : http://www.amazon.co.uk/GCSE-Mathema...maths+textbook

This gives plenty of explanations and questions.

The more modern ones aren't as good in my opinion. The GCSE course has changed recently so textbooks have been rewritten and it will take a bit of time for them to be as good as the older ones.
Hot dang it's on Piratebay :P

(Original post by notnek)
I'm assuming you'll be doing Mechanics as part of your A Level?

This means you can ignore all of GCSE statistics which is nice
Eh, depends on what A Levels are available to me. Out of necessity I may well have to do distance learning for the A Levels (If I can't find the motivation to do things off my own back anyway there's no point in me pursuing a degree!) so that I can continue working full time!
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Notnek
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(Original post by BradPennick)
Eh, depends on what A Levels are available to me. Out of necessity I may well have to do distance learning for the A Levels (If I can't find the motivation to do things off my own back anyway there's no point in me pursuing a degree!) so that I can continue working full time!
No I mean as part of your maths A Level.

You'll have the choice to do Mechanics or Statistics (or both) as part of your maths A Level. You have to choose 2 applied modules.
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BradPennick
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(Original post by notnek)
No I mean as part of your maths A Level.

You'll have the choice to do Mechanics or Statistics (or both) as part of your maths A Level. You have to choose 2 applied modules.
Ah I'm with you sorry! Then yes I would do Mechanics definitely
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thebrahmabull
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(Original post by BradPennick)
After leaving school 6 years ago with a B in GCSE in Mathematics, I want to study it at A Level after dropping out of college now that I've decided to want to pursue a degree in Physics.

After not studying any Maths whatsoever for 6 years my knowledge has dried up a bit, so what is the best way to refresh my knowledge back to a level at which I would have been going to college with, without retaking an entire GCSE?
I was on the same boat. However I had a c in GCSE. The jump from gcse to alevel is pretty big. You might want to consider taking a few months off and refresh your math skills. C1 level should be pretty easy. I think you can do it right away. It may get some confidence up for u and also refresh u in the process. I don't know if this will work for you but what I did was after doing c1, I did a book called 'pure mathematics' by Lee Peng yee . after doing this the other alevel units weren't difficult at all (except perhaps c4 integration which takes a lot of practice). Also I was very diligent and hard working. I did 6 math alevel units in a year including the pure math book, got a B( for being overconfident- I took m2 instead of s1). I am now doing further maths. Best of luck.
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Notnek
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(Original post by thebrahmabull)
I was on the same boat. However I had a c in GCSE. The jump from gcse to alevel is pretty big. You might want to consider taking a few months off and refresh your math skills. C1 level should be pretty easy. I think you can do it right away. It may get some confidence up for u and also refresh u in the process. I don't know if this will work for you but what I did was after doing c1, I did a book called 'pure mathematics' by Lee Peng yee . after doing this the other alevel units weren't difficult at all (except perhaps c4 integration which takes a lot of practice). Also I was very diligent and hard working. I did 6 math alevel units in a year including the pure math book, got a B( for being overconfident- I took m2 instead of s1). I am now doing further maths. Best of luck.
It's very rare for a C level GCSE student to do A Level Further maths so well done

Out of interest, why do you think you only got a C at GCSE?
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fishyfishy1999
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(Original post by thebrahmabull)
You might want to consider taking a few months off and refresh your math skills.
A few months???????????? He's wanting to brush up to GCSE level not understand the Wiles proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
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Notnek
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(Original post by fishyfishy1999)
A few months???????????? He's wanting to brush up to GCSE level not understand the Wiles proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
I've heard they're thinking of adding that to C4,
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