Is it even worth trying to get into Cambridge Mathematics.

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    I'm a private candidate doing A level Maths and Further Maths. I didn't take my studies seriously when I was in sixth form and now 19 and unemployed. I was studying really hard at the start of September and was planning to leave my job at McDonald's for a job at Nando's, long story short, I left McDonald's for Nando's but Nando's didn't give me the job they'd promised me, so now I'm unemployed and don't want to go back to McDonald's.

    Now you may be wondering what does this have to do with Cambridge and Maths, well I was planning to revise the whole of A level Maths and Further maths before Christmas starting from September so it was around 20 pages a day I had to read, I've been reading more than 20 pages a day sometimes 50, my goal was to try and get into Cambridge Maths, but after becoming unemployed I've been left in despair and cant't find any motivation to study.

    When I pick up a book and try a simple question even after an hour trying to solve it I can't wrap my head around it, now that I've cooled down from my studying frenzy I'am asking myself if it's even worth it, because after studying the Further/Maths A levels I'll have to try and do A level Physics as a private candidate then do the STEP tests which I'm not even sure I can do well in, only to get into a university where the work I'll have to do will be ridiculously hard.

    I can still get A*'s and go to a decent university with an easier syllabus, to begin with I'm nothing special like a maths genius, and I find it really difficult to study the things I consider boring. The thought of only having 3 months experience at McDonald's at the age of 19 and having to explain why I left so early in the first place only paints me an image of a bleak future.

    Jesus this was a long post. Who will even read this xD.
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    (Original post by PotOfBeans)
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    I can still get A*'s and go to a decent university with an easier syllabus, to begin with I'm nothing special like a maths genius, and I find it really difficult to study the things I consider boring. The thought of only having 3 months experience at McDonald's at the age of 19 and having to explain why I left so early in the first place only paints me an image of a bleak future.
    okay so first off I am not nor will ever be at cambridge studying maths so maybe this isnt my place but a mediocre reply from me is better than no reply right :dontknow:

    Firstly in your last paragraph, these two bolded parts kind of make alarm bells go off in my head. If you want an easy degree dont go to cambridge. If you think youll get bored of maths easily/quickly dont go to cambridge.

    If you love maths and want to do it for hours and hours everyday then go for it, you miss 100% of the shots you dont take and all that. However at the same time be realistic, as you know and will be told lots, if you cant get A*A* in maths and FM pretty easily then it's probably not the place for you.

    if you honestly enjoy maths go for it, if you dont really enioy it and only want to go because of its prestige etc then dont bother. Your mathematical ability (if you possess it) will come back to you with practice and experience so dont worry about that.
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    I can easily get the A*s but it's the STEP exam that's the problem. As for me enjoying maths I always have a calculator at hand to try and solve a real world problem with maths and try and answer maths questions online but answering maths questions and learning maths are two different things. I feel like doing a harder syllabus will only make me better at answering specific questions that I've gone over already and won't teach me the mindset to be a good problem solver. For example if you were taught to do really big calculations in your head, that won't make you a good mathematician by itself, you need to learn how to approach new problems but I'm afraid Cambridge will only teach me to do big calculations, to teach me how to answer one specific question only. And if it comes to it I can get an easy degree then learn the maths I want to learn in my spare time.

    So my question to TSR is if their will be any significant benefit Cambridge will have to my intelligence that I can't bring about through self study. And any benefits if it comes to employment or maybe research.
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    (Original post by PotOfBeans)
    I'm afraid Cambridge will only teach me to do big calculations, to teach me how to answer one specific question only.

    If the best maths course in the world did that, it would not be the best maths course in the world.
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    It may be an idea to slow down a little. Have a read of some of the old step threads, plenty of people that have gotten really good grades have struggled at first. It's meant to be hard, it's meant to test you and Cambridge use it for that reason.

    Have you considered something that uses maths instead of maths itself? Engineering sounds like it might be something that would suit you.

    Also, I wouldn't worry at all that you only have a few months work experience. Provided you can show you haven't just been wasting your time (and self studying maths is a very productive use of time) it won't matter a jot. I'd be surprised if any uni maths departments mentioned it.
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    (Original post by DonAchille)
    Also, I wouldn't worry at all that you only have a few months work experience. Provided you can show you haven't just been wasting your time (and self studying maths is a very productive use of time) it won't matter a jot. I'd be surprised if any uni maths departments mentioned it.
    I'm worried my job history/experience will make it harder to find a job, nothing to do with Uni. I can't really study when I'm depressed over being unemployed at 19. God I feel like a loser.

    I have thought of maybe doing a Mechanical or Electrical engineering or a joint Mechanical and Electrical engineering degree at Bath but my hearts with Maths. I'm pretty sure after doing the first year of Maths at Uni I can switch to engineering if I felt like it anyway
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    It may be difficult, given the nature of the interviews for mathematics at Cambridge are based on AS mathematics knowledge. You ought to know the material before turning up and probably more.
 
 
 
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