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What are the hardest and easiest topics in A Level Mathematics? watch

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    Hi, I'm new to TSR and I have only been at college for about two months now. I am taking A Level Mathematics (for two years) and was wondering about which topics people think are the most difficult to understand, and which ones are no trouble at all.

    At GCSE, I am better at the Non-Calculator Paper and my strongest topic is Geometry (mostly 3D shapes). My weak points are Coordinate Geometry (mostly equations on graphs) and Arithmetic Sequences.

    I am also bad at those 'real life' questions that require me to think of an algebraic formula to solve them, and generally those long worded/problem solving questions.

    I know that A Level is much harder than GCSE, but I am doing okay so far and I still don't know about any of the later topics.

    So, could anyone with knowledge of A Level Mathematics share their experiences?

    Thanks everyone, and good luck!


    ThreeLeafClover
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    (Original post by ThreeLeafClover)
    Hi, I'm new to TSR and I have only been at college for about two months now. I am taking A Level Mathematics (for two years) and was wondering about which topics people think are the most difficult to understand, and which ones are no trouble at all.

    At GCSE, I am better at the Non-Calculator Paper and my strongest topic is Geometry (mostly 3D shapes). My weak points are Coordinate Geometry (mostly equations on graphs) and Arithmetic Sequences.

    I am also bad at those 'real life' questions that require me to think of an algebraic formula to solve them, and generally those long worded/problem solving questions.

    I know that A Level is much harder than GCSE, but I am doing okay so far and I still don't know about any of the later topics.

    So, could anyone with knowledge of A Level Mathematics share their experiences?

    Thanks everyone, and good luck!


    ThreeLeafClover
    If you put the effort in you'll find everything is a logical progression from what you know and you'll cope with it.

    Most GCSE students seem weak at dealing with fractional and negative indices and with both multiplication and division of fractions. Make sure you sort this basic skill out early.

    At AS, trigonometric identities and solving trig equations always troubles people. Log laws also seem to be an issue, they are not that important in terms of marks but increase in importance when you get to A2 so make an effort to get to grips with them. Applications of differentiation seem to freak people out just because they have to work with some shape formulae. You'll definitely need to sort out your problems with coordinate geometry or you are dead for both AS and A2.

    At A2 even more trig identities, double angle formulae and solving their equations always hurts at first. Extending your techniques for differentiation of more complex functions is ok but the work you'll do on integration is very challenging. Vectors will most likely be hell but actually there's not that much to learn.

    What applications units will you take?


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    (Original post by gdunne42)
    If you put the effort in you'll find everything is a logical progression from what you know and you'll cope with it.

    Most GCSE students seem weak at dealing with fractional and negative indices and with both multiplication and division of fractions. Make sure you sort this basic skill out early.

    At AS, trigonometric identities and solving trig equations always troubles people. Log laws also seem to be an issue, they are not that important in terms of marks but increase in importance when you get to A2 so make an effort to get to grips with them. Applications of differentiation seem to freak people out just because they have to work with some shape formulae. You'll definitely need to sort out your problems with coordinate geometry or you are dead for both AS and A2.

    At A2 even more trig identities, double angle formulae and solving their equations always hurts at first. Extending your techniques for differentiation of more complex functions is ok but the work you'll do on integration is very challenging. Vectors will most likely be hell but actually there's not that much to learn.

    What applications units will you take?


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    Ah, thanks for the great advice! I'll look those topics up right away!

    I think that my college gives us a choice of either Statistics or Mechanics as a final module. I take Biology and Chemistry (dropped Physics), and I have heard that Statistics may be more useful for those subjects.
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    Probably the topics that most people find hardest are C3 trigonometry and C4 vectors. However if you work enough it is all piss easy.
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    What do you mean your strong point is 3D shapes?
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    (Original post by B_9710)
    What do you mean your strong point is 3D shapes?
    Usually it was just working out volume (frustrums which includes similarity and circles), but I tend to do better when the question includes a 3D shape.
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    (Original post by ThreeLeafClover)
    Usually it was just working out volume (frustrums which includes similarity and circles), but I tend to do better when the question includes a 3D shape.
    That will certainly help in the applications of differentiation work.


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