Physics and Further Maths A-Levels?

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jswaters22
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#1
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#1
I am going into year 12 and was planing on doing maths, further maths and economics. Having to do 4 a-levels I've been considering physics as I've been told that it's in essence, 'applied maths'.

My question is how does a physics a-level fair compared to further maths a-level? Regarding difficulty and similarity in content etc.
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luckystars
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Not similar at all. Difficulty you'll have to judge for yourself. What course are you thinking of doing?
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dat.sour.ting
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(Original post by jswaters22)
I am going into year 12 and was planing on doing maths, further maths and economics. Having to do 4 a-levels I've been considering physics as I've been told that it's in essence, 'applied maths'.

My question is how does a physics a-level fair compared to further maths a-level? Regarding difficulty and similarity in content etc.
Im taking 5: maths, further math, economics, chemistry and art so pretty similar to you.

I wanted to take physics but our teachers for it are sh*t. But yh its really easy if youre taking maths and further cuz theres a massive section in physics about mechanics which in also a massive section in maths.

Further maths only elaborates on maths itself. You wont use as much further maths in physics than you do with the content from maths

As far as difficulty is concerned. Honestly is based on how good at the subjects you are. I love maths and its really easy for me and physics would be easy too if you find the maths easy. But yh its really how you yourself actually feel about them when it comes to difficulty.
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TheFarmerLad
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There is certainly an overlap in content, particularly between the mechanics sections in physics and the mechanics modules in further maths, but on the whole they are quite different subjects. Further maths questions tend to test the physics concepts in a more mathematical way, so no wordy questions, less understanding, more equations/formulae involved), whereas physics questions tend to be rather simple in terms of calculations however the phrasing is harder to comprehend hence there is a lot more understanding required. I would do both but don't think that simply nailing the mechanics modules in further maths guarantees the same results in physics mechanics, not that easy.
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jswaters22
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(Original post by dat.sour.ting)
Im taking 5: maths, further math, economics, chemistry and art so pretty similar to you.

I wanted to take physics but our teachers for it are sh*t. But yh its really easy if youre taking maths and further cuz theres a massive section in physics about mechanics which in also a massive section in maths.

Further maths only elaborates on maths itself. You wont use as much further maths in physics than you do with the content from maths

As far as difficulty is concerned. Honestly is based on how good at the subjects you are. I love maths and its really easy for me and physics would be easy too if you find the maths easy. But yh its really how you yourself actually feel about them when it comes to difficulty.
Without being too stuck up I'd say I'm pretty good at maths and I'd say doing further maths gcse helped but thank you
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jswaters22
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(Original post by luckystars)
Not similar at all. Difficulty you'll have to judge for yourself. What course are you thinking of doing?
I've always been focused on maths but a relative said that taking physics would keep a lot of career choices open further down the line if I were to change my mind but whichever course I take it will be math-centered
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jswaters22
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(Original post by TheFarmerLad)
There is certainly an overlap in content, particularly between the mechanics sections in physics and the mechanics modules in further maths, but on the whole they are quite different subjects. Further maths questions tend to test the physics concepts in a more mathematical way, so no wordy questions, less understanding, more equations/formulae involved), whereas physics questions tend to be rather simple in terms of calculations however the phrasing is harder to comprehend hence there is a lot more understanding required. I would do both but don't think that simply nailing the mechanics modules in further maths guarantees the same results in physics mechanics, not that easy.
Yes, it's the theory that I'm not eager towards but I can understand it if I put the work in. Thank you for the breakdown, very helpful
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luckystars
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(Original post by jswaters22)
I've always been focused on maths but a relative said that taking physics would keep a lot of career choices open further down the line if I were to change my mind but whichever course I take it will be math-centered
Yeah that is true- physics is more facilitating than economics. I took maths with mechanics, physics and economics with further AS (dropped due to health) as I am doing engineering and the required subjects are maths and physics. So it really depends on what unis want as your third subject and also what you think would be more interesting/bearable (for me, economics was more enjoyable than physics due to the teaching). You could perhaps do an AS in physics/economics? An AS in either is pretty easy, grade boundaries are super low for physics AS as well- ~55% for an A iirc.
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Aspiring123
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#9
(Original post by jswaters22)
I am going into year 12 and was planing on doing maths, further maths and economics. Having to do 4 a-levels I've been considering physics as I've been told that it's in essence, 'applied maths'.

My question is how does a physics a-level fair compared to further maths a-level? Regarding difficulty and similarity in content etc.
FM is really just extra maths rather than harder maths, but I have to say be careful with physics it is the hardest a level imo. Yes there is SOME overlap between mechanics and certain parts of phys but it is really easy and you would get it normally anyway, especially with the new a levels you hardly get tested on raw mechanics. Some people just click with physics I got an A in AS but is looking doubtful for A2 whereas I'm confident with maths and fm. It is a load of fun tho especially if you like understanding topics which you are bad at. What board are you for phys? AS isn't too bad, I would advise you to take it to AS then drop at the end of it if you don't like it, but I don't know if you can do that with the new alevels? Overall tho physics>>>>>>FM in terms of difficulty (imo)
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Physics Enemy
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Bad advice in this thread. A-Level Physics barely overlaps with Maths/F. Maths. The maths involved is basic and not a factor. There is plenty of chemistry, materials, electrics, experimental stuff, optics etc.

The amount of mechanics is small, barely 15% of the A-Level. Physics is a science like chemistry; phd in theoretical physics is mostly applied maths.

Everything 'luckystars' has said is on point btw
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Zacken
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(Original post by Physics Enemy)
Bad advice in this thread. A-Level Physics barely overlaps with Maths/F. Maths. The maths involved is basic and not a factor. There is plenty of chemistry, materials, electrics, experimental stuff, optics etc.
^This. The amount of maths in the physics A-level is close to non-existent (which is a shame).
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jswaters22
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(Original post by Zacken)
^This. The amount of maths in the physics A-level is close to non-existent (which is a shame).
Just out of curiosity but what would you say is the key skill to physics then, ie. understanding theory, linking topics, learning how to pick apart questions?
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Zacken
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(Original post by jswaters22)
Just out of curiosity but what would you say is the key skill to physics then, ie. understanding theory, linking topics, learning how to pick apart questions?
I would say the key skill is remembering what the mark scheme wants for routine and standard questions that make up the entire paper year after year. It's a really crappy A-Level.
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jswaters22
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Zacken)
I would say the key skill is remembering what the mark scheme wants for routine and standard questions that make up the entire paper year after year. It's a really crappy A-Level.
I'm inferring you took it. What grade did you get and how did you find it etc? I just want to make the right decision that's all
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Zacken
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(Original post by jswaters22)
I'm inferring you took it. What grade did you get and how did you find it etc? I just want to make the right decision that's all
I got an A, I think: 554 UMS iirc. I pretty much did nothing but skim through the textbook and practice 5 years of past paper questions.
It was mind numbingly dull and uninteresting but necessary nonetheless.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Zacken)
I got an A, I think: 554 UMS iirc. I pretty much did nothing but skim through the textbook and practice 5 years of past paper questions.
It was mind numbingly dull and uninteresting but necessary nonetheless.
Did you take the modular A level because Physics is linear now.

No-one on here has taken Further Maths because we only start teaching the new spec in September!
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Physics Enemy
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Did you take the modular A level because Physics is linear now.

No-one on here has taken Further Maths because we only start teaching the new spec in September!
Of the 3 main syllabi, OCR A looks best on the linear spec (it's ok). Other 2 look bad, amount of chem, electronics, materials, experimental, optics etc is insane. AQA's reading comprehension parts are daft. Doing 12 practicals to get a pass for uni must be hell.
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langlitz
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#18
(Original post by Physics Enemy)
Physics is a science like chemistry; phd in theoretical physics is mostly applied maths.
To a certain extent I disagree, a degree/masters/phd in physics is mostly maths, theoretical or not.
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Physics Enemy
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(Original post by langlitz)
To a certain extent I disagree, a degree/masters/phd in physics is mostly maths, theoretical or not.
There's a lot of formulae to memorise and numbers to plug in, but there's still a lot of written junk to learn and lab to drudge through. String theory is maths from the bottom up, involving group theory too. I'd say that's applied maths, not the basic calculations.
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langlitz
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(Original post by Physics Enemy)
There's a lot of formulae to memorise and numbers to plug in, but there's still a lot of written junk to learn and lab to drudge through. String theory is maths from the bottom up, involving group theory too. I'd say that's applied maths, not the basic calculations.
Are we talking about the same thing? Seem's like you're talking about A-level.

"There's a lot of formulae to memorise and numbers to plug in, but there's still a lot of written junk to learn and lab to drudge through."
Maybe at your university :closedeyes:
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