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    I'm currently doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry (and electronics out of school). I'm heavily involved in extracurricular activities, to the point where I only have no after school free and 2 of my lunchtimes (often 3) taken up. I'm doing Maths A-Level fast track (I do the whole thing in Year 12), but I'm not a strong maths student - I did get a 9 at GCSE (and 9 other A*'s and 3 A's) but that was mostly off revision in the weeks before the exam, and in my 1st and 2nd exams I left a couple questions blank. I'm also taking Polish and Italian GCSE's out of school but only for this year, which will further eat up my time for revision. I get the feeling that there's a *very* good chance of not getting and A* with all my current activities, but as they're so vital for my application to Cambridge, Imperial etc. (I'm doing STEM project, electronics A-Level externally, work experience, entering competitions etc.), I want to do them this year so I can put them on my personal statement. I'm not doing any of my current extracurricular activities in Year 13, so will have much more revision time. Is it a good idea to see if I can get the teachers to transfer me to the ordinary 2-year course? I'll be the only Maths + Further Maths student to do so, but not getting an A* this year will be an unmitigated disaster for my application for top unis. There's no way I can allow all my external activities, extra GCSE's, interest for engineering related related courses etc. to go to a complete waste because I though I could do all them AND an entire A-Level in one year.
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    Why are you doing so much extra unnecessary stuff if you're plan is to apply to Engineering, particularly at such institutions. Cambridge does not care about random language GCSEs, not does it care about an extra A-level in Electronics, and it barely cares about EPQs (only where relevant and even then it's just a bonus and by no means a requirement). What it does care about is having the strongest maths background, and a solid scientific background, which is a requirement and is the primary thing they will be assessing.

    Taking it over two years won't affect your applications, although given your school teaches it in that format you may well find yourself "overburdened" in year 13 where you're doing more Further Maths than in this year and more "basic" maths. You may also find being further behind in maths than your compatriots makes it harder to keep up with the course.

    Frankly you should be in the first instance looking to drop your unnecessary extra GCSEs, Electronics A-level, work experience, random competitions, your EPQ (project, I assume it's an EPQ) and relevant competitions (such as BMO or something) - in that order. The top universities for these courses don't care one jot how much of a well rounded egg you are, they care if you can do and more importantly learn advanced mathematics fluently and apply that to novel situations - which is primarily demonstrated by your core subject choices (and, potentially, BMO/similar, then EPQs on related topics).
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Why are you doing so much extra unnecessary stuff if you're plan is to apply to Engineering, particularly at such institutions. Cambridge does not care about random language GCSEs, not does it care about an extra A-level in Electronics, and it barely cares about EPQs (only where relevant and even then it's just a bonus and by no means a requirement). What it does care about is having the strongest maths background, and a solid scientific background, which is a requirement and is the primary thing they will be assessing.

    Taking it over two years won't affect your applications, although given your school teaches it in that format you may well find yourself "overburdened" in year 13 where you're doing more Further Maths than in this year and more "basic" maths. You may also find being further behind in maths than your compatriots makes it harder to keep up with the course.

    Frankly you should be in the first instance looking to drop your unnecessary extra GCSEs, Electronics A-level, work experience, random competitions, your EPQ (project, I assume it's an EPQ) and relevant competitions (such as BMO or something) - in that order. The top universities for these courses don't care one jot how much of a well rounded egg you are, they care if you can do and more importantly learn advanced mathematics fluently and apply that to novel situations - which is primarily demonstrated by your core subject choices (and, potentially, BMO/similar, then EPQs on related topics).
    Thanks... I think I'll drop my Electronis A Level (which I wouldn't have carried through to A2 anyway) and probably my chemistry STEM, which would leave my language GCSE and a physics STEM which i want to do. I speak the languages fluently, so it will not be any effort to revise them for GCSE. I'm interested in chemistry related engineering. So I'd probably apply for general engineering at Cambridge, Biomedical engineering at Imperial and Chemical engineeirng at Bath. Any ideas if my current options of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry are good for this? I really dislike maths and don't know if swapping FM with biology would disadvantage me at these institutions.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Thanks... I think I'll drop my Electronis A Level (which I wouldn't have carried through to A2 anyway) and probably my chemistry STEM, which would leave my language GCSE and a physics STEM which i want to do. I speak the languages fluently, so it will not be any effort to revise them for GCSE. I'm interested in chemistry related engineering. So I'd probably apply for general engineering at Cambridge, Biomedical engineering at Imperial and Chemical engineeirng at Bath. Any ideas if my current options of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry are good for this? I really dislike maths and don't know if swapping FM with biology would disadvantage me at these institutions.
    Those A Levels (at the end of your post) are perfect for the courses that you are considering. Dropping FM may be a problem if you want to get on the Cambridge Engineering course where it is "strongly encouraged" and required by some colleges.

    I find it a bit strange that you are doing maths and further maths when you "dislike" maths. Are you aware that an engineering degree will contain a lot of maths, especially at Cambridge? How have you found the A level maths/FM courses so far - are you finding it all managable even if you don't like it?

    Also, why are you doing a language GCSE if you are already fluent in the language? This feels like a waste of time to me.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Thanks... I think I'll drop my Electronis A Level (which I wouldn't have carried through to A2 anyway) and probably my chemistry STEM, which would leave my language GCSE and a physics STEM which i want to do. I speak the languages fluently, so it will not be any effort to revise them for GCSE. I'm interested in chemistry related engineering. So I'd probably apply for general engineering at Cambridge, Biomedical engineering at Imperial and Chemical engineeirng at Bath. Any ideas if my current options of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry are good for this? I really dislike maths and don't know if swapping FM with biology would disadvantage me at these institutions.
    Further mathematics, although not essential, is HIGHLY recommended as engineering is a very maths heavy course.
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    (Original post by Pickell)
    Further mathematics, although not essential, is HIGHLY recommended as engineering is a very maths heavy course.
    What about courses like Biomedical Engineering (Imperial / UCL) and Chemical Engineering (Cambridge / Bath)?
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Thanks... I think I'll drop my Electronis A Level (which I wouldn't have carried through to A2 anyway) and probably my chemistry STEM, which would leave my language GCSE and a physics STEM which i want to do. I speak the languages fluently, so it will not be any effort to revise them for GCSE. I'm interested in chemistry related engineering. So I'd probably apply for general engineering at Cambridge, Biomedical engineering at Imperial and Chemical engineeirng at Bath. Any ideas if my current options of Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry are good for this? I really dislike maths and don't know if swapping FM with biology would disadvantage me at these institutions.
    Yes, that's probably the ideal combination for any of those. I would caution that you may struggle to write a personal statement that's appropriate for both biomedical and chemical engineering, as the biological aspects of the two are somewhat different, but otherwise it seems reasonable.

    As above, Further Maths is much more useful for any. Biology would be acceptable, but FM is better preparation - particularly if you're considering Engineering entry Chemical Engineering at Cambridge (or potentially remaining in Engineering there). Biology would be fine for NatSci entry to Chem Eng at Cambridge though, but again, FM is technically more useful in the longer run.

    Additionally, as noted, if you dislike maths why are you considering engineering. I assure you, the maths just increases in breadth and depth as you continue, and Chemical Engineering in particular is, on average, more mathematical than most branches at an undergraduate level. You may want to reconsider your long term options - perhaps look into other sciences and consider applying for NatSci in Chemistry/Biological Sciences at Cambridge and related courses elsewhere, as then what is likely to be your primary choice would still give the option of Chem Eng but you're not necessarily locked into that choice to begin with and can see how you fare with first year NatSci maths (or hedge your bets and avoid the more mathematical courses altogether if you don't get into Cambridge, or change your mind).
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    I'm currently doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry (and electronics out of school). I'm heavily involved in extracurricular activities, to the point where I only have no after school free and 2 of my lunchtimes (often 3) taken up. I'm doing Maths A-Level fast track (I do the whole thing in Year 12), but I'm not a strong maths student - I did get a 9 at GCSE (and 9 other A*'s and 3 A's) but that was mostly off revision in the weeks before the exam, and in my 1st and 2nd exams I left a couple questions blank. I'm also taking Polish and Italian GCSE's out of school but only for this year, which will further eat up my time for revision. I get the feeling that there's a *very* good chance of not getting and A* with all my current activities, but as they're so vital for my application to Cambridge, Imperial etc. (I'm doing STEM project, electronics A-Level externally, work experience, entering competitions etc.), I want to do them this year so I can put them on my personal statement. I'm not doing any of my current extracurricular activities in Year 13, so will have much more revision time. Is it a good idea to see if I can get the teachers to transfer me to the ordinary 2-year course? I'll be the only Maths + Further Maths student to do so, but not getting an A* this year will be an unmitigated disaster for my application for top unis. There's no way I can allow all my external activities, extra GCSE's, interest for engineering related related courses etc. to go to a complete waste because I though I could do all them AND an entire A-Level in one year.
    If you want to get into engineering you'd be far better served by focusing on the four A-levels mentioned in your first sentence rather than all of the other stuff that appears to be eating into your time. What you need to secure a place on an engineering degree (coming straight from school/college) is A-levels in maths and physics, at suitable grades. Many chemical engineering courses require chemistry, with many also accepting it in lieu of physics. Biomedical courses might require biology; but I'm not familiar with that field. Further maths is very helpful too, as engineering degrees are quite heavily maths based, and having it will mean that you will have already covered some of the content of the maths modules.
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    I don't know what to do with my life. Medicine or engineering. I don't like maths, and i think that doing maths A-Level in one year would be a nightmare. Do i have to have a genuine passion for maths to do engineering at top unis? Because i have no passion whatsoever. I'm probably more interested in sciences in general, it's easier to understand them. I won't have work experience for a while, so i have no way of knowing whether i want to do engineering or medicine.
    (Original post by Smack)
    If you want to get into engineering you'd be far better served by focusing on the four A-levels mentioned in your first sentence rather than all of the other stuff that appears to be eating into your time. What you need to secure a place on an engineering degree (coming straight from school/college) is A-levels in maths and physics, at suitable grades. Many chemical engineering courses require chemistry, with many also accepting it in lieu of physics. Biomedical courses might require biology; but I'm not familiar with that field. Further maths is very helpful too, as engineering degrees are quite heavily maths based, and having it will mean that you will have already covered some of the content of the maths modules.
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    (Original post by VirgoStrain)
    Do i have to have a genuine passion for maths to do engineering at top unis? Because i have no passion whatsoever.
    This is a somewhat difficult question to answer, and depends on what you really mean by "passion", but I'll try and give it a shot.

    I wouldn't say you need a passion for maths to study engineering. You need to be good enough at it to achieve the required grades to enter the course, which at likely the vast majority of "good" universities is an A at A-level or equivalent, with FM also being helpful. And to be good enough at it to achieve the required grades, I think you need to at least find it "okay".

    I studied engineering, and I overall I enjoyed doing maths - well, I liked it when I was getting the right answers, and didn't like it when I was getting the wrong answers - see this thread. But I would not say I ever had an actual passion for it, in that I do not think I ever harboured a desire to look into maths beyond the syllabus, or to understand the actual mechanics of how it works (in engineering degrees you the methods rather than how it actually works - that's reserved for maths students). I liked going through the methods, especially when my final answer matched that of the teacher or lecturer, and found it frustrating when I couldn't understand what was going on. But even when I was enjoying it (I seem to recall enjoying complex numbers, for example) I do not recall going beyond what was required from the homework/tutorial, etc. so I certainly never had a passion for it. (This must not be construed as study advice.)

    I think you should focus on figuring out what you want to do with your life; medicine and engineering are quite different careers. You're also quite unlikely to obtain any engineering work experience because it's not something that many companies offer to people who aren't already studying degree courses. But if you're interested in designing things, trying to understand how things work, making things, improving things etc. then engineering is probably a good shout, although studying an engineering degree if you hate maths won't be much fun, unfortunately.

    If you're interested in the sciences, then that (and medicine) may be quite a good idea too, in fact.
 
 
 
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