What type of maths is in A level physics? Watch

Kirby...
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I do triple science at the moment and I'm really considering physics for A level however I'm not really the best at maths. I am doing higher but I'm not like those students that can instantly get an A without trying.

I understand physics does contain a lot of maths but what type? And is it really hard to grasp? Also what type of grade is the maths topic in physics?
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-andromeda-
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(Original post by Mr_Robot)
I do triple science at the moment and I'm really considering physics for A level however I'm not really the best at maths. I am doing higher but I'm not like those students that can instantly get an A without trying.

I understand physics does contain a lot of maths but what type? And is it really hard to grasp? Also what type of grade is the maths topic in physics?
which board are you doing? i'm doing ocr and as long as you're comfortable with using/rearranging formulae and using percentages you should be fine.
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Froofpin
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The maths at physics A level isn't too difficult. Make sure you understand your basic physics equations from GCSE and it is also advisable to be quick/good at rearranging equations. You could download the A-Level formula book to be honest and learn most of the first year physics formulas before.

I would recommend that you learn some formulas before you start, or at least practise how to rearrange them. Also learn the ''10 to the powers of'' for kilo, mega, giga etc which can be done in 20 minutes, then you should be fine for first year at least. The ''hardest'' it gets is exponentials/logs in radioactivity/capacitors but even this isnt hard despite what it looks like.

I would advise doing A-Level Maths in addition to A-Level Physics as well.
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MatthewWatson24
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You have to be good at being able to rearrange your equations as some of these can get quite tricky. You also start to deal with using trig functions so knowing how to be able to use these helps a lot. You also need to be able to read from graphs and calculate gradients and equations of lines as these are vital for the course, as every experiment you do can be related to an equation and graph. Most of the maths content is stuff you will have learnt at GCSE with the exception of using logs but this was taught to me during a physics lesson for everyone who didn't take A level maths. However, I am sure that if you needed extra help with the maths your physics teacher would be able to help you.
Do you know who teaches physics? If you do ask them about it, they will be able to help you a lot with understanding the maths content
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Anonymouspsych
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(Original post by Mr_Robot)
I do triple science at the moment and I'm really considering physics for A level however I'm not really the best at maths. I am doing higher but I'm not like those students that can instantly get an A without trying.

I understand physics does contain a lot of maths but what type? And is it really hard to grasp? Also what type of grade is the maths topic in physics?
I know a lot of people are saying the maths isn't very difficult at A level physics and I would agree if you are generally ok with maths. The maths is relatively straight forward but your algebra needs to be quite sharp at the higher end and if you aren't comfortable with the maths side it can hinder your chances of doing the best you can. That being said, you do still need to be mathematically component with dealing with formulae, rearranging and just generally be comfortable with algebra and graphs. Also you need to be able to handle and convert between different units and use standard form. It really does help if you also take maths at A Level but it isn't a requirement obviously.

The maths gets a bit more hefty when you go into A2 level physics as you start dealing with trigonometry in topics such as simple harmonic motion and magnetic fields. You also deal with natural logarithms and reducing exponential equations in a linear form which, if you do A level maths, will seem quite straight forward. There is a requirement for exam boards to not put any calculus in A level physics and so you simply deal with average rates of changes most of the time. If you need to work out any instantaneous rates of changes, they usually want you use a graphical method like drawing a tangent on a graph and work out the gradient.

In a nutshell, it's all doable even if you don't do A Level maths but to put it bluntly, you will be at a slight disadvantage if you don't take A Level maths because you will understand the mathematical side of the topics much better as your mathematical understanding gets better.
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Ellasimpson_
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Hi, i’m also in year 11 and the sixth form at my school only allows 3 options now at AS so i will be doing biology, chemistry and physics next year. Teachers at my school said that they wouldn’t recommend physics without maths for some people but if you are confident with maths then you should be fine and as long as you are willing to put in the work then you should be fine.
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