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Can you get an A in A-Level Maths just by working hard?

Scraped a 7 in maths & want to take it for A-Level but I keep seeing horror stories everywhere about these A* students who got Es in A-Level maths and it's putting me off doing it.

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Original post by Imfukd
Scraped a 7 in maths & want to take it for A-Level but I keep seeing horror stories everywhere about these A* students who got Es in A-Level maths and it's putting me off doing it.

"Can you get on a train by going to a station?" is what you're asking, with the answer obviously being yes. A lot of people in my A-level maths and further maths classes struggled but put the work in and got As and A*s. It gets very intense very quickly but as long as you put the work in you'll be fine, just don't get complacent. There's nothing from stopping you getting any grade you want.
(edited 5 years ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Glassapple
"Can you get on a train by going to a station?" is what you're asking, with the answer obviously being yes. A lot of people in my A-level further maths class struggled but put the work in and got As and A*s. It gets very intense very quickly but as long as you put the work in you'll be fine, just don't get complacent. There's nothing from stopping you getting any grade you want.

Are you taking Further Maths?
Original post by Black Water
Are you taking Further Maths?

I took it this year and got an A*.
(edited 5 years ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Glassapple
"Can you get on a train by going to a station?" is what you're asking, with the answer obviously being yes. A lot of people in my A-level further maths class struggled but put the work in and got As and A*s. It gets very intense very quickly but as long as you put the work in you'll be fine, just don't get complacent. There's nothing from stopping you getting any grade you want.


One of the reasons I ask is because the teachers at the college I'm going to keep saying things under the lines of 'some people just can't do maths' or 'there are people who did better than you in GCSE and failed in maths so do something else'.
hard work is the only way to get an A in a-level maths
Hello!

I am a bit biased as I've always enjoyed maths a lot. I got and A* in GCSE and have had no trouble with the AS. It is actually the AS I've enjoyed the most as you only need to practice a lot. I think that if you got an A at GCSE you should go for it, as it means that you are pretty good at it, and it may be that you regret not taking it in the future as universities really take it into account.

I hope this has helped.
Reply 7
Original post by Glassapple
I took it this year and got an A*.

Wow well done! Mind me asking which other subjects you took?
Original post by Black Water
Wow well done! Mind me asking which other subjects you took?

Thank you. I got 5 A*s in maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and English literature.
Reply 9
Original post by Glassapple
Thank you. I got 5 A*s in maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and English literature.

Oh wow! You took the hardest A-Levels and got the best grades! That’s mind blowing. What are you going to study now? Also mind me asking which exam boards you did for Physics and Chemistry?
Weird title wording. “just by working hard”

Truely effective hard work can get you the grades you want sure!

Don’t worry about others. I know a student who got a B at GCSE (6) and got an A at A-Level. I know another who got A*A*A^ in Maths, Statistics and FM GCSE, who just got a C overall at A-Level.

It just goes to show that things vary.
Reply 11
So are these teachers wrong when they tell me 'hard work is not enough for a-level maths'? That's literally what they say. Or are they just trying to put me off because it's a popular subject?
(edited 5 years ago)
Original post by Imfukd
Scraped a 7 in maths & want to take it for A-Level but I keep seeing horror stories everywhere about these A* students who got Es in A-Level maths and it's putting me off doing it.


No-one on this thread has completed the new A level math/F Maths.

Working hard is no guarantee of an A but if you don't work hard then you certainly won't get a top grade. Make sure you do all the examples in the book, not just the ones your teacher sets, and make sure you ask for help as soon as you get stuck on a topic. DO NOT give up on a question after a minute and look up the answer, you can't do that in the exam, learn to have a few goes at a question then leave it for an hour before trying again - only then look up a solution.
Reply 13
Original post by Imfukd
Scraped a 7 in maths & want to take it for A-Level but I keep seeing horror stories everywhere about these A* students who got Es in A-Level maths and it's putting me off doing it.

@have and @thekidwhogames have done the new spec and achieved an A*. They should be able to give you a better insight.
Reply 14
Having done the new spec, I think an A* is possible for you. But it's more than simply working hard. It's very easy to work hard and just end up doing nothing productive. For Maths, the bottom line is, do you understand all of the content. If the answer is yes, than an A* is very achievable, especially with the nice GBs

Of course that's easier said than done. The issue is firstly, that people think they understand something, but they don't really. It's common for some people to spend hours and hours creating posters and flash cards to help them memorise how you do various things in maths, but never really understand the why, or the topic in general. And in the new spec, they like putting questions in unfamilar contexts, so if you don't understand the why, you're basically done outere.

In order to understand, as opoosed to memorise, you need to have a really solid foundation. While a 7 at GCSE is good, it shows some weaknesses, and it'd be in your interests to make sure your GCSE knowledge is in the best possible shape before even starting work on A Level content.

In your head, whenever you learn a new topic, don't just accept what your teacher says at face value. You have to convince yourself that it's true. Prove it for yourself. The goal is to have the topic sit comfortably in your head, so it basically seems common sense to you. You won't have to work as hard memorising, because the method becomes second nature. This happens through a combination of both understanding the theory, and practice. Loads of practice. Try and practice as many harder questions as you can.

The key to doing well at A Level maths is never letting your understanding slip, because once you don't understand one topic, it can quickly snowball because of how topics follow on from eachother.

Good Luck.

Original post by Muttley79
No-one on this thread has completed the new A level math/F Maths.


Finished the new spec A Level Maths, got 289/300 raw.
Original post by have
Finished the new spec A Level Maths, got 289/300 raw.


You haven't done both though - I was commenting on the post about that.
Original post by Black Water
@have and @thekidwhogames have done the new spec and achieved an A*. They should be able to give you a better insight.


They have not done Maths AND Further Maths in the new spec.
Original post by Imfukd
So are these teachers wrong when they tell me 'hard work is not enough for a-level maths'? That's literally what they say. Or are they just trying to put me off because it's a popular subject?


I'm a teacher too - hard work on its own is not enough.
Reply 18
Original post by have
Having done the new spec, I think an A* is possible for you. But it's more than simply working hard. It's very easy to work hard and just end up doing nothing productive. For Maths, the bottom line is, do you understand all of the content. If the answer is yes, than an A* is very achievable, especially with the nice GBs

Of course that's easier said than done. The issue is firstly, that people think they understand something, but they don't really. It's common for some people to spend hours and hours creating posters and flash cards to help them memorise how you do various things in maths, but never really understand the why, or the topic in general. And in the new spec, they like putting questions in unfamilar contexts, so if you don't understand the why, you're basically done outere.

In order to understand, as opoosed to memorise, you need to have a really solid foundation. While a 7 at GCSE is good, it shows some weaknesses, and it'd be in your interests to make sure your GCSE knowledge is in the best possible shape before even starting work on A Level content.

In your head, whenever you learn a new topic, don't just accept what your teacher says at face value. You have to convince yourself that it's true. Prove it for yourself. The goal is to have the topic sit comfortably in your head, so it basically seems common sense to you. You won't have to work as hard memorising, because the method becomes second nature. This happens through a combination of both understanding the theory, and practice. Loads of practice. Try and practice as many harder questions as you can.

The key to doing well at A Level maths is never letting your understanding slip, because once you don't understand one topic, it can quickly snowball because of how topics follow on from eachother.

Good Luck.



Finished the new spec A Level Maths, got 289/300 raw.

What a show off.
Reply 19
Original post by Muttley79
You haven't done both though - I was commenting on the post about that.


Can you point to where OP ever mentioned FM

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