How should I prepare for A-level maths??

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username3973192
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I'm gonna be doing Edexcel and I got a few questions:

1. What GCSE topics should I have a thorough understanding of? Is it all of them or specific topics?

2. Is the first year basically GCSE grade 8+ stuff?

3. Should I get any books? If so which ones? And are the CGP headstart ones any good?

4. Does anyone know of any good revision websites that I can use to prepare?

Thanks
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TheNewLad
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I do AQA, but I can tell you the topics are very different from GCSE. To me it almost feels like I started from scratch. The best thing you can do is make sure you have a thorough understanding of trigonometry, as it crops up in most topics, and maybe do some pre-reading on differentiation and integration, if you haven't learned about them already.
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username3973192
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(Original post by TheNewLad)
I do AQA, but I can tell you the topics are very different from GCSE. To me it almost feels like I started from scratch. The best thing you can do is make sure you have a thorough understanding of trigonometry, as it crops up in most topics, and maybe do some pre-reading on differentiation and integration, if you haven't learned about them already.
That's defo good to hear! What grade did you get at gcse and how are you doing now if you don't mind me asking?
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TheNewLad
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(Original post by thestudent33)
That's defo good to hear! What grade did you get at gcse and how are you doing now if you don't mind me asking?
I got a 7 at GCSE, and to be perfectly honest I'm not the best at Maths haha, I barely got a D in the last mock. The course is definitely doable, I'm just a slacker when it comes to maths. If you keep up with the course and practice moderately throughout year 1 you'll be set.
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username3973192
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(Original post by TheNewLad)
I got a 7 at GCSE, and to be perfectly honest I'm not the best at Maths haha, I barely got a D in the last mock. The course is definitely doable, I'm just a slacker when it comes to maths. If you keep up with the course and practice moderately throughout year 1 you'll be set.
Sounds good thanks!
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Notnek
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(Original post by thestudent33)
I'm gonna be doing Edexcel and I got a few questions:

1. What GCSE topics should I have a thorough understanding of? Is it all of them or specific topics?

2. Is the first year basically GCSE grade 8+ stuff?

3. Should I get any books? If so which ones? And are the CGP headstart ones any good?

4. Does anyone know of any good revision websites that I can use to prepare?

Thanks
I can respond properly later but for now I’ll just day that algebra is the most important thing that you need to be confident with before starting A Level. You will be using GCSE algebra nearly every lesson and it’s very common for students to struggle because their algebra isn’t good enough.

When faced with a GCSE Level equation (however complex), you should be able to rearrange it to make any of the variables the subject.
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gdunne42
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(Original post by thestudent33)
I'm gonna be doing Edexcel and I got a few questions:

1. What GCSE topics should I have a thorough understanding of? Is it all of them or specific topics?
2. Is the first year basically GCSE grade 8+ stuff?
3. Should I get any books? If so which ones? And are the CGP headstart ones any good?
4. Does anyone know of any good revision websites that I can use to prepare?
1. Algebra, graphs and coordinate geometry, trigonometry. See the attached workbook, it's old but still valid.
2. No. You will revise the harder gcse topics and learn a great deal of new stuff.
3. I wouldn't. Many schools set preparation work.
4. Examsolutions.net is a good site for A level mahs but I would use it after the course starts rather than before.
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Hecatonchires1
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(Original post by thestudent33)
I'm gonna be doing Edexcel and I got a few questions:

1. What GCSE topics should I have a thorough understanding of? Is it all of them or specific topics?

2. Is the first year basically GCSE grade 8+ stuff?

3. Should I get any books? If so which ones? And are the CGP headstart ones any good?

4. Does anyone know of any good revision websites that I can use to prepare?

Thanks
You shouldn't be worrying about preparing for A-Level maths when you still have your GCSEs to do. If you're good at GCSE Maths, you'll also be good at A-Level maths. If you suck at GCSE Maths, you'll also suck at A-Level maths. No one in my year, that I know of, prepared for A-Levels. Around this time, we all just focused on our GCSEs and tried to do the best that we could.
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username3973192
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(Original post by Hecatonchires1)
You shouldn't be worrying about preparing for A-Level maths when you still have your GCSEs to do. If you're good at GCSE Maths, you'll also be good at A-Level maths. If you suck at GCSE Maths, you'll also suck at A-Level maths. No one in my year, that I know of, prepared for A-Levels. Around this time, we all just focused on our GCSEs and tried to do the best that we could.
I've done it a year early! Got a 6
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(Original post by Notnek)
I can respond properly later but for now I’ll just day that algebra is the most important thing that you need to be confident with before starting A Level. You will be using GCSE algebra nearly every lesson and it’s very common for students to struggle because their algebra isn’t good enough.

When faced with a GCSE Level equation (however complex), you should be able to rearrange it to make any of the variables the subject.
Thanks for that!
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username3973192
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(Original post by gdunne42)
1. Algebra, graphs and coordinate geometry, trigonometry. See the attached workbook, it's old but still valid.
2. No. You will revise the harder gcse topics and learn a great deal of new stuff.
3. I wouldn't. Many schools set preparation work.
4. Examsolutions.net is a good site for A level mahs but I would use it after the course starts rather than before.
Thanks for the workbook! I've been looking at Examsolutions.net and it looks good, thanks for the reccomendation!
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Hecatonchires1
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(Original post by thestudent33)
I've done it a year early! Got a 6
Focus on your other GCSE subjects until the summer. You'll have more than enough time to practice for A-level as the summer break for Year 11s is insanely long. Because you got a 6, I'd recommend starting off with Grade 8+ GCSE stuff and becoming more confident with that. If you do decide to jump to A-Level, you'll only get frustrated with the content as much of it builds up on basic GCSE Grade 6/8+ knowledge. E.g probability, histograms and finding the minima and maxima of graphs.

Everyone in my A-Level Maths class who got a 7/6 at GCSE are generally getting high Cs and below in our mocks. The rest of us that got a 8/9 are getting As and Bs - there's a correlation between how well you do at GCSE and how well you do at A-Level. I'd therefore strongly recommend that you don't do any A-Level stuff and focus on harder GCSE stuff/problem solving. Sites that I recommend are "Maths Genie" and "Physics and Maths Tutor" and also the exam board sites that have past papers too.
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username3973192
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(Original post by Hecatonchires1)
Focus on your other GCSE subjects until the summer. You'll have more than enough time to practice for A-level as the summer break for Year 11s is insanely long. Because you got a 6, I'd recommend starting off with Grade 8+ GCSE stuff and becoming more confident with that. If you do decide to jump to A-Level, you'll only get frustrated with the content as much of it builds up on basic GCSE Grade 6/8+ knowledge. E.g probability, histograms and finding the minima and maxima of graphs.

Everyone in my A-Level Maths class who got a 7/6 at GCSE are generally getting high Cs and below in our mocks. The rest of us that got a 8/9 are getting As and Bs - there's a correlation between how well you do at GCSE and how well you do at A-Level. I'd therefore strongly recommend that you don't do any A-Level stuff and focus on harder GCSE stuff/problem solving. Sites that I recommend are "Maths Genie" and "Physics and Maths Tutor" and also the exam board sites that have past papers too.
Thanks for the info! What board are you doing btw? Because apparently the topics in AQA's A-level maths are very different from gcse, is this the same with the board you're with?
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Notnek
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Thanks for the info! What board are you doing btw? Because apparently the topics in AQA's A-level maths are very different from gcse, is this the same with the baord you're with?
For the new A Level maths, all of the content is the same across the different exam boards.

You can expect A Level to be different to GCSE, just like when you learnt new things in Y10 compared to Y9
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(Original post by Notnek)
For the new A Level maths, all of the content is the same across the different exam boards.

You can expect A Level to be different to GCSE, just like when you learnt new things in Y10 compared to Y9
:yy:
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Hecatonchires1
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(Original post by thestudent33)
Thanks for the info! What board are you doing btw? Because apparently the topics in AQA's A-level maths are very different from gcse, is this the same with the baord you're with?
I did AQA at GCSE and am doing Edexcel now for A-Levels. Some topics - such as mechanics - require a different set of skills to GCSE maths. But, as I said, the majority of topics do build up on basic GCSE knowledge.
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(Original post by Hecatonchires1)
I did AQA at GCSE and am doing Edexcel now for A-Levels. Some topics - such as mechanics - require a different set of skills to GCSE maths. But, as I said, the majority of topics do build up on basic GCSE knowledge.
Ok, thanks for that! I'll start practicing the higher level topics then!
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stressed0ut
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(Original post by thestudent33)
I'm gonna be doing Edexcel and I got a few questions:

1. What GCSE topics should I have a thorough understanding of? Is it all of them or specific topics?

2. Is the first year basically GCSE grade 8+ stuff?

3. Should I get any books? If so which ones? And are the CGP headstart ones any good?

4. Does anyone know of any good revision websites that I can use to prepare?

Thanks
To answer your questions:

1) any gcse topic that you find particularly hard, maybe do some practice of that, because a large chunk of gcse stuff they assume you know so they sometimes go over stuff quickly. Trigonometry is a definite if you struggle with it as it does come up loads, and also you need to be pretty solid with algebra and rearranging and stuff like that

2) No, unfortunately not.... it takes the hard bits of gcse and then there’s loads of new stuff

3) I would say no, wait until after you start because then teachers can give you any books they want you to have and you can buy anything they recommend after starting...

4) I’m not fully sure, sorry

Hope I’ve helped you!
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chairandtable123
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hi, im at the end of y13 and am doing edexcel maths

1) gcse maths is very simple base of what you will come across. It all overlaps, I think rerevising the gcse stuff wont be helpful as you basically go over it again the starting exercises of the chapters you go through.

2) nope

3) Your teachers will very likely give you this book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-lev.../dp/129218339X
(as well as the year 2 pure / year 1 stats and mechanics / year 2 stats and mechanics)
If you want a head start, I wouldn't bother with CGP headstart ones, I would start off by reading the examples in each chapter, looking at the prior knowledge checks in the books (gcse stuff), and then starting on the very first exercise.

4) Every question in every chapter has a solution bank (https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com...-maths-year-1/)
so basically a step by step on how to do each question

I dont think over preparing with gcse stuff is helpful, I think starting early and getting a feel for a level maths by going straight into the easier questions of the actual a level book is the best way. ( i wish i did this before i started)


gl
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username3973192
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(Original post by chairandtable123)
hi, im at the end of y13 and am doing edexcel maths

1) gcse maths is very simple base of what you will come across. It all overlaps, I think rerevising the gcse stuff wont be helpful as you basically go over it again the starting exercises of the chapters you go through.

2) nope

3) Your teachers will very likely give you this book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-lev.../dp/129218339X
(as well as the year 2 pure / year 1 stats and mechanics / year 2 stats and mechanics)
If you want a head start, I wouldn't bother with CGP headstart ones, I would start off by reading the examples in each chapter, looking at the prior knowledge checks in the books (gcse stuff), and then starting on the very first exercise.

4) Every question in every chapter has a solution bank (https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com...-maths-year-1/)
so basically a step by step on how to do each question

I dont think over preparing with gcse stuff is helpful, I think starting early and getting a feel for a level maths by going straight into the easier questions of the actual a level book is the best way. ( i wish i did this before i started)


gl
Wooow thanks so much for this detailed response!

The physics and maths tutor site looks really helpful, thanks so much for the link!
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