What's Further Maths A-Level like? Watch

khawlaaa
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Hi, I'm in Yr 11 at the moment and I'm thinking of doing FM next year. Can anyone who's taking it tell me what it's like? What's the workload like? And how different is it from Maths GCSE? And any other details you'd like to tell me about it.

Thanks!
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Brain Damage
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It's harder and you have to do more work to understand it, but when you're done with it, the normal maths exam is really easy. And you get to look at some interesting stuff you normally wouldn't. Polar coordinates, Euler's Relation, hyperbolics, and matrices.
If you're finding the hardest parts of GCSE maths easy enough, you'll still find further maths hard, but you'll be able to manage it.
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idk01
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If you get an 8 in maths GCSE, you'll struggle. If you get an 9 in maths GCSE, you'll struggle.
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esrever
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Mildly infuriating
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bingbong654
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It's well hard
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bingbong654
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Are you doing ad maths atm?
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GreenCub
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I'm in year 12 and I take Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry and am considering doing Maths at university.

At my school you study all of A level maths in year 12 (except for year 2 statistics) and then study A level further maths from the end of year 12 into year 13. We have 8 lessons of maths in total every week so the pace is fairly fast and it's important to revisit topics from time to time to make sure you don't forget how to do things, but the maths A level should be manageable if you get an 8 or 9 at GCSE.

We've only started a little Further Maths content (complex numbers and some further mechanics) and so far it's not too difficult. There are quite a few more interesting topics in further maths but the most important thing is to be comfortable with A level maths content in order to do well in further maths.

Both A level maths and further maths are very different from GCSE which is mostly focused on basic skills like percentages and ratios with a little algebra and trigonometry thrown in, but the A levels are still fairly computation based and don't have that much actual proof in them.

If you're well on track for a 9 at GCSE, are interested in maths and are prepared to work very hard at it you should be fine taking Further Maths. You could also ask your teacher for advice.
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euphoricat
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Personally, I don't find it any harder than A Level Maths - just more stuff to learn. If you're doing Edexcel, the questions are more straightforward than Maths, and are more tedious than difficult. Once you know the methods, it's really just robotic work...
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GreenCub
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(Original post by euphoricat)
Personally, I don't find it any harder than A Level Maths - just more stuff to learn. If you're doing Edexcel, the questions are more straightforward than Maths, and are more tedious than difficult. Once you know the methods, it's really just robotic work...
I'm doing Edexcel maths and further maths, and even in further maths there's still lots of tedious busywork where you have to show some expression can be written as a quadratic and then "give your answer in the form a plus or minus b sqrt c where a, b and c are constants to be found".

Edit: they actually put quadratics into everything to pad out the questions more.
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euphoricat
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(Original post by GreenCub)
I'm doing Edexcel maths and further maths, and even in further maths there's still lots of tedious busywork where you have to show some expression can be written as a quadratic and then "give your answer in the form a plus or minus b sqrt c where a, b and c are constants to be found".

Edit: they actually put quadratics into everything to pad out the questions more.
If you get to matrices, finding the determinants of a 3x3 matrice is robotic work, so are volumes of revolution, differential equations, hyperbolics, etc. I don't see how it's any harder than Maths, and yeah I agree that there are plenty of proof questions which are god's gifts
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GreenCub
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(Original post by euphoricat)
If you get to matrices, finding the determinants of a 3x3 matrice is robotic work, so are volumes of revolution, differential equations, hyperbolics, etc. I don't see how it's any harder than Maths, and yeah I agree that there are plenty of proof questions which are god's gifts
To be fair, most of the 'proofs' in A level maths and even some of further maths fall into one of the following categories:
  • Show that/prove that this expression can be written in the form...
  • Show that a trigonometric expression is the same as another one
  • Simple algebraic proofs that mainly rely on the fact that you can write even numbers as 2n and odd numbers as 2n+1 where n is an integer
  • Proofs that have already been done so everyone memorises them and writes them in the exam if asked for

There isn't much in the way of 'proper' proofs, unlike what is done in university maths. However the maths A levels seem more designed to facilitate computation based degrees though so perhaps it makes sense.
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bingbong654
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Is proof by induction not in the a level?
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GreenCub
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(Original post by bingbong654)
Is proof by induction not in the a level?
For Edexcel, it's in A level Further Maths but not A Level Maths.
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Aayush :)
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Having finished A Level Maths in 2 terms, the workload is crazy. I can say that much. I spent 10-12 hours on maths outside in some weeks, and more in test weeks. In a class where everyone got 9's, I was about half a standard deviation above the mean (stats joke, I don't know this as fact :rofl). But in all seriousness, I was a little bit above average. The government figure for M/FM combined is 6 hours a week outside of lessons. In my experience, this won't be enough for all but the most productive and/or talented mathematicians if you're aiming for an A*. An A* requires passion, dedication and talent. Especially in Further, but in normal maths also. A grade 9 in gcse maths is merely an indicator that you're well prepared to do well in A Level Maths. It by no means implies that you can even get an A in Further Maths.
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bingbong654
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(Original post by GreenCub)
For Edexcel, it's in A level Further Maths but not A Level Maths.
okay
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khawlaaa
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(Original post by Brain Damage)
It's harder and you have to do more work to understand it, but when you're done with it, the normal maths exam is really easy. And you get to look at some interesting stuff you normally wouldn't. Polar coordinates, Euler's Relation, hyperbolics, and matrices.
If you're finding the hardest parts of GCSE maths easy enough, you'll still find further maths hard, but you'll be able to manage it.
thanks for that!
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khawlaaa
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(Original post by idk01)
If you get an 8 in maths GCSE, you'll struggle. If you get an 9 in maths GCSE, you'll struggle.
(Original post by esrever)
Mildly infuriating
(Original post by bingbong654)
It's well hard
ouch. is FM that awful
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khawlaaa
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(Original post by GreenCub)
I'm in year 12 and I take Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry and am considering doing Maths at university.

At my school you study all of A level maths in year 12 (except for year 2 statistics) and then study A level further maths from the end of year 12 into year 13. We have 8 lessons of maths in total every week so the pace is fairly fast and it's important to revisit topics from time to time to make sure you don't forget how to do things, but the maths A level should be manageable if you get an 8 or 9 at GCSE.

We've only started a little Further Maths content (complex numbers and some further mechanics) and so far it's not too difficult. There are quite a few more interesting topics in further maths but the most important thing is to be comfortable with A level maths content in order to do well in further maths.

Both A level maths and further maths are very different from GCSE which is mostly focused on basic skills like percentages and ratios with a little algebra and trigonometry thrown in, but the A levels are still fairly computation based and don't have that much actual proof in them.

If you're well on track for a 9 at GCSE, are interested in maths and are prepared to work very hard at it you should be fine taking Further Maths. You could also ask your teacher for advice.
thank u for the thorough response, really helpful advice the college i'm going to does the same thing, so i'm glad you mentioned that!
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khawlaaa
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(Original post by euphoricat)
Personally, I don't find it any harder than A Level Maths - just more stuff to learn. If you're doing Edexcel, the questions are more straightforward than Maths, and are more tedious than difficult. Once you know the methods, it's really just robotic work...
reassuring!
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SchmuckOff
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(Original post by khawlaaa)
Hi, I'm in Yr 11 at the moment and I'm thinking of doing FM next year. Can anyone who's taking it tell me what it's like? What's the workload like? And how different is it from Maths GCSE? And any other details you'd like to tell me about it.

Thanks!
I do it at gcse and it hurts. It's like a sold level 11 and this isn't even a bit of the A level course.
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