Only Further Maths and Physics A Level student in my school Watch

examming
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#1
Hi guys,

I’m currently in y13 and I’m the only Further Maths and Physics student in my entire school for A Level ( I’m also doing maths A Level), and I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to do better when there’s no competition (I want to do Physics at uni). It’s even more annoying as my physics teacher isn’t particularly great or encouraging and I’m trying to aim for the top grades ( I’m also applying for Oxford this year). Also the school hasn’t had a single person go to study physics at uni in the last 10 years.
It would be great to hear if anyone else is in a similar situation, or has any advice etc.
0
reply
GreenCub
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by examming)
Hi guys,

I’m currently in y13 and I’m the only Further Maths and Physics student in my entire school for A Level ( I’m also doing maths A Level), and I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to do better when there’s no competition (I want to do Physics at uni). It’s even more annoying as my physics teacher isn’t particularly great or encouraging and I’m trying to aim for the top grades ( I’m also applying for Oxford this year). Also the school hasn’t had a single person go to study physics at uni in the last 10 years.
It would be great to hear if anyone else is in a similar situation, or has any advice etc.
First of all, studying A levels shouldn't just be about competition - it's all about trying to get the best grades you possibly can. That said, you might be interested in looking at harder questions, such as Physics/Maths Olympiad questions (you don't even have to sit the olympiad exams if you don't want to/have time to).
1
reply
vicvic38
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
I was at a school where I wasn't the only Further Maths or Physics student (there were 4 FM students and 7 Physics students) but (and not to toot my own horn here) I was the only one really working anywhere near my level. I'm the first successful Oxford applicant to come from my school (although it is only 9 years old at this point.) So I get you.

Competition with others is not a good motivator, as you are finding out. Self Competition, on the other hand, was part of what got me to where I am. I kept a graphical record of my past paper marks for every paper I did (and I did all of them, over and over again on the old specification.) My goal was never to beat my class mates. It was always to beat myself.

Having Oxford as a goal was also a real motivator. You have to work very hard to get in, and it is a great honour if you do. Making yourself excited over the prospect of Oxford could be useful, to keep yourself focused.

For physics, I recommend the CGP revision guides specific to your exam board, and doing lots of past papers. I got an A in physics in the end, but I do believe if I'd done more papers (I was focused on Further maths as I needed the A*) I would have perhaps gotten an A*.

It comes down to self discipline, and finding enjoyment in the subject you are studying.

Also, My proper study didn't really start until I got my Oxford offer, all things considered

Focus on the PAT (you can prepare without guidance, believe me, I did it for the MAT. Got a 48, but still got in?) Then if you want interview tips, check out my article. If you want further advice, just ask.
1
reply
examming
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by vicvic38)
I was at a school where I wasn't the only Further Maths or Physics student (there were 4 FM students and 7 Physics students) but (and not to toot my own horn here) I was the only one really working anywhere near my level. I'm the first successful Oxford applicant to come from my school (although it is only 9 years old at this point.) So I get you.

Competition with others is not a good motivator, as you are finding out. Self Competition, on the other hand, was part of what got me to where I am. I kept a graphical record of my past paper marks for every paper I did (and I did all of them, over and over again on the old specification.) My goal was never to beat my class mates. It was always to beat myself.

Having Oxford as a goal was also a real motivator. You have to work very hard to get in, and it is a great honour if you do. Making yourself excited over the prospect of Oxford could be useful, to keep yourself focused.

For physics, I recommend the CGP revision guides specific to your exam board, and doing lots of past papers. I got an A in physics in the end, but I do believe if I'd done more papers (I was focused on Further maths as I needed the A*) I would have perhaps gotten an A*.

It comes down to self discipline, and finding enjoyment in the subject you are studying.

Also, My proper study didn't really start until I got my Oxford offer, all things considered

Focus on the PAT (you can prepare without guidance, believe me, I did it for the MAT. Got a 48, but still got in?) Then if you want interview tips, check out my article. If you want further advice, just ask.
Thank you so much for your advice! - it’s nice to know there’s other people experiencing similar things.

When I said competition with others I meant more from a perspective as I can’t see where my ability level lies - so therefore I don’t know where exactly to improve. It just frustrating not to have anyone to talk about Physics or Maths with (especially as my Maths set all seem to hate maths😬) and I’m truly passionate about these subjects.

I’m just trying to focus on my PAT revision currently which (as you said) is turning out to be a great motivator!
1
reply
examming
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by GreenCub)
First of all, studying A levels shouldn't just be about competition - it's all about trying to get the best grades you possibly can. That said, you might be interested in looking at harder questions, such as Physics/Maths Olympiad questions (you don't even have to sit the olympiad exams if you don't want to/have time to).
Thank you!
When I said competition I meant more from a perspective that it’s hard to know where my ability level lies if there’s no one to talk to about the work or see how others are coping with a topic etc. and where I can improve.
I’ll definitely check out the Olympiad stuff tho😋
0
reply
vicvic38
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by examming)
Thank you so much for your advice! - it’s nice to know there’s other people experiencing similar things.

When I said competition with others I meant more from a perspective as I can’t see where my ability level lies - so therefore I don’t know where exactly to improve. It just frustrating not to have anyone to talk about Physics or Maths with (especially as my Maths set all seem to hate maths😬) and I’m truly passionate about these subjects.

I’m just trying to focus on my PAT revision currently which (as you said) is turning out to be a great motivator!
Wow are we the same person? :rofl:

My Further Maths Class seemed to be the same. They were entirely unimpressed when we first learned about Eulers Identity which was disappointing because our teacher was really excited about showing us the derivation and everything. They weren't excited, so I get having no one to talk to. You could try engaging your further maths teacher? I'm sure they love maths, or at least did at some point.

While I won't say it's a good mindset once you get here, but a good mindset for A Levels is to consider 100% the goal. Keep a PLC (personal learning checklist) from the specification of all of the topics examined, and use that to evaluate your understanding. I used to use the specification in conjunction with my revision guide for Physics to make sure I was going over all the bits I needed to.
Last edited by vicvic38; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
examming
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by vicvic38)
Wow are we the same person? :rofl:

My Further Maths Class seemed to be the same. They were entirely unimpressed when we first learned about Eulers Identity which was disappointing because our teacher was really excited about showing us the derivation and everything. They weren't excited, so I get having no one to talk to. You could try engaging your further maths teacher? I'm sure they love maths, or at least did at some point.

While I won't say it's a good mindset once you get here, but a good mindset for A Levels is to consider 100% the goal. Keep a PLC (personal learning checklist) from the specification of all of the topics examined, and use that to evaluate your understanding. I used to use the specification in conjunction with my revision guide for Physics to make sure I was going over all the bits I needed to.
😂 Glad to know there are other maths enthusiasts!!

I’ve created a checklist similar to the one you described for Physics, which I’m using to identify and solidify my knowledge on the less strong topics.

Just out of interest which Oxford college did you get accepted into (I’m guessing for the maths course😂) and any extra oxford advice etc. (I don’t really have anyone to ask about this stuff)
0
reply
GreenCub
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by vicvic38)
Wow are we the same person? :rofl:

My Further Maths Class seemed to be the same. They were entirely unimpressed when we first learned about Eulers Identity which was disappointing because our teacher was really excited about showing us the derivation and everything. They weren't excited, so I get having no one to talk to. You could try engaging your further maths teacher? I'm sure they love maths, or at least did at some point.
I agree entirely with this. I'm in year 13 and my Further Maths class had 16 people last year, but lots of people dropped so there are now only 6. There's one other person in my class who's also applying for Maths at uni, but most of the time the other people in my class are only concerned with learning what they need for the exam and I have nobody to talk to about the maths I do outside of school. It's helpful that one of my maths teachers always tries to tell us about interesting university-level topics that are related to what we're studying in class, though.

(Original post by examming)
Thank you!
When I said competition I meant more from a perspective that it’s hard to know where my ability level lies if there’s no one to talk to about the work or see how others are coping with a topic etc. and where I can improve.
I’ll definitely check out the Olympiad stuff tho😋
I see what you mean - do you know people from other schools who do Physics and FM?
0
reply
vicvic38
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by examming)
😂 Glad to know there are other maths enthusiasts!!

I’ve created a checklist similar to the one you described for Physics, which I’m using to identify and solidify my knowledge on the less strong topics.

Just out of interest which Oxford college did you get accepted into (I’m guessing for the maths course😂) and any extra oxford advice etc. (I don’t really have anyone to ask about this stuff)
I applied to Wadham, but got accepted into Corpus Christi as it was my randomly assigned secondary college. Dodged a bullet there, honestly. Wadham is a mess atm with accommodation issues. Very happy at little Corpo.

My biggest bit of advice for interviews is something I learned from a DPhil student friend who helps conduct interviews sometimes. When you are given an answer don't just go "ok, that's cool." They want to see you actively learning and fitting in knowledge. So if you're given an answer, you want to be actively fitting it in with other information you already know. Or if you can't quite see where it has come from, raise that as a point. They want to see how you'll fare with the tutorial system, and a lot of that is asking questions when things don't quite fit.

If you have any other questions or queries, DM me, and I'll give you a more reliable contact for me (college email probably.) I have a terrible habit of dropping off the face of this site for about 4 months at a time, so that would be a better way of contacting with questions or even just for a chat.
0
reply
examming
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by GreenCub)
I agree entirely with this. I'm in year 13 and my Further Maths class had 16 people last year, but lots of people dropped so there are now only 6. There's one other person in my class who's also applying for Maths at uni, but most of the time the other people in my class are only concerned with learning what they need for the exam and I have nobody to talk to about the maths I do outside of school. It's helpful that one of my maths teachers always tries to tell us about interesting university-level topics that are related to what we're studying in class, though.


I see what you mean - do you know people from other schools who do Physics and FM?
Unfortunately I don’t know anyone else - at all - who are doing the same options as me in other schools
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Midwifery Open Day at Portsmouth Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19
  • Teesside University
    All faculties open Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19
  • University of the Arts London
    London College of Fashion – Cordwainers Footwear and Bags & Accessories Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19

How has the start of this academic year been for you?

Loving it - gonna be a great year (131)
17.99%
It's just nice to be back! (197)
27.06%
Not great so far... (263)
36.13%
I want to drop out! (137)
18.82%

Watched Threads

View All