maths + further maths workload/difficulty

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Humairazaman
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Hi I'm gonna do bio, physics, maths and further maths from september. In GCSEs, I was aiming for a 9 and I was working at 8/9 in maths before schools closed. I only got to do paper 1 for maths in the mocks right before schools closed and i think i got a 9 in that as i searched up the answers after the exam(it was the nov, 2019 series). I really like maths and I'm willing to work hard at 6th form but I'm concerned as i don't know how hard further maths is compared to normal maths(I've started AS maths content and it seems easy). So, what is the workload like in yr 12 and 13 and how difficult is further maths?
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absolutelysprout
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_gcx Sinnoh perhaps you two can offer some advice on this?
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chapmase
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If you're finding AS maths easy at the moment then you'll probably find further maths fine. Further maths is the hardest A-level, however if you do further maths it ends up making normal maths pretty easy so it kind of balances out. I personally think it's very hard to say how hard further maths is as most of the people who take it are very good at maths so find it fine, but then there's also a lot of people who really struggle with maths so would find it extremely difficult. If you're getting a 9 in GCSE maths now though I don't think you'll have any problems.
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_gcx
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For those very confident with GCSE maths, AS maths isn't that much of a step up. A large proportion of AS is spent recapping GCSE with a little more and catching people up. Personally I wouldn't say AS FM is either. If you do a lot of AS over the summer, the first year will obviously be pretty easy for you workload wise since you won't have to learn it and can just do the exercises as they're set.

People have the most difficulty with some things in the second year. (in A-level maths this seems to be trigonometry and integration in particular) Think the same can be said of FM, (though vectors in AS is finicky) though I'm not sure what topics people particularly struggle with.

In short - if you're doing fine at the moment don't worry, the "gap" between GCSE and sixth form is often overstated.
Last edited by _gcx; 4 months ago
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Sinnoh
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Workload kind of depends on how your school teaches it. Some schools teach maths and further maths simultaneously so that you finish both by the end of year 13, some teach all of A-level maths in year 12 and then all of further maths in year 13. I think the latter is easier in the long run because it gets a lot of the new methods out of the way and it's safer if you want to drop further maths.

Further maths isn't that much of a step up conceptually, there's just more content to do. Realistically you could swap some topics between single maths and further maths. Some FM topics will seem strange and unintuitive when you first learn them, but like any other thing that was once new, you get used to it provided you put in enough work. Towards the end of year 13 the hardest thing for me was avoiding making basic numerical errors when working through questions; the questions tend to be pretty long and you'll be a bit more pressured for time too.
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Humairazaman
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(Original post by chapmase)
If you're finding AS maths easy at the moment then you'll probably find further maths fine. Further maths is the hardest A-level, however if you do further maths it ends up making normal maths pretty easy so it kind of balances out. I personally think it's very hard to say how hard further maths is as most of the people who take it are very good at maths so find it fine, but then there's also a lot of people who really struggle with maths so would find it extremely difficult. If you're getting a 9 in GCSE maths now though I don't think you'll have any problems.
thankyou so much! would you recommend making notes after school or just use school notes and get on with PPQs?
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Humairazaman
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(Original post by _gcx)
For those very confident with GCSE maths, AS maths isn't that much of a step up. A large proportion of AS is spent recapping GCSE with a little more and catching people up. Personally I wouldn't say AS FM is either. If you do a lot of AS over the summer, the first year will obviously be pretty easy for you workload wise since you won't have to learn it and can just do the exercises as they're set.

People have the most difficulty with some things in the second year. (in A-level maths this seems to be trigonometry and integration in particular) Think the same can be said of FM, (though vectors in AS is finicky) though I'm not sure what topics people particularly struggle with.

In short - if you're doing fine at the moment don't worry, the "gap" between GCSE and sixth form is often overstated.
thank you so much! i was panicking as i dont really know if maths is my 'natural ability', i just always try to work hard to get the grades.
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Humairazaman
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Workload kind of depends on how your school teaches it. Some schools teach maths and further maths simultaneously so that you finish both by the end of year 13, some teach all of A-level maths in year 12 and then all of further maths in year 13. I think the latter is easier in the long run because it gets a lot of the new methods out of the way and it's safer if you want to drop further maths.

Further maths isn't that much of a step up conceptually, there's just more content to do. Realistically you could swap some topics between single maths and further maths. Some FM topics will seem strange and unintuitive when you first learn them, but like any other thing that was once new, you get used to it provided you put in enough work. Towards the end of year 13 the hardest thing for me was avoiding making basic numerical errors when working through questions; the questions tend to be pretty long and you'll be a bit more pressured for time too.
thanks! it all makes more sense now
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Theloniouss
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I think it depends on who you are (and which modules you do for FM) more than anything. Some people find it very easy, some people find it more difficult.
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