What do you need to start A-level maths and FM?

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Magnetic-Jump
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From what I can tell, you don't need to know everything in GCSE maths in order to start A-level maths and further maths. For example, adding and subtracting decimals, ratios etc. Also, some of the stuff that you cover on GCSE maths is revised in A-level maths such as surds, indicies etc. This is just from a quick look-through so I may be completely wrong about all this.

Is this true, or do you need to be fluent in all GCSE maths topics before you start A-level maths?

I'm sure some content from GCSE is definitely required such as trig, basic algebra, rearranging formulas etc, but as I said some stuff is covered again such as quadratics.
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bluebeetle
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It will depend in part on how your sixth form / college runs the course.

In my experience, there is some time to rehash GCSE concepts in A-level (like quadratics). However, this time is quite limited, and usually assumes that students do remember the basics from GCSE. Students who come into A-level without a strong understanding of GCSE quadratics work can expect to be spending extra time on homework relearning the GCSE content.

For students sitting further maths - at my school, at least - time would not be wasted going over GCSE content. It's assumed that a further maths student is confident in all the GCSE content, so 'recap' sections of the textbook are often skipped or just given as homework.

Also, you mention that some skills aren't used at A-level (such as ratio and adding decimals). While it's true that there are lots of GCSE skills that aren't directly covered, it will still be assumed that you know how to do all of these things, and these skills could very well be incorporated as part of a harder question. If there are any weaknesses you know you have with GCSE content, it's a good idea to revise them, especially if you're aiming for the top grades. Since A-level can be quite fast-paced, you don't want to have to be revising GCSE stuff alongside learning the new A-level content.
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Magnetic-Jump
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
It will depend in part on how your sixth form / college runs the course.

In my experience, there is some time to rehash GCSE concepts in A-level (like quadratics). However, this time is quite limited, and usually assumes that students do remember the basics from GCSE. Students who come into A-level without a strong understanding of GCSE quadratics work can expect to be spending extra time on homework relearning the GCSE content.

For students sitting further maths - at my school, at least - time would not be wasted going over GCSE content. It's assumed that a further maths student is confident in all the GCSE content, so 'recap' sections of the textbook are often skipped or just given as homework.

Also, you mention that some skills aren't used at A-level (such as ratio and adding decimals). While it's true that there are lots of GCSE skills that aren't directly covered, it will still be assumed that you know how to do all of these things, and these skills could very well be incorporated as part of a harder question. If there are any weaknesses you know you have with GCSE content, it's a good idea to revise them, especially if you're aiming for the top grades. Since A-level can be quite fast-paced, you don't want to have to be revising GCSE stuff alongside learning the new A-level content.
If I wanted to go over the content again then how long do you think that would take? I know almost all the content. Maybe I'm a bit rusty on the very advanced stuff, but the vast majority of the content is very familiar.

I took a look at the Head Start To A-level Maths book and I could answer all the questions, with the exception of algebraic fractions, line graphs and the stats stuff.

Do you think if I spent all day (at least 8 hours which I can easily do due to my empty schedule) I could cover everything by the middle or end of September?

Thank you
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by Magnetic-Jump)
If I wanted to go over the content again then how long do you think that would take? I know almost all the content. Maybe I'm a bit rusty on the very advanced stuff, but the vast majority of the content is very familiar.

I took a look at the Head Start To A-level Maths book and I could answer all the questions, with the exception of algebraic fractions, line graphs and the stats stuff.

Do you think if I spent all day (at least 8 hours which I can easily do due to my empty schedule) I could cover everything by the middle or end of September?

Thank you
If you're confident with almost all of the content in the Head Start book, that's great.

I would advise definitely going over algebraic fractions and line graphs. You don't need to spend ages and ages. Just as much time as you need to be able to answer most questions with relative confidence. If you know they're topics that you regularly struggled with at GCSE, it might be worth putting together a single reference sheet that you can keep in your A-level folder to help when those topics come up. Don't burn yourself out before September by doing hours and hours every day!!

As for the stats stuff, it differs depending on the school, but I know a lot of schools teach most of the pure content first, and don't touch stats until after Christmas. Obviously, this may not be the case with your school, so see if you can find out, but it might be sensible to put off revising the stats content in favour of focusing on the Pure to begin with (unless there are significant gaps in your stats knowledge).
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