xoismsp
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So I'm considering doing something very stupid but I know it will help me in the future and also for some odd reason, I believe I will not completely obliterate my chances of doing well.

I've finished my TAGs and I have gotten consistent 7s (Not fantastic, but I can improve during my a levels and over this extremely long summer I have started) on my maths exams, I haven't put in any effort since I never really been encouraged to do well to be frank, only this year, year 11, have I been told I'm not a bad maths student, quite frankly I believe it. I've had it in me and I know if I tried to work hard and I put in the effort required, I could do it. Initially, I was going to take maths a level because I'm planning on studying physics, mechanical engineering, music or astrophysics in uni, so I wanted to keep my options open. However, after a lot of consideration, I've decided I don't really want to do an a level in Chemistry and rather, I should do further maths instead.

The examining board for both maths and further maths at my school is OCR A and I've heard it's quite tough, however, I'm fine with pure maths because I have a good understanding in the core topics. Mechanics will be okay because I'm will to work for it due to it being a big part of my future, I'm just WORRIED AS HECK for stats, I lost most of my marks here and I absolutely hate it, I would be able to work through the a level stats fine but further statistics may be a nightmare for me.

I need to guarantee a good grade in further maths so I can get into a good uni, preferably Exeter. Essentially I want to take further maths because it will make me stand out and make me more desirable for a position in STEM degrees such as Physics and I think I will enjoy it. Unfortunately, I'm not a maths genius, I'm okay at maths and I would do well if I tried but naturally, I'm only a grade 7 at GCSE, is that even good enough? I'm afraid of losing motivation and not being encouraged by my teacher because I'm not as good as other people in the class. I don't want to be compared to people and maths seems to be such an overly critical subject.

Essentially I don't want to be overly criticised and discouraged because some teachers believe I'm not good enough, I know it's a part of life but only now have I realised, I can actually do maths, I've gone through my whole life believing I was never good enough and kids shouldn't EVER have to feel that way, it was too late to save my GCSE but now that I know I can do it, I want to do the a level.

What do you guys think? If I take a step back, work over the summer and learn the maths a level over the summer, will I be able to do further? And also, is OCR a level as bad as everyone says?

Just a note: I was planning on taking Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Music, however, I may be taking Maths, Further maths, Physics and Music instead.
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icecream14
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I went from an 8 in GCSE Maths (three marks off a 9) and enjoying the subject, to mostly B/C/D during AS and absolutely hating it. So maybe a similar flip process can work for you, where a lower grade in GCSE Maths would not necessarily equate to a low grade in A Level. During the summer, look through the further maths spec and look through some past papers to prepare yourself and decide if you 100% want to do this.
OCR is quite tough, but I am pretty sure all exam boards are pretty similar. I actually prefer OCR mark schemes, maybe cause all my subjects used OCR.
Honestly, if your teachers are not trash (which was one of the main reasons for me hating maths), if you actually put the work in and genuinely enjoy the subject, I say take FM. The good thing about taking FM is that if you keep on top of further maths, general maths seems quite easy to follow through. You can almost say your getting two grades for one subject. However, you HAVE to keep on top of it. Once you start falling behind in maths, it gets increasingly harder to catch up and you can lose interest.

Honestlyyyy, I am big on the whole "you can do anything you put your mind to" motto, so you can do this if you really want to and work for it.
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xoismsp
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(Original post by icecream14)
I went from an 8 in GCSE Maths (three marks off a 9) and enjoying the subject, to mostly B/C/D during AS and absolutely hating it. So maybe a similar flip process can work for you, where a lower grade in GCSE Maths would not necessarily equate to a low grade in A Level. During the summer, look through the further maths spec and look through some past papers to prepare yourself and decide if you 100% want to do this.
OCR is quite tough, but I am pretty sure all exam boards are pretty similar. I actually prefer OCR mark schemes, maybe cause all my subjects used OCR.
Honestly, if your teachers are not trash (which was one of the main reasons for me hating maths), if you actually put the work in and genuinely enjoy the subject, I say take FM. The good thing about taking FM is that if you keep on top of further maths, general maths seems quite easy to follow through. You can almost say your getting two grades for one subject. However, you HAVE to keep on top of it. Once you start falling behind in maths, it gets increasingly harder to catch up and you can lose interest.

Honestlyyyy, I am big on the whole "you can do anything you put your mind to" motto, so you can do this if you really want to and work for it.
Thank you so much! This was extremely helpful! Also what examining board are you doing? And how does further maths normally work, do you do the AS of normal maths in one year along with the AS of further in the first year or do you do the whole maths A level in one year and then the whole further A level in year 2? We only have one school here and therefore there's only one place I can go so I hope I get a good teacher.
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icecream14
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OCR MEI.
if you take FM, most of your timetable would be maths obvs so you would do both throughout both years - so your first option. In our school, if you took FM you had to do an AS for it, idk if this is the same everywhere.
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McGinger
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How to Choose Sixth Form Subjects - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...-your-subjects
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xoismsp
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(Original post by icecream14)
OCR MEI.
if you take FM, most of your timetable would be maths obvs so you would do both throughout both years - so your first option. In our school, if you took FM you had to do an AS for it, idk if this is the same everywhere.
Okay, that sounds better. I was under the impression that the normal a level maths was completed in one year -I've heard about the stories...- and tbh I don't understand the structure of the course.
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nikki.maria
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to be brutally honest, if you were going to do further maths and actually be successful you wouldn’t have made this post. the only people i know who actually got good grades in further maths have basically always been excellent at it. if you only got a 7 in maths, you’ll struggle doing normal a level maths & you’d need to put a lot of effort in to get good grades in that.
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xoismsp
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(Original post by nikki.maria)
to be brutally honest, if you were going to do further maths and actually be successful you wouldn’t have made this post. the only people i know who actually got good grades in further maths have basically always been excellent at it. if you only got a 7 in maths, you’ll struggle doing normal a level maths & you’d need to put a lot of effort in to get good grades in that.
Thank you for your opinion, to be honest, you could be right and it is risky to take further maths but I'm looking to have a career in Physics. I wouldn't think about A level maths if i didn't think I was capable of it. Naturally I'm better at Pure and Mechanics and I've started learning the course and to be honest it doesn't seem as bad as I imagined. I've looked at further maths things and it looks extremely complicated but most things do at first. Quite frankly, I made this post for other people to tell me their experiences and how I could improve. Picking this means a lot to me and I could mess up, you might be 1000% right but I'm extremely willing to put in time and effort and with the problems I have undergone this past year (plus no proper education for home learning, just want to bring that up. I never got online lessons and I've missed a lot of my education and haven't put in as much effort as I should've) and the lack of motivation and discouragement from people who believed I couldn't do anything, I think I've done okay. I'll never know if I could've done better because I'm not sitting the exams but I know for a fact that I didn't give GCSE effort nor did I give it everything I had (This applies to most of my subjects unfortunately). I hope to change these issues and not let my mental health take control of my grades. Although I do appreciate your insight very much.
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xoismsp
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(Original post by nikki.maria)
to be brutally honest, if you were going to do further maths and actually be successful you wouldn’t have made this post. the only people i know who actually got good grades in further maths have basically always been excellent at it. if you only got a 7 in maths, you’ll struggle doing normal a level maths & you’d need to put a lot of effort in to get good grades in that.
I'd also appreciate it very much if you could give me anymore advice on Normal a level maths, so I can work hard at that if I chose not to do further.
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TalkativeJunior
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My school does A level maths in one year and then further maths in the next year but I know this varies from school to school. I think if you are going to take further maths (as long as you meet the grades to start the a level) you could do it provided that you love the subject and want to work hard at it. Those who I know that end up hating maths didnt really like the subject to start with and were just good at it at GCSE. Then when it got hard, they didnt want to work at it because they didnt enjoy it.

You will have to work very very hard though, and further maths isn't necessary to do physics in the future, so dont take it just because of that. It would be better for to do well in another subject like chem and also normal maths than to do badly at further maths.
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xoismsp
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Yeah I'm just taking Chemistry, I also can't be bothered to deal with maths teachers that I can't escape for a really long time. So, I've just decided to save the disappointment and just do Chemistry since teachers affect my subjects and I don't know if I'm willing to commit to it after a lot of thought. Thanks for your reply though.

(Original post by TalkativeJunior)
My school does A level maths in one year and then further maths in the next year but I know this varies from school to school. I think if you are going to take further maths (as long as you meet the grades to start the a level) you could do it provided that you love the subject and want to work hard at it. Those who I know that end up hating maths didnt really like the subject to start with and were just good at it at GCSE. Then when it got hard, they didnt want to work at it because they didnt enjoy it.

You will have to work very very hard though, and further maths isn't necessary to do physics in the future, so dont take it just because of that. It would be better for to do well in another subject like chem and also normal maths than to do badly at further maths.
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