A Level Physics without maths

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Nikola_Tesla44
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#1
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#1
Hi all, I’m aware that physics requires maths to study at university but that is not my interest. I would simply like to study physics a level as I have a passion for the subject and it really complements my other two choices. I achieved a grade B on the higher paper at GCSE for maths which is the minimum for A Level maths but I still feel as if it will be too hard. However with physics I have a real drive to learn and love the subject, achieving an A in GCSE as well as an A in other logic based subjects. Do you think it’s possible I could do it without maths and get a B/A grade??? If anyone has done it without maths before it would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Sweetyaaa
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#2
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#2
Hi I didn’t do physics without math , but I have a question for you , do you intend to do physics at Uni , if so I would need Math as your A level option. And to be honest if you work hard Math shouldn’t be a huge problem for you
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Interea
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I didn't do physics, but had a fair few friends do it for fun without maths and get good grades at the end. Some did it alongside other sciences, so had more practice with that mathematical mindset, but others did it alongside just essay subjects and kept up fine with enough revision.

A level maths is certainly helpful due to the overlap, but it's by no means a prerequisite - in fact at my school the overlap mainly helped them in maths, since they taught the mechanics in physics first and then just rushed over it in maths because nearly everyone did physics. I think as long as you keep on top of the work and ask for extra help when you need it you'd be fine.
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Nikola_Tesla44
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(Original post by Interea)
I didn't do physics, but had a fair few friends do it for fun without maths and get good grades at the end. Some did it alongside other sciences, so had more practice with that mathematical mindset, but others did it alongside just essay subjects and kept up fine with enough revision.

A level maths is certainly helpful due to the overlap, but it's by no means a prerequisite - in fact at my school the overlap mainly helped them in maths, since they taught the mechanics in physics first and then just rushed over it in maths because nearly everyone did physics. I think as long as you keep on top of the work and ask for extra help when you need it you'd be fine.
Really? I’ve heard so many different things now I’m just getting really confused. It’s a little scary because what if I start it and it’s overwhelming, I have a little over 2 weeks to change if I want to but I worry that’s too little time to really get a good grasp of how difficult it can be. Like I said I got an A in physics GCSE and a low B in maths gcse
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Nikola_Tesla44
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(Original post by Sweetyaaa)
Hi I didn’t do physics without math , but I have a question for you , do you intend to do physics at Uni , if so I would need Math as your A level option. And to be honest if you work hard Math shouldn’t be a huge problem for you
No, I intend to do computer science or computing at university. This is also a bit weird considering maths is usually really helpful to take but I can still be accepted into a lot of universities without it as well as apprenticeships too. I love physics, some on the units bore me like youngs modules and hookes law etc but I really like the look of A2 despite the difficulty. I am a pretty hardworking person but maths hasn’t always been my strongest subject but I would really like a challenge!!! My physics teacher told me to “give it a go” and all the other stuff I’ve seen online has put me off. It probably didn’t help that I looked at an A Level paper before even learning the subject!
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Interea
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#6
(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
Really? I’ve heard so many different things now I’m just getting really confused. It’s a little scary because what if I start it and it’s overwhelming, I have a little over 2 weeks to change if I want to but I worry that’s too little time to really get a good grasp of how difficult it can be. Like I said I got an A in physics GCSE and a low B in maths gcse
That's understandable, I think a lot of people would advise you to do A level maths as well, or to avoid A level physics if you aren't really strong at maths. I do see where they're coming from as the maths ability definitely helps, so a low B might suggest you'd struggle (especially if you had to work really hard for that low B), but I was just giving examples of people I know to say that it's not impossible if you're determined enough to put the work in.

I only did physics A level for a couple of weeks before dropping it, and you're right that it's not really enough time to see whether you'll be able to cope with the maths side of it. If your GCSE maths grade meets your school/college's requirements to do A level physics then they obviously think that you should be able to cope, but you'd be best off asking a teacher early on about what the maths is like and seeing what they think based on your past performance.

Sorry I can't be more helpful though, I'm working purely from my friends' opinions and experiences rather than any direct knowledge!
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Nikola_Tesla44
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Interea)
That's understandable, I think a lot of people would advise you to do A level maths as well, or to avoid A level physics if you aren't really strong at maths. I do see where they're coming from as the maths ability definitely helps, so a low B might suggest you'd struggle (especially if you had to work really hard for that low B), but I was just giving examples of people I know to say that it's not impossible if you're determined enough to put the work in.

I only did physics A level for a couple of weeks before dropping it, and you're right that it's not really enough time to see whether you'll be able to cope with the maths side of it. If your GCSE maths grade meets your school/college's requirements to do A level physics then they obviously think that you should be able to cope, but you'd be best off asking a teacher early on about what the maths is like and seeing what they think based on your past performance.

Sorry I can't be more helpful though, I'm working purely from my friends' opinions and experiences rather than any direct knowledge!
My GCSE maths grade seemed great to me, this is considering I studied a large portion of the year online missing out on lots of detail as all our teacher did was set us MyMaths. I wouldn’t say I really put in that much effort in over the years for maths, although I’ve definitely been getting much better, my teacher for physics told me the first topics we would be going over are density and stress and strain.

I looked over these and don’t feel like they are too difficult but perhaps if I could manage mechanics I would do ok? I really don’t know anymore, for now it’s a choice between physics or history and I would probably be happy with both but feel as if physics would open more opportunities for my certain career path.

I should perhaps also mention I am very good at calculator paper in maths (which all of physics is) I usually scored at least 70% on it however non calculator was where I struggled. I have very good active re call and good logical memory for problem solving, hence my love for coding. At the end of the day it all comes down to what my experience is like as it’s different to any other experience anyone has had in their life.
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Hiim
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#8
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#8
Hello there. I don’t think you will struggle with A level physics as long as you are comfortable with gcse higher maths. The maths in A level physics is similar to GCSE higher maths e.g. trigonometry and exponentials. So as long as you are fine with gcse and understand it, there should be no reason you’ll struggle.
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melonlord.xx
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
Hi all, I’m aware that physics requires maths to study at university but that is not my interest. I would simply like to study physics a level as I have a passion for the subject and it really complements my other two choices. I achieved a grade B on the higher paper at GCSE for maths which is the minimum for A Level maths but I still feel as if it will be too hard. However with physics I have a real drive to learn and love the subject, achieving an A in GCSE as well as an A in other logic based subjects. Do you think it’s possible I could do it without maths and get a B/A grade??? If anyone has done it without maths before it would be very helpful. Thanks.
IDK if this is particularly useful but I'm doing physics this year without maths for a-level (along with bio and chem in order to apply for medicine). My physics teacher said that it would be perfectly fine as long as you do well in gcse maths so if you did, I think you'll be ok as well (:
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Nikola_Tesla44
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Hiim)
Hello there. I don’t think you will struggle with A level physics as long as you are comfortable with gcse higher maths. The maths in A level physics is similar to GCSE higher maths e.g. trigonometry and exponentials. So as long as you are fine with gcse and understand it, there should be no reason you’ll struggle.
I mean A2 looks fairly difficult. aha
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Nikola_Tesla44
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#11
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#11
(Original post by melonlord.xx)
IDK if this is particularly useful but I'm doing physics this year without maths for a-level (along with bio and chem in order to apply for medicine). My physics teacher said that it would be perfectly fine as long as you do well in gcse maths so if you did, I think you'll be ok as well (:
What grade did you get in maths? I have to make my choice by the end of next week
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_gcx
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If you are confident in GCSE maths [edit: missed that you included your grade in the OP] you will be fine. It's mainly people who are borderline in their GCSE maths that struggle with the mathematical component, I think. It doesn't really exceed GCSE-level, mainly just logarithms. It mainly demands algebraic fluency.
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Nikola_Tesla44
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(Original post by _gcx)
If you are confident in GCSE maths [edit: missed that you included your grade in the OP] you will be fine. It's mainly people who are borderline in their GCSE maths that struggle with the mathematical component, I think. It doesn't really exceed GCSE-level, mainly just logarithms. It mainly demands algebraic fluency.
I just think it looks such a drag, I am mad with myself because I know I’m not getting anywhere without maths in computer science. I have down Computer Science, Economics and History and I feel like this’ll get me nowhere.
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_gcx
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#14
(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
I just think it looks such a drag, I am mad with myself because I know I’m not getting anywhere without maths in computer science. I have down Computer Science, Economics and History and I feel like this’ll get me nowhere.
You will be able to get into a computer science course without maths. You will be (maybe significantly) restricted in your choices though.

Having a quick google: Brunel, Aston, Royal Holloway are examples. You can find many others. I didn't read post #5 first of all sorry.
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Nikola_Tesla44
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#15
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#15
(Original post by _gcx)
You will be able to get into a computer science course without maths. You will be (maybe significantly) restricted in your choices though.

Having a quick google: Brunel, Aston, Royal Holloway are examples. You can find many others. I didn't read post #5 first of all sorry.
I mean I have until the end of next week to decide but in your opinion if I did end up adding in Physics would it really help too much? It would then become Physics, Computer Science and Economics. Then again, Eco could be replaced by ICT making it Physics, Computer Science and ICT but I don't know which would strengthen my options. Thanks.
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heccyeah
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You don't need to do both maths and physics - A level physics only uses a few things from A level maths (for example logarithms), and the rest is gcse. The main reason people say you should do both is probably because a lot of courses that specifically require physics also require maths, and because there is a bit of overlap between the two courses.

I think you're overestimating how much unis will care about your subject choices. From what I understand, they don't care all that much what your other subjects are, as long as you have any subjects (and of course, grades) that they require. (And then there's a few subjects that they sometimes don't like, whether that's because it's a language you're fluent in already, it's multiple subjects that overlap too much, or because they don't see it as a very 'good' subject, i.e. critical thinking).
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juicygcse
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(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
I mean I have until the end of next week to decide but in your opinion if I did end up adding in Physics would it really help too much? It would then become Physics, Computer Science and Economics. Then again, Eco could be replaced by ICT making it Physics, Computer Science and ICT but I don't know which would strengthen my options. Thanks.
Realistically the one thing that would broaden your choices is maths, otherwise your options are going to be restricted. By a low B, do you mean a 5 or a 6 (or did you do the old letter system/Welsh system?). If it's a 6, a foundation year in computer science at a better university might be an option. If it's a 5, you might want to consider retaking GCSE maths so that you have a better application
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Interea
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(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
I mean I have until the end of next week to decide but in your opinion if I did end up adding in Physics would it really help too much? It would then become Physics, Computer Science and Economics. Then again, Eco could be replaced by ICT making it Physics, Computer Science and ICT but I don't know which would strengthen my options. Thanks.
Preferably don't do both Computer Science and ICT, there's a risk some unis will see it as not having enough depth (not to mention some unis actually don't accept ICT as an A level for their Computing degree, for example Imperial (although they require maths anyway)).

Physics, Computer Science and Economics will obviously still leave some options shut due to the lack of A level maths, but enjoying your subjects is a key part of doing well in them for A level, so if you like physics you may as well give it a go
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_gcx
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(Original post by Nikola_Tesla44)
I mean I have until the end of next week to decide but in your opinion if I did end up adding in Physics would it really help too much? It would then become Physics, Computer Science and Economics. Then again, Eco could be replaced by ICT making it Physics, Computer Science and ICT but I don't know which would strengthen my options. Thanks.
No not really, it's the lack of maths that'll be your problem. Some universities seem to accept computer science or physics in place of maths, and since you have computer science you tick this box already, I don't think ticking the box twice will do much. You could look if core maths opens any notable options, but really the problem can only be wholly resolved by having A-level maths.

Don't do IT instead of Economics, that will make it even worse if it does anything. It is not advisable to have two A-levels that overlap significantly, there's a risk a university may not consider IT and compsci as separate A-levels.
Last edited by _gcx; 8 months ago
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Nikola_Tesla44
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#20
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#20
(Original post by juicygcse)
Realistically the one thing that would broaden your choices is maths, otherwise your options are going to be restricted. By a low B, do you mean a 5 or a 6 (or did you do the old letter system/Welsh system?). If it's a 6, a foundation year in computer science at a better university might be an option. If it's a 5, you might want to consider retaking GCSE maths so that you have a better application
I got a 6 in maths I think. A 5 is a C isn’t it?
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