Self teaching A Level Further Maths in Two Months Blog

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RSADH
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#1
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#1
Hi,

I thought I’d create a blog documenting my journey self teaching A Level Further Maths in two months (never done a blog but Iv seen a few study threads like this so I thought why not- I think it’s a good way to hold myself accountable).

A bit about me: I’m a current gap year student having achieved A*A*A* in A Level Maths, Physics and Economics.

Today I did around 7 hours of studying and then a bit of planning. I completed ‘imaginary and complex numbers’, ‘complex conjugation’, ‘multiplying and dividing complex numbers’, ‘roots of quadratic equations’, ‘roots of cubic equations’.

Tomorrow I’m going to complete ‘roots of quartic equations’, ‘Argand diagrams’, ‘modulus and argument’, ‘modulus-argument form of complex numbers’ but I’m hoping to up the hours of studying to 10 hours and hopefully cover more topics than this.
Last edited by RSADH; 2 months ago
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RSADH
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#2
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Just to add. Iv seen a lot of self teaching threads where people say they skip the textbook exercises and just do actual past paper questions for each topic.
Iv been doing every textbook question (the exam question practice ones) after I have learnt the theory for the topic but I don’t know if I should just leave this and do actual past paper questions for the topic after learning the theory for the topic and completing a few examples. The reason being people have said the textbook exercise questions rarely come up in exams whereas past paper questions obviously do.

I am using EDEXCEL Textbooks and exam solution videos. Any advice would be appreciated.
Last edited by RSADH; 2 months ago
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JJPSWFC
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#3
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#3
I really like(d) Khan Academy videos for Further Maths because later on some of the topics can be a bit hard to wrap your head around and Khan Academy definitely does at least up to the early undergrad level, not sure after that because I'm still a first-year student but good luck!
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RSADH
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#4
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(Original post by JJPSWFC)
I really like(d) Khan Academy videos for Further Maths because later on some of the topics can be a bit hard to wrap your head around and Khan Academy definitely does at least up to the early undergrad level, not sure after that because I'm still a first-year student but good luck!
Thank you, so far exam solutions has been great but for the harder topics I will try out Khan Academy.
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RSADH
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#5
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(Original post by RSADH)
Thank you, so far exam solutions has been great but for the harder topics I will try out Khan Academy.
Day 2:

14:48 - So far I have done an hour of studying and completed ‘Roots of quartic equations’ including all the textbook questions for this topic

16:05 - I have completed 'argand diagrams' including all the textbook questions for this topic

18:27 - Learnt the theory and completed examples for 'modulus and argument'. In my next session, I am going to complete the remaining textbook exam practice questions. Currently done ~ 3 and a half hours of studying

19:48 - Two questions left for 'modulus and argument'. Currently done ~4 and a half hours of studying

20:49 - stuck on a problem in 'modulus and argument'

21:34 - finally figured out the solution to the question I was stuck on. Moving on to my last topic of the day!

22:00 - got extremely tired and stopped studying. Probably did around 6 hours today.

Tomorrow I am going to do 'Modulus and argument form of complex numbers' (didn't have enough time to complete this today, 'Eulers relations' and 'Multiplying and dividing rules'.
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RSADH
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#6
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Day 3:

Completed 'Modulus and argument form of complex numbers', 'Eulers relations', and 'Multiplying and dividing rules' including all textbook questions. Did 6 hours of studying today but hoping to bring the hours I am studying up to 7 hours. I realised I haven't left the house for three days (oops) so I went for a walk. Probably going to go for a walk every day as it did boost my productivity.

Tomorrow I am going to recap 'Complex numbers' and 'Argand Diagrams' and also learn 'De Moivre's theorem', 'Trigonometric identities with complex numbers', and 'sums of series with complex numbers'.
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RSADH
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#7
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Forgot to update the blog but I have finally finished 'Complex Numbers' and 'Argand Diagrams', and tomorrow I am moving on to 'Series'. 'Sums of series' in 'Complex Numbers' took a lot longer than expected and was definitely hard to get my head around.

Tomorrow I am going to complete 'Sum of natural numbers', 'Sum of squares and cubes' and complete a summary review of 'Complex Numbers' and 'Argand Diagrams'. Currently, been doing 7 hours per day and resting every Saturday, but starting tomorrow I am going to move up to 8 hours per day and still take a rest day every Saturday.

The adjustment from doing nothing productive all day in my gap year, to consistently studying 7 hours per day was quite challenging at times, but I feel I have just about adjusted now and 7 hours per day isn't much of a challenge anymore.
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RSADH
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#8
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Completed 'sum of natural numbers and 'sums of squares and cubes. Did a ton of exam questions for these topics and then moved on to my review of complex numbers and argand diagrams. I reviewed most of complex numbers and argand diagrams, but I have a few topics remaining which I will review tomorrow. I did around 8 hours of studying today and I hope to do the same tomorrow. Tomorrow, I am going to cover 'Methods of differences' and 'Mclaurin series', and complete a ton of exam questions for these topics.

So far, I have really enjoyed how challenging Further Maths can get. Compared to early on in my gap year, where I spent all day watching Netflix, I would 100% choose to do 7-8 hours of further maths every day over that. I think that speaks for itself of how much I am enjoying Further Maths so far.

Today is my final day of studying (I have studied every day for 5 days so far not including today) so hopefully it will be a productive day before my rest day on Saturday!
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ThiagoBrigido
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#9
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Are you planning to study both Further mechanics and statistics as well? If that is the case, I would think that two months is a big ask.
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NHA125
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#10
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#10
this is genuinley so inspirational, i really admire the work ethic. Im in y12 and im doing all of a level maths now, doing all of FM next year, how would you find past paper questions?
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RSADH
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#11
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(Original post by ThiagoBrigido)
Are you planning to study both Further mechanics and statistics as well? If that is the case, I would think that two months is a big ask.
I am planning on studying both Further Pure and Decision 1. I only need a pass (grade E) to meet the conditions of my university offer, so I am going to study Core 1 and 2 up until my exams on the 25th May and 8th June (According to my plan I will get through every topic for Core 1 and Core 2 . I am going slow with the topics on core 1 and core 2 just so I have enough time to know everything about these topics and complete every exam question for core 1 and core 2 before my exams. Then hopefully in my exams because of the time I spent on core 1 and core 2, I should score 20-30 marks on each core paper at least. Meaning to secure a pass (grade E) I would need a minimum of 10-20 marks in Decision 1 and 10-20 marks in Further Pure 1. I'm aiming to meet the marks required for a pass in the June 2019 series but the grade boundaries should be lower than that this year.

From the 8th June to the 15th of June I am going to cover everything in the advanced information for Pure 1 and focus on completing all of the past paper questions for the topics on the advanced information in Pure 1. Then in the Pure 1 exam I should score atleast 10 marks.

From the 15th June to the 23rd June I am going to cover everything in the advanced information for Decision 1 and focus on completing all of the past paper questions for the topics on the advanced information in Decision 1. Then in the Decision 1 exam I should score at least 10 marks.

What do you think - is my plan realistic to get a pass considering the hours and days I am studying (basically Monday-Saturday, 7 hours per day minimum)? Looking at my blog so far, should I speed up the pace for Core 1 and Core 2 topics? Currently, I am completing most textbook questions for Core 1 and Core 2 topics, and completing every past paper question for the topics too.
Last edited by RSADH; 1 month ago
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RSADH
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#12
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#12
(Original post by NHA125)
this is genuinley so inspirational, i really admire the work ethic. Im in y12 and im doing all of a level maths now, doing all of FM next year, how would you find past paper questions?
Thank you, and they're on the edexcel website!
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User1505
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#13
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#13
(Original post by RSADH)
Hi,

I thought I’d create a blog documenting my journey self teaching A Level Further Maths in two months (never done a blog but Iv seen a few study threads like this so I thought why not- I think it’s a good way to hold myself accountable).

A bit about me: I’m a current gap year student having achieved A*A*A* in A Level Maths, Physics and Economics.

Today I did around 7 hours of studying and then a bit of planning. I completed ‘imaginary and complex numbers’, ‘complex conjugation’, ‘multiplying and dividing complex numbers’, ‘roots of quadratic equations’, ‘roots of cubic equations’.

Tomorrow I’m going to complete ‘roots of quartic equations’, ‘Argand diagrams’, ‘modulus and argument’, ‘modulus-argument form of complex numbers’ but I’m hoping to up the hours of studying to 10 hours and hopefully cover more topics than this.
hi im in yr 12 but considering to retake and pick diff a levels could u tell me how was economic and how did u revise for it
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RSADH
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(Original post by User1505)
hi im in yr 12 but considering to retake and pick diff a levels could u tell me how was economic and how did u revise for it
Hey,

A Level Economics was great - it does take a while to get interesting though. Year 2 A Level Economics is much more interesting than the first year. It isn't as mathsy as the GCSE Maths grade requirements make it seem, the most maths you will do is percentage change. The reason I liked A Level Economics a lot was that my other two A Levels were quantitative, so whenever I got bored of doing Maths, I would move on to economics and do an essay which is nice. A Level Economics is very qualitative, you will have to do a lot of essays in each paper which range from 10-30 marks. If you're considering taking economics at degree level, I would avoid retaking a year. Economics at degree level at the top universities is very very competitive, and retaking a year w/out serious extenuating circumstances will put you at a massive disadvantage (something to think about).

I mainly used UPLEARN to revise A Level Economics but I used econpludahl and tutor2u too (I would say 90% was UPLEARN).I made sure I knew the theory perfectly, and then any remaining time I had, I did exam questions (I recommend doing this).

Hope this helps
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RSADH
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#15
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#15
I have decided to update this blog weekly (so every Saturday). I finish studying so close to my sleeping time that I never have any time to update the blog.

Anyways today I did around 7-8 hours covering 'method of differences' and 'higher derivatives'. I completed all past paper questions for these topics (new spec and old spec) and also the textbook exercises too. Additionally, I completed a past paper question that covered various topics in complex numbers.

I will be back to update this blog on Saturday, where I will detail Mon-Fri inclusive.
Last edited by RSADH; 1 month ago
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flaurie
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#16
Good luck! :jive:
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RSADH
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#17
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#17
(Original post by flaurie)
Good luck! :jive:
Thank you so much!!
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RSADH
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#18
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#18
Quick update:

I finished chapters: 'Series', 'Methods in calculus', 'Differential equations', and 'Modelling with differential equations. These chapters were not that hard . Still studying mon-sat, and a minimum of 7 hours per day. Today, I am completing some past paper questions I didn't get around to doing for the topics I have covered so far, and then next week I will be completing 'Volumes of revolution', 'Hyperbolic functions', and 'Roots of Polynomial Equations'.
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tonyiptony
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#19
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#19
Good luck with your journey!

Which topics do you enjoy most so far?
Last edited by tonyiptony; 1 month ago
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RSADH
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#20
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#20
(Original post by tonyiptony)
Good luck with your journey!

Which topics do you enjoy most so far?
Thanks, mostly all it's hard to decide. But I have always loved calculus so defo 'differential equations' and 'further calculus'. Though coupled first-order simultaneous differential equations are so annoying because the questions are so long and if you make a small error early on, you have lost a lot of marks...
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