The Student Room Group

A Level Physics

I achieved a 9 in my maths GCSE (OCR) and an 8 in my Physics GCSE (OCR). I am trying very hard to not sound cocky here but I believe my maths skills are better than most if not all in my year group. If I put in the hard work, how much of an advantage does this give me when doing A Level Physics, or is it more than just maths skills.
Reply 1
So you probably won't have any issues with calculation questions once you know what to do in them, but yes A-level physics is more than just maths skills. Many of the marks in the exam come from being specific and strictly keeping to what's relevant. In GCSE if you were knowledgeable you could feasibly improvise a 3-line answer to an 'explain' question and get the marks along the way, because the mark schemes make a lot of allowances for alternative answers. In A-level this isn't the case - it's very frustrating when what you've written is technically correct but you don't get the marks.

And even if you are good at maths some topics can still take a while to get your head around, particularly with circuit problems which can be deceptively complicated.
How do u do it how u getting a 9 in maths got any tips😩
Reply 3
Original post by Sinnoh
So you probably won't have any issues with calculation questions once you know what to do in them, but yes A-level physics is more than just maths skills. Many of the marks in the exam come from being specific and strictly keeping to what's relevant. In GCSE if you were knowledgeable you could feasibly improvise a 3-line answer to an 'explain' question and get the marks along the way, because the mark schemes make a lot of allowances for alternative answers. In A-level this isn't the case - it's very frustrating when what you've written is technically correct but you don't get the marks.

And even if you are good at maths some topics can still take a while to get your head around, particularly with circuit problems which can be deceptively complicated.


Thank you for replying, I have looked at some circuit stuff and it does look quite puzzling!
Reply 4
Original post by Unrare786
How do u do it how u getting a 9 in maths got any tips😩


Firstly I’d make sure you understand all the basics e.g factorising, expanding, solving equations, setting up equations, and more. Once you’ve nailed down the basics I’d recommend making sure you understand those harder Grade 8-9 topics outlined on your exam board because that’s really what Seperates those grade 8 students and those grade 9 students. I do OCR and dropped 18 marks out of 300 because I was fairly confident on every topic on the specification, obviously you do not need to be this prepared for a 9 as it was way over the boundary but it would help. Finally, past paper galore. I believe I printed out every single past paper available from my exam board, I’m not sure what exam board you do but once you understand those 8-9 topics you can most likely get 80%+ on most papers even 85%+ which will put you on track for a 9. In my case I’ve always had a passion for maths and averaged 94%+ on my papers but you do not need percentages this high for a 9.
I failed foundation maths and will resit it
I’ve never passed a maths paper what are ur tips for someone like me who Just wants a pass soo bad
Thanks for the reply
Reply 6
Original post by Unrare786
I failed foundation maths and will resit it
I’ve never passed a maths paper what are ur tips for someone like me who Just wants a pass soo bad
Thanks for the reply


Could you make a separate thread for this please?
Original post by JG23
I achieved a 9 in my maths GCSE (OCR) and an 8 in my Physics GCSE (OCR). I am trying very hard to not sound cocky here but I believe my maths skills are better than most if not all in my year group. If I put in the hard work, how much of an advantage does this give me when doing A Level Physics, or is it more than just maths skills.


Well done for the grade 9 :smile: It's a lot more than just maths skills- It humbled me super fast at the start of year 12. You can be completely fine with maths like rearranging equations and putting numbers into a calculator but that won't get you anywhere if you don't even understand the question. The problem with physics isn't that the content is hard, it's the weird questions that throw people off.
If you're doing A level maths, you'll kind of have an advantage over them when it comes to mechanics, because mechanics takes up like half of the physics topics.
Good luck :smile:
Reply 8
Original post by greentrea
Well done for the grade 9 :smile: It's a lot more than just maths skills- It humbled me super fast at the start of year 12. You can be completely fine with maths like rearranging equations and putting numbers into a calculator but that won't get you anywhere if you don't even understand the question. The problem with physics isn't that the content is hard, it's the weird questions that throw people off.
If you're doing A level maths, you'll kind of have an advantage over them when it comes to mechanics, because mechanics takes up like half of the physics topics.
Good luck :smile:


Thank you!!! I am going into it with the most open mind possible preparing myself to be slapped across the face tbh, I am doing a level maths so hopefully that helps out !

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