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Imperial Computing - Further Maths or STEP?

I'd like to apply to Imperial for Computing (G400), but I'm considering dropping Further Maths (explained below). I'm currently studying Maths (A* predicted), Computer Science (A predicted) and Economics (B predicted). Further Maths was a C predicted. I have a chance to change those predicted grades with more tests on the 12-24th Sept 2022.

The information I got from this post leads me to believe that you don't particularly need Further Maths to get into the course, Imperial seems to mainly focus on the STEP exam, provided you have a high interest in Computing, which I do. If that's the case, why do so many students have it? If someone doesn't have it, why would they pick them over someone who has the Further Maths A-Level? Wouldn't having Further Maths give you a better chance of getting you in/being more competitive over other applications?


I want to drop Further Maths since it's clearly affecting me negatively, and it's clear I'm not going to do well in it. It took me ~3 weeks, with 6-10 hours of paid tuition a week to barely scrape a B in Further Applied and a U in Core Pure. I put everything I had into trying for a passing grade for Further Maths and allowed my grades for other subjects to take a massive drop because of that (Computer Science SHOULD have been an A* predicted, and I could have gotten the A in Econ with enough exam practice, which I had no time to do).

TL;DR: I'm putting way too much work into it, with no results to show for it. I think it's a better bet to work on having 3 solid subjects, with 3 potential A*s, rather than a very shaky B in Further Maths, and As and Cs in the other subjects.

Considering the above, would it be worth dropping Further Maths, and focusing solely on passing the STEP?

Also, is there a number somewhere of how many people are actually in the course without Further Maths, relative to the rest of the course?

If someone doesn't have it, why would they pick them over someone who has the Further Maths A-Level?
STEP assumes content from A-level FM, and is much harder than the exams for maths/FM. If you struggle with FM you would struggle more with STEP. So sticking with FM would be easier/better in your case.
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Original post by artful_lounger
STEP assumes content from A-level FM, and is much harder than the exams for maths/FM. If you struggle with FM you would struggle more with STEP. So sticking with FM would be easier/better in your case.


Thanks for the reply! According to undergrad statistics released by Imperial, it seems that 357/383 offers were with STEP 2, which is based on AS-Further Maths. Only 26 STEP 3 offers were issued. Do you think it would be best if I drop FM, and try studying it privately, in any free time I would now get? Since schools would be focusing on A-Level FM content, which doesn't seem right for me, considering I struggled a lot with AS-FM.

Additionally, why does Imperial require STEP (which assumes A-Level FM), if they don't require FM? Isn't that setting students up to fail the STEP without FM?
Original post by Monitor1221
Thanks for the reply! According to undergrad statistics released by Imperial, it seems that 357/383 offers were with STEP 2, which is based on AS-Further Maths. Only 26 STEP 3 offers were issued. Do you think it would be best if I drop FM, and try studying it privately, in any free time I would now get? Since schools would be focusing on A-Level FM content, which doesn't seem right for me, considering I struggled a lot with AS-FM.

Additionally, why does Imperial require STEP (which assumes A-Level FM), if they don't require FM? Isn't that setting students up to fail the STEP without FM?


No, because STEP is still going to be a lot harder than the FM content. If you struggled with AS FM content why do you think you will do better in an exam based on that but much harder than the actual AS exam?

Bear in mind Cambridge sets offers of A*A*A for maths, and most offer holders will have A-level Maths and FM predicted at A*. Of those, 50% fail to achieve their 1,1 STEP 2/3 condition.

If people who are already predicted the maximum grade and may well get full marks on the FM exam have a 50-50 chance of doing poorly in STEP, do you think it makes sense for you to try and do it?

The STEP condition from Imperial is undoubtedly not designed as a "get out of jail free card" for those unable to do well in FM, but rather for those who are unable to take FM to demonstrate they would more than comfortably be able to deal with that material in spite of the limitations of their schools' offerings.

I really can't see this being a good idea and it seems more likely than not you will just end up potentially getting an offer from Imperial, putting it as your firm, failing the STEP condition and then going to your insurance anyway. You would be much better off putting the time you would be preparing for STEP in preparing for FM while continuing it - or focusing on other unis where FM (and/or STEP) are not a factor/preference.
That definitely makes more sense, yeah. Apart from Imperial, my other choices are Bristol (AAB, Contextual), St Andrews (AAA), UCL (A*A*A). Haven't managed to pick a fourth yet. I'm weighing Warwick in as the final choice, but I'm still on the hunt for a safer backup. Through other statistics that were available, along with their admissions requirements, it seems that Further Maths is less of a preference there. What do you think of those options?

Am I correct in assuming that the degrees would generally hold the same weight as one from Imperial? In terms of employability, etc? From what I hear from others, along with what's available, Imperial definitely seems to be a university that people hold in much higher regard compared to others in similar places (UCL, Warwick, St. Andrews, Durham, etc.).
Reply 5
Original post by Monitor1221
That definitely makes more sense, yeah. Apart from Imperial, my other choices are Bristol (AAB, Contextual), St Andrews (AAA), UCL (A*A*A). Haven't managed to pick a fourth yet. I'm weighing Warwick in as the final choice, but I'm still on the hunt for a safer backup. Through other statistics that were available, along with their admissions requirements, it seems that Further Maths is less of a preference there. What do you think of those options?

Am I correct in assuming that the degrees would generally hold the same weight as one from Imperial? In terms of employability, etc? From what I hear from others, along with what's available, Imperial definitely seems to be a university that people hold in much higher regard compared to others in similar places (UCL, Warwick, St. Andrews, Durham, etc.).

Hi
I know this post trial is a before but. I am in the same position like you. So I am also thinking to drop FM in A-level however I am also wondering if that would reduce my chances to get into top London uni like Imperial, kings . UCL ??
Can I ask what did you end up with ? Where did you secure admission? Did you take FM or not in A-Level ?
Reply 6
Original post by suhan shah
Hi
I know this post trial is a before but. I am in the same position like you. So I am also thinking to drop FM in A-level however I am also wondering if that would reduce my chances to get into top London uni like Imperial, kings . UCL ??
Can I ask what did you end up with ? Where did you secure admission? Did you take FM or not in A-Level ?

Hi, I ended up with 2A*A in Maths, CS and Economics, doing CS at Loughborough. Bristol gave me an alternate offer (which is a long story), which I set as my insurance, and everywhere else rejected me.

Rather anecdotal, but out of everyone in my FM cohort who did it, they only got Kings CS and Bristol Maths & CS. I got LBoro, and anyone else who did FM applying for CS didn't get in.

I only got Bristol and LBoro with everyone else rejecting me. Doing FM will improve your chances if you're doing well with it.
Reply 7
Original post by Monitor1221
Hi, I ended up with 2A*A in Maths, CS and Economics, doing CS at Loughborough. Bristol gave me an alternate offer (which is a long story), which I set as my insurance, and everywhere else rejected me.

Rather anecdotal, but out of everyone in my FM cohort who did it, they only got Kings CS and Bristol Maths & CS. I got LBoro, and anyone else who did FM applying for CS didn't get in.

I only got Bristol and LBoro with everyone else rejecting me. Doing FM will improve your chances if you're doing well with it.

Thank you for the reply. I am still in year 11 and very confused on taking FM. I have chosen Maths/ physics/ Economics and EPQ in computing like AI or cyber security ( of course not yet finalised)
I really want to aim UCL/Kings and that why I am worried that by not taking FM, will demolish my chance to get in to these universities??
Sorry can I ask what do you mean by Lonboro?
Reply 8
LBoro = Loughborough. Not taking FM will harm your chances, and as far as I know, an EPQ isn't worth much to universities.

If you're still in Year 11, see how well you take to Maths in general and have a look at how well you take to Further Maths content. Most schools will have their FM students whizz through A-Level Maths in one year, and focus on FM in the other.

Further Maths is a very hard subject in my opinion, and should only be taken if you're confident you can handle the workload and keep up with it. Most FM students I know end up dropping their 4th subject after Y12 to focus fully on FM. My school didn't let you drop until they were confident that you would do well at FM. If they weren't confident or you weren't doing well, they made you drop it.
Original post by Monitor1221
I'd like to apply to Imperial for Computing (G400), but I'm considering dropping Further Maths (explained below). I'm currently studying Maths (A* predicted), Computer Science (A predicted) and Economics (B predicted). Further Maths was a C predicted. I have a chance to change those predicted grades with more tests on the 12-24th Sept 2022.

The information I got from this post leads me to believe that you don't particularly need Further Maths to get into the course, Imperial seems to mainly focus on the STEP exam, provided you have a high interest in Computing, which I do. If that's the case, why do so many students have it? If someone doesn't have it, why would they pick them over someone who has the Further Maths A-Level? Wouldn't having Further Maths give you a better chance of getting you in/being more competitive over other applications?


I want to drop Further Maths since it's clearly affecting me negatively, and it's clear I'm not going to do well in it. It took me ~3 weeks, with 6-10 hours of paid tuition a week to barely scrape a B in Further Applied and a U in Core Pure. I put everything I had into trying for a passing grade for Further Maths and allowed my grades for other subjects to take a massive drop because of that (Computer Science SHOULD have been an A* predicted, and I could have gotten the A in Econ with enough exam practice, which I had no time to do).

TL;DR: I'm putting way too much work into it, with no results to show for it. I think it's a better bet to work on having 3 solid subjects, with 3 potential A*s, rather than a very shaky B in Further Maths, and As and Cs in the other subjects.

Considering the above, would it be worth dropping Further Maths, and focusing solely on passing the STEP?

Also, is there a number somewhere of how many people are actually in the course without Further Maths, relative to the rest of the course?

If someone doesn't have it, why would they pick them over someone who has the Further Maths A-Level?

STEP is significantly harder than further maths. I know people who had 4 A*s but ended up getting a U in STEP. I would say the A-level maths and further maths exam questions are trivial compared to STEP, don’t waste your time with STEP, and so Imperial Comp sci, if you are struggling with further maths.
If you think you can get the required grades in STEP if you're not good at FM, you are delusional. Sorry to put it bluntly like that.
(edited 1 month ago)

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