The Student Room Group

Advanced higher Maths/Physics

What subjects is more enjoyable, AH maths or AH physics? I need at least a B and I’m sitting at A1’s in both highers.
It depends on what you prefer, and what you plan to study at uni! AH Maths has a lot of content, but is straightforward enough if you have a strong grasp of everything from Higher. AH Physics requires knowledge of techniques from Higher Maths, but again, with a good understanding of concepts covered in Higher Physics, it's a smooth transition to AH. I've really enjoyed both courses this year and find that they complement each other nicely. I'm studying AH Maths, Physics and Chemistry this year.

The project component of AH Physics was removed this year, but I think it might be back next year. It makes up quite a large proportion of the marks towards your final grade, and requires a lot of work throughout the year, whereas AH Maths is 100% exam-based - might be something to consider when deciding. AH Maths is a very useful qualification to have, so I would definitely encourage you to consider it, especially if you're on track for an A1 at Higher! Physics is more of a bonus, but is really interesting and a lot more enjoyable at AH level than Higher in my opinion. You could read through the course specification to see what topics you'd learn about: https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/AHPhysicsCourseSpec.pdf

Do you have the option to take both? AH Mathematics of Mechanics is also an option in some schools, a third of which is just AH Maths content and the rest covers a lot of the mechanics content of AH Physics, but with more advanced maths compared to AH Physics. AH Mechanics is 100% exam-based as well. Some people take AH Maths, Physics and Mechanics together, as there's a lot of overlap between them, although I've heard some people saying that mechanics is very difficult, especially if you study it on its own (especially without AH Maths).

Overall, AH Maths is maybe the easier option, as once you understand a particular method, it's straightforward enough to apply it to exam questions. Physics requires a lot more understanding and the exam is perhaps less predictable.
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by anonymous750
It depends on what you prefer, and what you plan to study at uni! AH Maths has a lot of content, but is straightforward enough if you have a strong grasp of everything from Higher. AH Physics requires knowledge of techniques from Higher Maths, but again, with a good understanding of concepts covered in Higher Physics, it's a smooth transition to AH. I've really enjoyed both courses this year and find that they complement each other nicely. I achieved A1s in Higher Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science last year, and I'm studying AH Maths, Physics and Chemistry this year.

The project component of AH Physics was removed this year, but I think it might be back next year. It makes up quite a large proportion of the marks towards your final grade, and requires a lot of work throughout the year, whereas AH Maths is 100% exam-based - might be something to consider when deciding. AH Maths is a very useful qualification to have, so I would definitely encourage you to consider it, especially if you're on track for an A1 at Higher! Physics is more of a bonus, but is really interesting and a lot more enjoyable at AH level than Higher in my opinion. You could read through the course specification to see what topics you'd learn about: https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/AHPhysicsCourseSpec.pdf

Do you have the option to take both? AH Mathematics of Mechanics is also an option in some schools, a third of which is just AH Maths content and the rest covers a lot of the mechanics content of AH Physics, but with more advanced maths compared to AH Physics. AH Mechanics is 100% exam-based as well. Some people take AH Maths, Physics and Mechanics together, as it's an excellent combination with a lot of overlap between them.


Im doing AH physics, maths and mechanics.
maths is the easiest from my experience
and mechanics is a nightmare (but I dont have a teacher)

in my opinion maths is the easiest, becasue you just have to memorise some methods and you've passed.
Original post by cantdomathlikefr
Im doing AH physics, maths and mechanics.
maths is the easiest from my experience
and mechanics is a nightmare (but I dont have a teacher)

in my opinion maths is the easiest, becasue you just have to memorise some methods and you've passed.

Yeah, I find maths requires a lot less work than my other subjects overall.
(edited 12 months ago)
Original post by anonymous750
Yeah, I find maths requires a lot less work than my other subjects overall.


this might sound over the top but, could it be the most easiest AH?
Not sure actually - a lot of the people in my class are finding it really difficult, but they got either A2s or Bs at Higher. People who got an A1 at Higher have found it pretty manageable. I think people either seem to understand it, or they just don't get it at all!

Original post by cantdomathlikefr
this might sound over the top but, could it be the most easiest AH?
Reply 6
My problem is I love both ! But I’m only able to take one, my dilemma is that if I’m to take AH physics I have to do consortium which is 30 minutes away from my school. I do honestly prefer physics at the moment but can’t decide if it’s worth the hour long trip when I could easily just do maths at my own school. I’m wanting to go into medicine so they don’t really mind if I have either maths or physics.

Original post by anonymous750
It depends on what you prefer, and what you plan to study at uni! AH Maths has a lot of content, but is straightforward enough if you have a strong grasp of everything from Higher. AH Physics requires knowledge of techniques from Higher Maths, but again, with a good understanding of concepts covered in Higher Physics, it's a smooth transition to AH. I've really enjoyed both courses this year and find that they complement each other nicely. I achieved A1s in Higher Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science last year, and I'm studying AH Maths, Physics and Chemistry this year.

The project component of AH Physics was removed this year, but I think it might be back next year. It makes up quite a large proportion of the marks towards your final grade, and requires a lot of work throughout the year, whereas AH Maths is 100% exam-based - might be something to consider when deciding. AH Maths is a very useful qualification to have, so I would definitely encourage you to consider it, especially if you're on track for an A1 at Higher! Physics is more of a bonus, but is really interesting and a lot more enjoyable at AH level than Higher in my opinion. You could read through the course specification to see what topics you'd learn about: https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/AHPhysicsCourseSpec.pdf

Do you have the option to take both? AH Mathematics of Mechanics is also an option in some schools, a third of which is just AH Maths content and the rest covers a lot of the mechanics content of AH Physics, but with more advanced maths compared to AH Physics. AH Mechanics is 100% exam-based as well. Some people take AH Maths, Physics and Mechanics together, as there's a lot of overlap between them, although I've heard some people saying that mechanics is very difficult, especially if you study it on its own (especially without AH Maths).

Overall, AH Maths is maybe the easier option, as once you understand a particular method, it's straightforward enough to apply it to exam questions. Physics requires a lot more understanding and the exam is perhaps less predictable.
Original post by a_rose6
My problem is I love both ! But I’m only able to take one, my dilemma is that if I’m to take AH physics I have to do consortium which is 30 minutes away from my school. I do honestly prefer physics at the moment but can’t decide if it’s worth the hour long trip when I could easily just do maths at my own school. I’m wanting to go into medicine so they don’t really mind if I have either maths or physics.

That sounds like a difficult decision then! I really enjoy both too, and the two AHs go really well together. If you're going for medicine, then I suppose it doesn't really matter, but do you receive a conditional offer based on your AHs? In that case, maths is maybe easier to get an A in without as much work, although AH Physics is really interesting. However, the hour long trip might be a bit of a hassle.

Presumably, you'll be taking AH Biology and AH Chemistry? Both of those subjects will require you to complete a project throughout the year, which is a lot of work. If you take AH Physics, you'll need to do three projects altogether, which could be very stressful. Since AH Maths is 100% exam-based, you'd have more time to focus on your AH Biology/Chemistry projects, and potentially achieve better grades for a conditional offer. Also, AH Biology is apparently much more challenging than Higher, with a lot of content and memorisation, and a lot more investigative work. AH Chemistry and Physics are really just a natural continuation from Higher, but AH Chemistry is a bit of a step-up, particularly in organic chemistry, and physics is more mathematical.
Reply 8
Thank you so much! I think I’ll just go for maths, I’m doing the science baccalaureate so might do my topic physics based so at least I’ve got a little bit of physics in my curriculum :smile:

Original post by anonymous750
That sounds like a difficult decision then! I really enjoy both too, and the two AHs go really well together. If you're going for medicine, then I suppose it doesn't really matter, but do you receive a conditional offer based on your AHs? In that case, maths is maybe easier to get an A in without as much work, although AH Physics is really interesting. However, the hour long trip might be a bit of a hassle.

Presumably, you'll be taking AH Biology and AH Chemistry? Both of those subjects will require you to complete a project throughout the year, which is a lot of work. If you take AH Physics, you'll need to do three projects altogether, which could be very stressful. Since AH Maths is 100% exam-based, you'd have more time to focus on your AH Biology/Chemistry projects, and potentially achieve better grades for a conditional offer. Also, AH Biology is apparently much more challenging than Higher, with a lot of content and memorisation, and a lot more investigative work. AH Chemistry and Physics are really just a natural continuation from Higher, but AH Chemistry is a bit of a step-up, particularly in organic chemistry, and physics is more mathematical.
Original post by a_rose6
Thank you so much! I think I’ll just go for maths, I’m doing the science baccalaureate so might do my topic physics based so at least I’ve got a little bit of physics in my curriculum :smile:


That sounds like a good plan! Glad you managed to decide - best of luck with it all! :smile:
(edited 11 months ago)

Quick Reply

Latest