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A-Level or GSCE Maths

I did GSCE in Maths and got a C in 2007, however due to how long ago this was, I barely remember anything. I am changing careers (from Property Management to IT/Cyber Security) and ideally need better Maths results/strengthen my Maths skills. Is it worth me retaking GSCE Maths or doing an A-Level in Maths?
Any advice/information would be much appreciated.
Reply 1
Original post by jmica
I did GSCE in Maths and got a C in 2007, however due to how long ago this was, I barely remember anything. I am changing careers (from Property Management to IT/Cyber Security) and ideally need better Maths results/strengthen my Maths skills. Is it worth me retaking GSCE Maths or doing an A-Level in Maths?
Any advice/information would be much appreciated.

A-level maths would be more respected than GCSE alone, but isn't necessary. However, if you go that route you would still need to consider the GCSE syllabus before you start, to refresh your memory, as much of A-level maths expands from that. For careers in IT/cybersec A-level isn't needed, so it would probably be easier to focus on retaking your GCSE, and maybe focusing the rest of your time into taking courses well respected by the IT industry: for example, if you got an A/B in GCSE Maths, but also had a CompTIA Security/A + or something like that, you'd be able to apply for and be considered for many more careers than if you just had A-level maths. Obviously it's up to you, but I would say it would probably be more beneficial for you to retake GCSE and maybe consider some IT qualifications.

I hope that helps! Best of luck :biggrin:
Reply 2
Original post by jmica
I did GSCE in Maths and got a C in 2007, however due to how long ago this was, I barely remember anything. I am changing careers (from Property Management to IT/Cyber Security) and ideally need better Maths results/strengthen my Maths skills. Is it worth me retaking GSCE Maths or doing an A-Level in Maths?
Any advice/information would be much appreciated.

Do you just want to have better math skills in general or do you need an actual qualification? If you're applying for a specific course or job they may have a grade requirement in which case that should be your guide, so double-check if that's the case. If not you could look into doing something like functional skills (I don't fully understand how this works but it's equivalent to GCSE math and a lot of people do it as a refresher/if they don't have qualifications from school) or just study some GCSE and/or A-level textbooks without doing a formal course or taking an exam. If you can afford and have the time to take an actual qualification though I'd recommend that, it's always helpful to have - even if it's not a requirement of the job you're going into right now it might be in another one you want to progress to, and being up on the skills will help. Some private providers have a bundle for A-level and GCSE math that gives you a fairly big discount.

I'm in a similar position, also changing careers (mental health nursing to paramedic science), applying to uni but considering an apprenticeship route as well, I have a GED from 2018 which is technically transferable and would likely meet the grade requirements for the apprenticeship (C-grade math & english) but I decided to do GCSEs as well both for the convenience of not having to go through the whole grade transfer assessment/risking finding out I don't meet the requirements further down the line and because my current qualifications were a while ago and I didn't do super well in them so the GCSE courses are a good refresher and I have the chance at higher grade that will look better on my application.

Also seconding the comment about IT qualifications though, sector-specific training is always best - I don't know a ton about IT but I'd imagine there's a fair amount of math involved in those courses, and it will be math that's specifically useful for the IT (I'm finding the GCSE math has a lot of stuff in that would never be used in my profession, which is a bit annoying to study!!)
Reply 3
Original post by {Moss}
A-level maths would be more respected than GCSE alone, but isn't necessary. However, if you go that route you would still need to consider the GCSE syllabus before you start, to refresh your memory, as much of A-level maths expands from that. For careers in IT/cybersec A-level isn't needed, so it would probably be easier to focus on retaking your GCSE, and maybe focusing the rest of your time into taking courses well respected by the IT industry: for example, if you got an A/B in GCSE Maths, but also had a CompTIA Security/A + or something like that, you'd be able to apply for and be considered for many more careers than if you just had A-level maths. Obviously it's up to you, but I would say it would probably be more beneficial for you to retake GCSE and maybe consider some IT qualifications.

I hope that helps! Best of luck :biggrin:


Thank you, that is helpful. I am currently also doing a COMPTIA + Level 7 Diploma Course as we speak. :smile:
I may wish to go into Cyber Security Architect role down the line after going into IT/Cyber Security Analyst role.
Reply 4
Original post by jmica
Thank you, that is helpful. I am currently also doing a COMPTIA + Level 7 Diploma Course as we speak. :smile:
I may wish to go into Cyber Security Architect role down the line after going into IT/Cyber Security Analyst role.

That's great, in that case I would definitely say any disadvantage of doing the GCSE is nullified by those qualifications. They also leave you in good stead if you do go down the Architect route :smile:. Good luck!
Reply 5
Original post by JaceW98
Do you just want to have better math skills in general or do you need an actual qualification? If you're applying for a specific course or job they may have a grade requirement in which case that should be your guide, so double-check if that's the case. If not you could look into doing something like functional skills (I don't fully understand how this works but it's equivalent to GCSE math and a lot of people do it as a refresher/if they don't have qualifications from school) or just study some GCSE and/or A-level textbooks without doing a formal course or taking an exam. If you can afford and have the time to take an actual qualification though I'd recommend that, it's always helpful to have - even if it's not a requirement of the job you're going into right now it might be in another one you want to progress to, and being up on the skills will help. Some private providers have a bundle for A-level and GCSE math that gives you a fairly big discount.

I'm in a similar position, also changing careers (mental health nursing to paramedic science), applying to uni but considering an apprenticeship route as well, I have a GED from 2018 which is technically transferable and would likely meet the grade requirements for the apprenticeship (C-grade math & english) but I decided to do GCSEs as well both for the convenience of not having to go through the whole grade transfer assessment/risking finding out I don't meet the requirements further down the line and because my current qualifications were a while ago and I didn't do super well in them so the GCSE courses are a good refresher and I have the chance at higher grade that will look better on my application.

Also seconding the comment about IT qualifications though, sector-specific training is always best - I don't know a ton about IT but I'd imagine there's a fair amount of math involved in those courses, and it will be math that's specifically useful for the IT (I'm finding the GCSE math has a lot of stuff in that would never be used in my profession, which is a bit annoying to study!!)

Hi

Sorry did not see your response till now.
Good luck with your change of career :smile:

In terms of job hunting and transferable skills, I feel that the jobs and apprenticeship requirements for certain roles request GCSE Maths A-D Grade, but some look for A-B GCSE in Maths and/or A-Levels in Maths and IT. I feel that having better GSCE results in Maths or an A-Level in Maths and IT may beneficial and open the doors to more job opportunities. If that makes sense?
Luckily the field I want to get into does not require strong maths skills, however, I do wish to be better at Maths in case this changes or the employer does a maths assessment (already done one and I did so bad ha - embarrassing).

I feel just from a confidence level to within Maths in case I wish to go from one sector in IT to another or are giving the opportunity to expand/grow my experience/career within the IT/Cyber Security field.

Yes, definitely, apprenticeships seems the way forward if no direct experience. Good Luck.
Reply 6
Original post by {Moss}
That's great, in that case I would definitely say any disadvantage of doing the GCSE is nullified by those qualifications. They also leave you in good stead if you do go down the Architect route :smile:. Good luck!

Thank you so much, and you to with whatever you wish to do :smile:
Original post by jmica
I did GSCE in Maths and got a C in 2007, however due to how long ago this was, I barely remember anything. I am changing careers (from Property Management to IT/Cyber Security) and ideally need better Maths results/strengthen my Maths skills. Is it worth me retaking GSCE Maths or doing an A-Level in Maths?
Any advice/information would be much appreciated.

You're in luck, as I have all the past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports for GCSE and IGCSE Maths as well as A-Level Maths and Further Maths. I can send them to you, if you PM me. :smile:

I won't be too difficult with the resources online, and also some YouTube channels presenting the entire topics with breakdown in understanding proving vital to one's success. :wink:

Pearson Edexcel is the most popular board. You should be able to get a 7 with ease, more likely 8 or 9.

Then it is up to you whether you want to do A-Level Maths, Further Maths and IT!!! :biggrin: lol

Here is a centre which accepts Private Candidates or otherwise known as External Candidates:

Campbell Harris College in Kensington, London is a short walk from High Street Kensington tube station.

Photo ID document (passport, driving licence or national photo ID card)

Passport-size photograph

Fees payable by card (not American Express) or cash.

Drop-in time for exam registration is between 1.00pm 2.00pm Monday to Friday.

The exams are held at a huge hall:

St Mary Abbots Centre

Vicarage Gate

London W8 4HN

This venue is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Campbell Harris (off Kensington Church Street).

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/how-to-register
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by thegeek888
You're in luck, as I have all the past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports for GCSE and IGCSE Maths as well as A-Level Maths and Further Maths. I can send them to you, if you PM me. :smile:

I won't be too difficult with the resources online, and also some YouTube channels presenting the entire topics with breakdown in understanding proving vital to one's success. :wink:

Pearson Edexcel is the most popular board. You should be able to get a 7 with ease, more likely 8 or 9.

Then it is up to you whether you want to do A-Level Maths, Further Maths and IT!!! :biggrin: lol

Here is a centre which accepts Private Candidates or otherwise known as External Candidates:

Campbell Harris College in Kensington, London is a short walk from High Street Kensington tube station.

Photo ID document (passport, driving licence or national photo ID card)

Passport-size photograph

Fees payable by card (not American Express) or cash.

Drop-in time for exam registration is between 1.00pm 2.00pm Monday to Friday.

The exams are held at a huge hall:

St Mary Abbots Centre

Vicarage Gate

London W8 4HN

This venue is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Campbell Harris (off Kensington Church Street).

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/how-to-register


Thank you so much, this is wonderful. Yes please. I have tried to private message you but as I am new, I am required to wait. Hopefully, I can message you later today or tomorrow. :smile:

I wish to be sent (once I have messaged you) the following please:
Past papers
Mark schemes
Examiner reports
All for both GCSE, and A-Level Maths please
Reply 9
Original post by thegeek888
You're in luck, as I have all the past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports for GCSE and IGCSE Maths as well as A-Level Maths and Further Maths. I can send them to you, if you PM me. :smile:

I won't be too difficult with the resources online, and also some YouTube channels presenting the entire topics with breakdown in understanding proving vital to one's success. :wink:

Pearson Edexcel is the most popular board. You should be able to get a 7 with ease, more likely 8 or 9.

Then it is up to you whether you want to do A-Level Maths, Further Maths and IT!!! :biggrin: lol

Here is a centre which accepts Private Candidates or otherwise known as External Candidates:

Campbell Harris College in Kensington, London is a short walk from High Street Kensington tube station.

Photo ID document (passport, driving licence or national photo ID card)

Passport-size photograph

Fees payable by card (not American Express) or cash.

Drop-in time for exam registration is between 1.00pm 2.00pm Monday to Friday.

The exams are held at a huge hall:

St Mary Abbots Centre

Vicarage Gate

London W8 4HN

This venue is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Campbell Harris (off Kensington Church Street).

https://www.campbellharris.co.uk/how-to-register


Thank you so much, received your private message but still can't respond yet. Hopefully they will unlock that feature shortly. Just wanted to say thank you regardless
Original post by jmica
Thank you so much, received your private message but still can't respond yet. Hopefully they will unlock that feature shortly. Just wanted to say thank you regardless

You might do Further Maths once you're done with Maths. :smile: lol
Reply 11
Original post by thegeek888
You might do Further Maths once you're done with Maths. :smile: lol


Agreed, something I briefly looked into.

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