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A level options

I'm in a position where i have a rough idea of a levels that i could potentially do, which are comp sci (GCSE grade 6), physics (GCSE combined grade 88 and one mark off 98) and maths (GCSE grade 7). Is this a good combo if I was to pursue some sort of degree/career path in computing or computer science?

- I'm also not sure on how the jumps are from GCSE to A level in terms of physics and maths, and even comp sci. I feel relatively confident in my physics ability but maths has always been love-hate and so im steering clear of any thoughts of doing FM
Reply 1
Original post by heebokil
I'm in a position where i have a rough idea of a levels that i could potentially do, which are comp sci (GCSE grade 6), physics (GCSE combined grade 88 and one mark off 98) and maths (GCSE grade 7). Is this a good combo if I was to pursue some sort of degree/career path in computing or computer science?

- I'm also not sure on how the jumps are from GCSE to A level in terms of physics and maths, and even comp sci. I feel relatively confident in my physics ability but maths has always been love-hate and so im steering clear of any thoughts of doing FM

Maths, physics and comp sci are a good combination but be ready to be challenged. They are a tough trio. But then the best people pick them because they are hard! They key to success in all is to keep on top of your workload and practice your maths and coding skills every single day like you might practice a musical instrument.

Good luck!
Original post by heebokil
I'm in a position where i have a rough idea of a levels that i could potentially do, which are comp sci (GCSE grade 6), physics (GCSE combined grade 88 and one mark off 98) and maths (GCSE grade 7). Is this a good combo if I was to pursue some sort of degree/career path in computing or computer science?

- I'm also not sure on how the jumps are from GCSE to A level in terms of physics and maths, and even comp sci. I feel relatively confident in my physics ability but maths has always been love-hate and so im steering clear of any thoughts of doing FM

Good combination of subjects. I did A Level biology, chemistry and maths. With regards to maths, in year 12, our first maths lesson was on differentiation since it was a topic we hadn't done before. We first went through how you find the gradient of a curve. From GCSE, you pick 2 points and draw a tangent. So we did that. Than we did it again, with the points closer. For example, from the x axis, instead of between 2 and 3, between 2 and 2.1. The closer the numbers, the more accurate the gradient. Than the teacher introduced the world’s smallest number, h. The plank constant. This started the whole differentiation from first principles.

It will take time to understand the why is maths, why do you do this when answering this question. It will take time to link your knowledge.

For example, using the discriminant to find the coordinates of a line intersecting a circle. The discriminant, you know it already, is a specific part of the quadratic formula. Its the part in the square root. b^2 - 4ac. Why is it important? If you get a negative number, you cant square root it as there are no real solutions. So the quadratic doesn't intersect the axis. You apply this knowledge to geometric problems as you are involving 2 line equations
The normal use of discriminant. A quadratic and the x axis ( when y = 0)
Using the discriminant to see if a circle and line intersect.

I know you wont understand this, but what I wanted to get across in maths, is understanding the why you do something, so you can link your knowledge.

To quote my maths teacher ‘If a question is tricky, draw a picky’. Draw a diagram. Especially for coordinate geometry, it will help you visualise what the question wants you to do. Especially, when it involves the centre of the circle, tangents, intersections…
Reply 3
Original post by hotpud
Maths, physics and comp sci are a good combination but be ready to be challenged. They are a tough trio. But then the best people pick them because they are hard! They key to success in all is to keep on top of your workload and practice your maths and coding skills every single day like you might practice a musical instrument.

Good luck!

The main thing i've understood from reading different posts or watching videos is that a levels like maths or the sciences are tough but yield good opportunities lol. Thanks for your reply!
Reply 4
Original post by BankaiGintoki
Good combination of subjects. I did A Level biology, chemistry and maths. With regards to maths, in year 12, our first maths lesson was on differentiation since it was a topic we hadn't done before. We first went through how you find the gradient of a curve. From GCSE, you pick 2 points and draw a tangent. So we did that. Than we did it again, with the points closer. For example, from the x axis, instead of between 2 and 3, between 2 and 2.1. The closer the numbers, the more accurate the gradient. Than the teacher introduced the world’s smallest number, h. The plank constant. This started the whole differentiation from first principles.

It will take time to understand the why is maths, why do you do this when answering this question. It will take time to link your knowledge.

For example, using the discriminant to find the coordinates of a line intersecting a circle. The discriminant, you know it already, is a specific part of the quadratic formula. Its the part in the square root. b^2 - 4ac. Why is it important? If you get a negative number, you cant square root it as there are no real solutions. So the quadratic doesn't intersect the axis. You apply this knowledge to geometric problems as you are involving 2 line equations
The normal use of discriminant. A quadratic and the x axis ( when y = 0)
Using the discriminant to see if a circle and line intersect.

I know you wont understand this, but what I wanted to get across in maths, is understanding the why you do something, so you can link your knowledge.

To quote my maths teacher ‘If a question is tricky, draw a picky’. Draw a diagram. Especially for coordinate geometry, it will help you visualise what the question wants you to do. Especially, when it involves the centre of the circle, tangents, intersections…

I think with GCSE maths i never 100% committed myself to fully understanding the topics in the depth that i perhaps had needed to and instead i sort of just stopped looking at something which i couldn't understand fully yet and in a way limited myself, but as you've broken some concepts down here I can see that understanding the why in maths and how it works is key to being successful. Thanks for your advice and words of wisdom!
Reply 5
Original post by heebokil
I think with GCSE maths i never 100% committed myself to fully understanding the topics in the depth that i perhaps had needed to and instead i sort of just stopped looking at something which i couldn't understand fully yet and in a way limited myself, but as you've broken some concepts down here I can see that understanding the why in maths and how it works is key to being successful. Thanks for your advice and words of wisdom!

To be frank, you really do need to be able to nail GCSE maths if you are to fully embrace A-level. It is on a very different level to GCSE. The jump up to A-level is significant so be ready.

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