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I need A level math, but i took core igcse math

My teacher in year 11 suggested i opt for core igcse maths since i barely passed so i took it, however i realized that i need A level maths and I'm currently in year 12 and will take my AS level exams in about 4 months, I would really appreciate some advice on whether i should take it or not (and if its' even possible for me to self study it)
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by rin_027
My teacher in the 11th grade suggested i opt for core igcse maths since i barely passed so i took it, however i realized that i need A level maths and I'm currently in the 12th grade and will take my AS level exams in about 4 months, I would really appreciate some advice on whether i should take it or not (and if its' even possible for me to self study it)

Should I presume you're not studying in the UK?

Questions:

What do you specifically need A Level Maths for?

Why did you just baredly based core maths at iGCSE?


A Level Maths is different to Maths at iGCSE, so you would need a different approach to studying it. Having said that, A Level Maths is also a lot more difficult and will challenge you a lot.
I have seen people with B grades at GCSE Maths ended up getting A grades at A Level Maths, and I have seen people with A* grades at GCSE ended up getting Cs at A level. So it's possible to turn things around.

A standard A Level would take 300 hours of study + 300 hours of revision. So, on average we can assume you would need 150 hours of study + 150 hours of revision for the AS (although I would argue you should need 1/3 and not 1/2 of the time for the AS material). If you can spare 200-300 hours in the next 4 months, then I suppose it's doable. I am not sure how you would go about this considering it's about 10-20 hours per week.

If you absolutely need the A Level, then you would take it irrespective of whether you have enough time for it or are good enough for it. It's the worst feeling to have to know what "could have been"; if you end up failing, at least you won't regret it. However, that's just my take.

I would also recommend doing a lot of past papers and then referring to the necessary material as part of your revision, and to focus using past papers as a way of studying for the subject. It's probably the most efficient way of studying Maths in my opinion (as well as from various other people).
Original post by rin_027
hey there, thank you for the reply! i forgot to add more information but currently I am not studying in the UK and I am in the 11th grade/ year 12, I barely passed extended math (my premocks in the 10th grade/ year 11**) so my teacher suggested me to go to core, in igcse core math i got a C

I barely passed because I was not able to cover most of the material and I had a lot of gap areas and I was not able to clear my doubts on math.

I mostly need A level math for computer science, as most unis require it, and I would prefer to apply to those that need it (and I just thought A level math would be a useful subject)

I know it is a risky decision to self study it, so I'm trying to keep other options open and wanted opinions on taking A level math

thank you for responding once again, the advice is greatly appreciated

edit: my A level subjects are computer science, english and art (and I'm considering UX design as a possible job, if there's anything else that does have tech and art together hopefully)

I barely passed because I was not able to cover most of the material and I had a lot of gap areas and I was not able to clear my doubts on math.
Well, covering all of the material is kind of important to getting a good grade...
I would still give A Level Maths a go, provided that you are able to do everything on time. 4 A Levels isn't easy and require a lot of prep and study.

I mostly need A level math for computer science, as most unis require it, and I would prefer to apply to those that need it (and I just thought A level math would be a useful subject)
Well I would recommend A Level Maths for anyone who is looking to study computer science at A Level. This then makes me wonder why did you picked English instead of Maths, considering it's a required subject for the degree?
Maths is one of the widely requested subject and can be used in a number of STEM degrees. Other than computer science, you have:

Physics - but you need physics on top

Engineering - along with the appropriate science subject

Biological mathematics and bioinformatics - bioinformatics more so at postgrad level

Maths and stats - even stats degree require Maths and not Stats A Level

Geology and geophysics - although with geology, you could pick 2 sciences and/or maths; geophysics will need maths

A number of life science/healthcare degrees - as one of the 2 science/maths subjects

Outside of STEM, you have:

Economics and MORSE - doesn't even require A Level Economics, just Maths for most degrees

Data science, data analysis, business analysis

Finance, financial engineering, financial mathematics, and actuarial science

The above are worth noting if you intend to do something other than computer science/software engineering.

I know it is a risky decision to self study it, so I'm trying to keep other options open and wanted opinions on taking A level math
Well self studying it isn't easy. Getting a good grade in it is easier than self studying the A Level. You will require a lot of commitment, dedication, and discipline. I do a lot of courses outside of A Levels, so I am used to it. Not many people are though and it takes a while to get the hang of it.

my A level subjects are computer science, english and art (and I'm considering UX design as a possible job, if there's anything else that does have tech and art together hopefully)
Again, why English out of all subjects?
Art would take a lot of time. Even though it is relevant to UX design, it's really not a required subject.
Computer science is good to study for computer science degrees, but it's not a required subject. Maths is required, and you could get in with Maths + any 2 other subjects and not touch Computer Science at all.

Just to point out: UX design does not require you to have a degree in computer science. It's more of a design career than something technical (not that IT related careers require a degree in computer science in the first place, usually). You can get by just by applying for entry level roles in UX (usually asks for minimal entry requirements e.g. adequate iGCSE grades in particular subjects)
If you're looking for a qualification for UX design, something like a Level 3 diploma from a recognised college is sometimes enough. See the following for example: https://www.uxdesigninstitute.com/courses/ux-design

Other careers that involve tech and "art" include:

Product design/engineering for computers

Any form of engineering, since you need to draw out schematics and designs

Digital art/designer

Computer game design

Animator - especially if it's 3D

Graphic designer (although more paper form than anything)

Web designer

Architect - mostly due to the use of computers, not because you need to use computers

Note: if you want to become an architect, you would likely need specific degrees in architecture (at least in the UK you do). I would say it's worthwhile to do degrees in engineering, but it's not strictly necessary depending on the employer and the role. All other roles don't really need a degree of any sort, but it would help to have a portfolio to show off.
Also, at least in the UK, you can do degree apprenticeships, so it saves you from funding yourself through uni altogether whilst you gain work experience and some sort of salary. This is available for architect and engineer wannabes in the UK. Not sure what the case is for your country.

You can google for other careers involving art and computers using keywords such as "list of careers that involve art and computer".
Reply 3
Original post by MindMax2000
I barely passed because I was not able to cover most of the material and I had a lot of gap areas and I was not able to clear my doubts on math.
Well, covering all of the material is kind of important to getting a good grade...
I would still give A Level Maths a go, provided that you are able to do everything on time. 4 A Levels isn't easy and require a lot of prep and study.

I mostly need A level math for computer science, as most unis require it, and I would prefer to apply to those that need it (and I just thought A level math would be a useful subject)
Well I would recommend A Level Maths for anyone who is looking to study computer science at A Level. This then makes me wonder why did you picked English instead of Maths, considering it's a required subject for the degree?
Maths is one of the widely requested subject and can be used in a number of STEM degrees. Other than computer science, you have:

Physics - but you need physics on top

Engineering - along with the appropriate science subject

Biological mathematics and bioinformatics - bioinformatics more so at postgrad level

Maths and stats - even stats degree require Maths and not Stats A Level

Geology and geophysics - although with geology, you could pick 2 sciences and/or maths; geophysics will need maths

A number of life science/healthcare degrees - as one of the 2 science/maths subjects

Outside of STEM, you have:

Economics and MORSE - doesn't even require A Level Economics, just Maths for most degrees

Data science, data analysis, business analysis

Finance, financial engineering, financial mathematics, and actuarial science

The above are worth noting if you intend to do something other than computer science/software engineering.

I know it is a risky decision to self study it, so I'm trying to keep other options open and wanted opinions on taking A level math
Well self studying it isn't easy. Getting a good grade in it is easier than self studying the A Level. You will require a lot of commitment, dedication, and discipline. I do a lot of courses outside of A Levels, so I am used to it. Not many people are though and it takes a while to get the hang of it.

my A level subjects are computer science, english and art (and I'm considering UX design as a possible job, if there's anything else that does have tech and art together hopefully)
Again, why English out of all subjects?
Art would take a lot of time. Even though it is relevant to UX design, it's really not a required subject.
Computer science is good to study for computer science degrees, but it's not a required subject. Maths is required, and you could get in with Maths + any 2 other subjects and not touch Computer Science at all.

Just to point out: UX design does not require you to have a degree in computer science. It's more of a design career than something technical (not that IT related careers require a degree in computer science in the first place, usually). You can get by just by applying for entry level roles in UX (usually asks for minimal entry requirements e.g. adequate iGCSE grades in particular subjects)
If you're looking for a qualification for UX design, something like a Level 3 diploma from a recognised college is sometimes enough. See the following for example: https://www.uxdesigninstitute.com/courses/ux-design

Other careers that involve tech and "art" include:

Product design/engineering for computers

Any form of engineering, since you need to draw out schematics and designs

Digital art/designer

Computer game design

Animator - especially if it's 3D

Graphic designer (although more paper form than anything)

Web designer

Architect - mostly due to the use of computers, not because you need to use computers

Note: if you want to become an architect, you would likely need specific degrees in architecture (at least in the UK you do). I would say it's worthwhile to do degrees in engineering, but it's not strictly necessary depending on the employer and the role. All other roles don't really need a degree of any sort, but it would help to have a portfolio to show off.
Also, at least in the UK, you can do degree apprenticeships, so it saves you from funding yourself through uni altogether whilst you gain work experience and some sort of salary. This is available for architect and engineer wannabes in the UK. Not sure what the case is for your country.

You can google for other careers involving art and computers using keywords such as "list of careers that involve art and computer".

At my school if you get a C below in math you cannot take it for AS/A levels, and if you take core math you cannot take it for AS/A levels as well, my teacher realistically advised me to take core math since I was not doing the best in math so I did, because of this I cannot take it anymore for AS/A levels

initially i chose computer science, english and art since one of my career counsellors helped me choose my subjects and said I could still pursue interior design without math (it was what I initially wanted) but unis that are not top level even require it (I'm also weighing down factors such as salary and demand etc.)

I know it's really late now, and that taking AS level math now would be risky so I'm pretty lost. If there are any courses you know that I can take that do not require maths can you recommend some please?
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by rin_027
I could still pursue interior design without math (it was what I initially wanted) but unis that are not top level even require it

Wait. Interior Design needs A Level Maths?! I'm very skeptical.

I just had a look at Interior Design courses at De Montford and Edinburgh, and they don't even require GCSE Maths!

Unless you've changed your mind about the course and looking to study something which does require A Level Maths?
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by dbhc2411
Wait. Interior Design needs A Level Maths?! I'm very skeptical.

I just had a look at Interior Design courses at De Montford and Edinburgh, and they don't even require GCSE Maths!

Unless you've changed your mind about the course and looking to study something which does require A Level Maths?

oh it doesn't? not even any required A level subject or is it just grade criterias?

Well it was what I initially wanted, but I'm looking at other options as well right now since I (may) not go for it anymore :,)
Original post by rin_027
At my school if you get a C below in math you cannot take it for AS/A levels, and if you take core math you cannot take it for AS/A levels as well, my teacher realistically advised me to take core math since I was not doing the best in math so I did, because of this I cannot take it anymore for AS/A levels

initially i chose computer science, english and art since one of my career counsellors helped me choose my subjects and said I could still pursue interior design without math (it was what I initially wanted) but unis that are not top level even require it (I'm also weighing down factors such as salary and demand etc.)

I know it's really late now, and that taking AS level math now would be risky so I'm pretty lost. If there are any courses you know that I can take that do not require maths can you recommend some please?

At my school if you get a C below in math you cannot take it for AS/A levels, and if you take core math you cannot take it for AS/A levels as well, my teacher realistically advised me to take core math since I was not doing the best in math so I did, because of this I cannot take it anymore for AS/A levels
Would you have problems taking A Level Maths outside of college/school? Usually the entry requirements for these A Levels are set by the colleges, not the exam boards. In other words, if you studied the subject outside of college/school, you could take the exams as a private candidate.

my career counsellors helped me choose my subjects and said I could still pursue interior design without math (it was what I initially wanted) but unis that are not top level even require it
That's correct and I concur with @dbhc2411, degrees in interior design don't require A Level Maths (at least in the UK they don't). It's a design subject, not something that require complicated calculations.

The subjects that do require A Level Maths specifically (at least in the UK) are mentioned previously above. Maths is sometimes used as a "science" if the degree course require 2 sciences e.g. optometry, geology, medicine. See the following for further information:https://www.mathscareers.org.uk/degree-courses-a-level-mathematics/

As far as I know, there's a good number of degrees that won't require Maths, even though I would still recommend it as a subject.

However, I have yet to come across a degree course in interior design that would remotely require maths. This is the same for architecture - it's an art/design degree, not engineering. I would like to see the specific degrees that you're refering to that require A Level Maths for no good reason.

I'm also weighing down factors such as salary and demand etc.
Whilst I appreciate that you are looking at the return on investment in your degree (because some degrees aren't worth the time or money) and that you're trying to be realistic about job prospects, I think it's also important to be pursuing what you actually want to do. Believe me, you don't want to do a job purely because of the money.

I know it's really late now, and that taking AS level math now would be risky so I'm pretty lost.
I don't know how quickly you can cover an entire AS syllabus, but if you can't do it in 4 months then I would try it next year outside of college/school (assuming that you would still like to do A Level Maths).

If there are any courses you know that I can take that do not require maths can you recommend some please?
I am not sure about the degrees outside of the UK, but within the UK there is usually a long list of degrees that you can do with A Levels in any subjects:

Anything in business expect for financial mathematics and actuarial science (for obvious reasons)

Law

Anthropology

Archaeology

Sociology and criminology

Most psychology degrees

Some degrees in creative writing and English literature

Nonquantiative economics degrees

Education

Theology

Politics

Philosophy

Linguistics

Agriculture

Some art and design degrees, including architecture

Some geography degrees (usually ones with emphasis on human geography)

Some history degrees

Film

Game design

Hospitality

Property and urban planning

Journalism

Media studies

Nursing

Paramedic science

Social work


With your existing A Level options and assuming you get high enough grades, you would be eligible for degrees in

Any degree in design (some are picky)

Any English degree

Some degrees in computer science (some universities ask for computer science or physics instead of maths or no particular subjects at all, but it's only about half of the degrees out there).


Also, I don't recommend people doing a degree for the sake of doing a degree. If you look at the job requirements in your country (I do with those in the UK), a majority of the careers out there won't require you to have one. The ones that do tend to be in teaching, academia, healthcare/life sciences. I suppose in one sense if you don't have apprenticeship schemes in your country, degrees would likely be required in areas such as law, economics, engineering, architecture as well.
If you can, I would try to find a website that provides an extensive database of job profiles for your country. In the UK we have sites such as:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers (a government website)
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/sectors
These job profiles go into detail of what we need for specific careers, so they tend to save students a lot of time and grief over what they need to do to get into the sort of careers that they want.
I have seen similar databases for Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. I suppose you can check for a similar database for your country.

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