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Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes

Getting ready for Maths at OU

I am looking at starting a Maths Degree at Open University later this year. I am wanting to take the Intensive start as looking at completing full time in 3 years.

My maths ability is quite high but extremely rusty as I took A-Level Maths and A-Level further maths and got an A in both but we are talking about almost 30 years ago now.

I am wondering if anyone would be able to advise on the best way to get prepared for the courses, I am sure I will pick it up as I remember some things. I have until October so plenty of time to pick it up I would have thought.

Thanks.
Reply 1
Original post by Malrobarts
I am looking at starting a Maths Degree at Open University later this year. I am wanting to take the Intensive start as looking at completing full time in 3 years.

My maths ability is quite high but extremely rusty as I took A-Level Maths and A-Level further maths and got an A in both but we are talking about almost 30 years ago now.

I am wondering if anyone would be able to advise on the best way to get prepared for the courses, I am sure I will pick it up as I remember some things. I have until October so plenty of time to pick it up I would have thought.

Thanks.

Why not do some A level papers? You can find them online. Maybe ask if there's some pre-reading?
Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes
Original post by Malrobarts
I am looking at starting a Maths Degree at Open University later this year. I am wanting to take the Intensive start as looking at completing full time in 3 years.

My maths ability is quite high but extremely rusty as I took A-Level Maths and A-Level further maths and got an A in both but we are talking about almost 30 years ago now.

I am wondering if anyone would be able to advise on the best way to get prepared for the courses, I am sure I will pick it up as I remember some things. I have until October so plenty of time to pick it up I would have thought.

Thanks.


Take a look at the OU student shop and there'll be past papers available for each of the maths modules on the maths degree (except M140 and MU123)
Original post by Malrobarts
I am looking at starting a Maths Degree at Open University later this year. I am wanting to take the Intensive start as looking at completing full time in 3 years.

My maths ability is quite high but extremely rusty as I took A-Level Maths and A-Level further maths and got an A in both but we are talking about almost 30 years ago now.

I am wondering if anyone would be able to advise on the best way to get prepared for the courses, I am sure I will pick it up as I remember some things. I have until October so plenty of time to pick it up I would have thought.

Thanks.

Since there's been a big time gap I'd definitely suggest it might be worth going over some of the GCSE level content (particularly algebra/trig/functions and related topics). Lots of resources for these things online - you don't need to limit yourself to UK specific ones either (e.g. look at various topics from Khan Academy which is/was very US focused before when I've used it).

That said I think if you have some background in the area, MST124 at least is a gentle enough introduction that it's not going to be overly challenging for you. Doing it in parallel with MST125 just means you have to cover the material more quickly but if you're dedicated and focused with your time it should be reasonable to achieve.

Also when I did MST124 at least (and I believe this was the case for MST125 which I was originally due to do but due to an admin error didn't get registered on before the Jan start, as I elected to do them slightly off kilter to give myself some more breathing room) you were permitted the handbook with "special annotations" which pretty much let you write whatever you wanted in and have the handbook with you for the exam (effectively making it open book). The challenge is more that the exam is/was multiple choice so, you really needed to be precise and avoid making simple algebra errors as there were no method marks!
Original post by artful_lounger
Also when I did MST124 at least ... you were permitted the handbook with "special annotations" which pretty much let you write whatever you wanted in and have the handbook with you for the exam (effectively making it open book). The challenge is more that the exam is/was multiple choice so, you really needed to be precise and avoid making simple algebra errors as there were no method marks!


I did MST124 last year and can confirm the handbook is still permitted with "special annotations", however the exam was remote when I did it so everyone was able to have their own notes in front of them.
Original post by Anonymous
I did MST124 last year and can confirm the handbook is still permitted with "special annotations", however the exam was remote when I did it so everyone was able to have their own notes in front of them.


Ah I did it in the last in person exam session before COVID :biggrin:
I might suggest doing some A-Level papers and seeing what areas you're falling short in - then put in the work to iron them out. I would advise against doing the OU ones as they do not provide the mark schemes, however they are good to get a sense of what questions will be on the actual exams.

If you want to go the textbook route, some good textbooks for mathematics which cover mostly everything and can be found relatively cheap 2nd hand are: K.A. Stroud - Engineering Mathematics, Anthony Croft & Robert Davison - Foundation mathematics and John Bird - Engineering maths.

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