The Student Room Group

Further Maths or Physics A Level

Hi all,
I have to make my A-Level decisions for my school soon and would like some advice on picking between FM or Physics for my 4th subject. I'm already pretty certain I'm going to do Spanish, German and Maths and want to go on to do Linguistics (skl does not offer english language sadly). My school makes us pick 4 subjects and then we are able to drop one (not sure if I would or not). How should I go about deciding? If anyone could provide some guidance, as well as some info on what the courses cover, that would be much appreciated
Thank you :smile:
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by qaztcx
Hi all,
I have to make my A-Level decisions for my school soon and would like some advice on picking between FM or Physics for my 4th subject. I'm already pretty certain I'm going to do Spanish, German and Maths and want to go on to do Linguistics (skl does not offer english language sadly). My school makes us pick 4 subjects and then we are able to drop one (not sure if I would or not). How should I go about deciding? If anyone could provide some guidance, as well as some info on what the courses cover, that would be much appreciated
Thank you :smile:


Hey, I’m a year 12 student studying maths, further maths, computer science and economics.

I recommend you further maths.

Further maths is harder than physics content wise (in year two and extending modules), however it’s easier to get a better grade as studying for it is just practice questions. You will cover Pure further year 1 and 2, aswell as TWO extra modules throughout both years (The choices are between Futher pure 1/2, further mechanics, further statistics and decisions)

Physics is a great a level to have, however it’s only really amazing if you plan to go into engineering. Wheras, further maths is kind of seen as like a bonus on top of your of your A levels. If your applying for competitive universities like Oxbridge or Imperial, they both either require or really really (really) want it for courses such as finance, mathematics, computer science, etc

Further maths and A level maths (of course) have great synergy. It would even seem at some points that it’s just one big a level.

I can’t tell you much about physics apart from everyone I know is struggling in both year 1 and 2

Conclusion if you can’t be bothered to read allat lol: FM is easier to get a higher grade in, more beneficial when going into further studies (unless you wanna do engineering) whereas physics is way harder of the rip
Reply 2
Original post by skvsyu
Hey, I’m a year 12 student studying maths, further maths, computer science and economics.

I recommend you further maths.

Further maths is harder than physics content wise (in year two and extending modules), however it’s easier to get a better grade as studying for it is just practice questions. You will cover Pure further year 1 and 2, aswell as TWO extra modules throughout both years (The choices are between Futher pure 1/2, further mechanics, further statistics and decisions)

Physics is a great a level to have, however it’s only really amazing if you plan to go into engineering. Wheras, further maths is kind of seen as like a bonus on top of your of your A levels. If your applying for competitive universities like Oxbridge or Imperial, they both either require or really really (really) want it for courses such as finance, mathematics, computer science, etc

Further maths and A level maths (of course) have great synergy. It would even seem at some points that it’s just one big a level.

I can’t tell you much about physics apart from everyone I know is struggling in both year 1 and 2

Conclusion if you can’t be bothered to read allat lol: FM is easier to get a higher grade in, more beneficial when going into further studies (unless you wanna do engineering) whereas physics is way harder of the rip

thanks for the info :smile: what is the content like in FM?
Reply 3
Original post by qaztcx
Original post by skvsyu
Hey, I’m a year 12 student studying maths, further maths, computer science and economics.

I recommend you further maths.

Further maths is harder than physics content wise (in year two and extending modules), however it’s easier to get a better grade as studying for it is just practice questions. You will cover Pure further year 1 and 2, aswell as TWO extra modules throughout both years (The choices are between Futher pure 1/2, further mechanics, further statistics and decisions)

Physics is a great a level to have, however it’s only really amazing if you plan to go into engineering. Wheras, further maths is kind of seen as like a bonus on top of your of your A levels. If your applying for competitive universities like Oxbridge or Imperial, they both either require or really really (really) want it for courses such as finance, mathematics, computer science, etc

Further maths and A level maths (of course) have great synergy. It would even seem at some points that it’s just one big a level.

I can’t tell you much about physics apart from everyone I know is struggling in both year 1 and 2

Conclusion if you can’t be bothered to read allat lol: FM is easier to get a higher grade in, more beneficial when going into further studies (unless you wanna do engineering) whereas physics is way harder of the rip

thanks for the info :smile: what is the content like in FM?


Currently I’m finding everything relatively easy. I do year 1 edexcel. currently. Theres 9 topics, and 6 of them are independent from A level maths.

2 are on complex numbers
(5/10) difficulty, just the last part of the topic called “Loci in the argand diagram”

2 are on Matrices
(5/10) difficulty, same as complex number last part can be tricky to wrap head around

1 is called roots of polynomials
(3/10) difficulty, last part gets relatively long if questioned on

1 is called series
(1/10) difficulty, literally just need to remember a few rules

1 is called proof by induction
(2/10) difficulty, the funniest topic can be hard to understand one part but once understood it’s the easiest

The other two topics require knowledge from year 2 a level normal maths, called vectors and volumes of revolutions

Heads up though, ive always been naturally decent at maths so those ratings may be bias

As for my modules, I haven’t started further mechanics, I’m a few chapters into decisions and it’s dead easy, borderline gcse computer science stuff like algorithms. Can be vigorous though ive heard toward the end, something called the “simplex algorithm if you wanna check it out
Reply 4
ok, thanks for the ratings, i'm also naturally good at maths so the ratings are probably reasonable
this is really helpful, I'm probably leaning towards FM now, thanks for the insight
Reply 5
Original post by qaztcx
ok, thanks for the ratings, i'm also naturally good at maths so the ratings are probably reasonable
this is really helpful, I'm probably leaning towards FM now, thanks for the insight

Read the specification for FMaths; it varies between boards. Check also whether you get any choice of papers.
Reply 6
Original post by Muttley79
Read the specification for FMaths; it varies between boards. Check also whether you get any choice of papers.

will do, thanks for the advice, my school does mechanics and statistics I think, which I don't think is a problem for me
Reply 7
Original post by qaztcx
will do, thanks for the advice, my school does mechanics and statistics I think, which I don't think is a problem for me

Why not decision - it's a great option. Many schools allow a choice.
Reply 8
Original post by Muttley79
Why not decision - it's a great option. Many schools allow a choice.

they don't offer it unfortunately - it does sound interesting, but there's not a lot I can do in that regard
Reply 9
Original post by qaztcx
they don't offer it unfortunately - it does sound interesting, but there's not a lot I can do in that regard

You could ask about doing it.
Reply 10
Original post by Muttley79
You could ask about doing it.

just checked the spec and we do WJEC so the non-pure sections are stats and mechanics in first half of FM and then either mechanics or stats in second half, so i dont think its really possible to do decision in this scenario
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by qaztcx
just checked the spec and we do WJEC so the non-pure sections are stats and mechanics in first half of FM and then either mechanics or stats in second half, so i dont think its really possible to do decision in this scenario

That's why most schools teach Edexcel .. more choice.
Reply 12
bump

Quick Reply

Latest