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Should I take further math

I want to apply to Cambridge to study medicine
I have a sixth form offer for math, chem, and bio
I'm contemplating whether I should add further math onto that
For context, I really like math, but I don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself
Original post by cheesy pizza man
I want to apply to Cambridge to study medicine
I have a sixth form offer for math, chem, and bio
I'm contemplating whether I should add further math onto that
For context, I really like math, but I don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself

If you "don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself", why are you looking to do Medicine at Cambridge? :wink:

From the course page, here (with my added emphasis):

"Most applicants for Medicine at Cambridge have at least three science/mathematics A Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects."

"For 2017, 2018 and 2019 entry, the majority of entrants from an A Level background achieved at least grades A*A*A* (77% of entrants). All of these successful applicants took Chemistry, 98% took Mathematics and 97% took Biology."

Make of that what you will, but it certainly sounds like you would be an outlier if you didn't take a fourth A level. (Although it's clear from those stats that 23% of successful applicants across those years achieved less than A*A*A*, presumably meaning they weren't taking a fourth A level.)
Reply 2
Won't need that for medicine and it's a difficult A level in itself anyway. I'd suggest an easier 4th subject if you want to do one.

Only reason to do it might be if you're not 100% sure you want to go medicine and might be considering a maths degree instead. It would give you options to apply for other degrees.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by DataVenia
If you "don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself", why are you looking to do Medicine at Cambridge? :wink:

From the course page, here (with my added emphasis):

"Most applicants for Medicine at Cambridge have at least three science/mathematics A Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects."

"For 2017, 2018 and 2019 entry, the majority of entrants from an A Level background achieved at least grades A*A*A* (77% of entrants). All of these successful applicants took Chemistry, 98% took Mathematics and 97% took Biology."

Make of that what you will, but it certainly sounds like you would be an outlier if you didn't take a fourth A level. (Although it's clear from those stats that 23% of successful applicants across those years achieved less than A*A*A*, presumably meaning they weren't taking a fourth A level.)
lol good point.

But I don't really understand; do you mean taking FM will make me more competitive if I get a high predicted grade.

Also my school makes us do all of math in y12 and further math in y13. So if I got A* in math, and was predicted A*A*A, would they consider the A* in math or would they just look at the predicted grades.
Reply 4
Original post by cheesy pizza man
I want to apply to Cambridge to study medicine
I have a sixth form offer for math, chem, and bio
I'm contemplating whether I should add further math onto that
For context, I really like math, but I don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself
Adding further maths will add nothing to your medicine application, but spending that time instead doing an EPQ, getting lots of work experience, doing other super curriculars, preparing for UCAT etc will.
Original post by lalexm
Adding further maths will add nothing to your medicine application, but spending that time instead doing an EPQ, getting lots of work experience, doing other super curriculars, preparing for UCAT etc will.
thx for the answer my friend. I will definitely consider this
Original post by cheesy pizza man
I want to apply to Cambridge to study medicine
I have a sixth form offer for math, chem, and bio
I'm contemplating whether I should add further math onto that
For context, I really like math, but I don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself
I’m in year 12 now wanting to study Cambridge med taking bio chem maths and further maths. Like you I liked maths, and I was sort of on the fence of medicine and maths.

From what I’ve hear a lot of med school don’t accept fm as an a level (only accept one of maths and fm). Not the case for Cambridge, but let’s say you needed an offer of AAA somewhere else and you dropped a bit in biology, some schools wouldn’t let you have maths and fm as part of your three.

In terms of workload it’s manageable only if you really like and are natural with maths. I still do loads of super curriculars, volunteer regularly and am looking for work experience (which Cambridge advices but doesn’t need since it’s so hard to get some - other med school are picky about work experience though). I will prepare for UCAT in time (it’s from like July-September so I won’t start yet but I’m trying to familiarise myself with it soon to see what it will be like).

That being said my time management is normally good. Recently I’ve been revising fm much less because I have an awful timetable for it in school but also bio chem maths are the three I really need - I still want and will work for the A* in fm too but subconsciously I haven’t been revising it as much as I should. That’s the issue with taking four a levels, revising consistently for all of them.

If you don’t have a backup plan of like maths, engineering or physical sciences it may not be worth it unless you really love maths and want to continue with it.

You’d already have the three science/maths a levels needed. If you really want a fourth you could do phys too, or something like psychology is normally liked by med applicants. EPQ do if you want, Cambridge doesn’t care much for it but other med schools may be interested and I think (not sure if it applies to medicine) some unis offer a slight grade reduction if you do well in it?

At the end of the day content is tough but it is just more maths rather than super complicated maths.

Idk if I’d change it if I could go back, but I definitely don’t think it’s needed for med school in general or at Cambridge.
Original post by cheesy pizza man
I want to apply to Cambridge to study medicine
I have a sixth form offer for math, chem, and bio
I'm contemplating whether I should add further math onto that
For context, I really like math, but I don't want to put unnecessary burden on myself


I have 2 friends who got in, with just bio chem maths. So its absolutely not a requirement

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