The Student Room Group

Should I do Further Maths at A-Level

I'm currently a GCSE student and am predicted the following grades:

maths 9
physics 9
electronics 9
computer science 9
biology 9
geography 9
history 9
German 7
English lit 8
English lan 8

For A-Level I have currently picked Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics as I want to do aerospace engineering at imperial college London for university.

However, I am in a low maths set due to poor performance in years 9 and 10 but I locked in to get a 9 in the mock. Since I do not do GCSE further maths as I'm in too low of a set to do it (I know some though) I didn't think further maths at A-Level would be suitable for me as it's a huge step up.

I know further maths at a-level is very hard and since I scraped a 9 for maths in the mock, I didn't want to take a huge risk.

Also, If I do end up taking it, I don't know which subject to replace it for, computer science or electronics. I enjoy computing a bit more but in electronics I got 100 percent on the coursework and the mock so I cant decide.

If you are in college now and went through a similar experience please offer me some advice.

Thanks.
Original post by MarMogul_11
I'm currently a GCSE student and am predicted the following grades:
maths 9
physics 9
electronics 9
computer science 9
biology 9
geography 9
history 9
German 7
English lit 8
English lan 8
For A-Level I have currently picked Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics as I want to do aerospace engineering at imperial college London for university.
However, I am in a low maths set due to poor performance in years 9 and 10 but I locked in to get a 9 in the mock. Since I do not do GCSE further maths as I'm in too low of a set to do it (I know some though) I didn't think further maths at A-Level would be suitable for me as it's a huge step up.
I know further maths at a-level is very hard and since I scraped a 9 for maths in the mock, I didn't want to take a huge risk.
Also, If I do end up taking it, I don't know which subject to replace it for, computer science or electronics. I enjoy computing a bit more but in electronics I got 100 percent on the coursework and the mock so I cant decide.
If you are in college now and went through a similar experience please offer me some advice.
Thanks.

Hi @MarMogul_11 ,

I think you did really well in your predicted GSCE grades. Mathematics and Further Mathematics (especially) is known for being one of the hardest A-levels. What to expect is if you take both Further Maths and Maths, you learn most of the A level Maths content (both years 12+13) in year 12 for Further Maths (AS level).

I'd suggest to take A-levels that you will enjoy. Taking 4 A-levels is harder than the average student who takes 3. Most universities look at the 3 A-levels. I would suggest you look on Imperials website to see if under the requirements it states to have further maths. However, as someone who did multiple A-levels. It is doable to do more than 3, and it's easier when you are doing you enjoy and like the content.

In terms of studying GCSE Further Maths, from my experiences, it only cover the surface level of core maths in A-levels. I don't think you will be missing out on much, majority of people who take maths didn't do further maths in GCSE.

If you think you are struggling with receiving a high grade at GCSE Maths, I'd suggest keeping the A-level in Maths but not to put on further maths.

I think the following combination: Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics is good.
However, if this was me and you really wanted to add further maths I'd do the following combination: Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Physics.

Hope I manage to help!

Good luck with the remaining of your studies!
Kaprice R [3rd Year - BSc (Hons) Forensic Science]
LSBU Rep
Reply 2
Original post by LSBU Student Rep
Hi @MarMogul_11 ,
I think you did really well in your predicted GSCE grades. Mathematics and Further Mathematics (especially) is known for being one of the hardest A-levels. What to expect is if you take both Further Maths and Maths, you learn most of the A level Maths content (both years 12+13) in year 12 for Further Maths (AS level).
I'd suggest to take A-levels that you will enjoy. Taking 4 A-levels is harder than the average student who takes 3. Most universities look at the 3 A-levels. I would suggest you look on Imperials website to see if under the requirements it states to have further maths. However, as someone who did multiple A-levels. It is doable to do more than 3, and it's easier when you are doing you enjoy and like the content.
In terms of studying GCSE Further Maths, from my experiences, it only cover the surface level of core maths in A-levels. I don't think you will be missing out on much, majority of people who take maths didn't do further maths in GCSE.
If you think you are struggling with receiving a high grade at GCSE Maths, I'd suggest keeping the A-level in Maths but not to put on further maths.
I think the following combination: Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics is good.
However, if this was me and you really wanted to add further maths I'd do the following combination: Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Physics.
Hope I manage to help!
Good luck with the remaining of your studies!
Kaprice R [3rd Year - BSc (Hons) Forensic Science]
LSBU Rep

Wow, thank you so much this helps a great deal! I really enjoy maths and I'm definitely prepared to put in more work to get better at it, so I'll wait for my GCSE results and ask my sixth form to swap me onto it when I get them back (in-case I change my mind after results day). I have a friend in sixth form who is doing the A-levels you suggested I do if I do further maths, so I'll ask them for some advice too.

Thanks so much for the help anyway, I'll check Imperials requirements and look for the experience of some current aerospace students there.
Original post by marmogul_11
I'm currently a GCSE student and am predicted the following grades:
maths 9
physics 9
electronics 9
computer science 9
biology 9
geography 9
history 9
German 7
English lit 8
English lan 8
For A-Level I have currently picked Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Electronics as I want to do aerospace engineering at imperial college London for university.
However, I am in a low maths set due to poor performance in years 9 and 10 but I locked in to get a 9 in the mock. Since I do not do GCSE further maths as I'm in too low of a set to do it (I know some though) I didn't think further maths at A-Level would be suitable for me as it's a huge step up.
I know further maths at a-level is very hard and since I scraped a 9 for maths in the mock, I didn't want to take a huge risk.
Also, If I do end up taking it, I don't know which subject to replace it for, computer science or electronics. I enjoy computing a bit more but in electronics I got 100 percent on the coursework and the mock so I cant decide.
If you are in college now and went through a similar experience please offer me some advice.
Thanks.

Aeronautical engineering at A level usually makes offers between 2A* + 2A and 4A* for applicants taking 4 A levels (and either 2A* + 1A or 3A* to those taking 3).

As such, I probably would recommend avoiding taking 4 subjects at A level, since there isn’t really any benefit to doing so and potentially needing to get 4A* means you are going to need to put in a lot of work over the next two years.

Though, if you wish to do so, then by all means - but know that there is no shame in dropping one A level if it gets too much (if and when you cross that bridge, my advice would be to drop whichever of electronics or comp sci you enjoy less).

Having done four A levels (Chemistry, maths + further maths and physics), I can tell you the workload is much more intense than 10 GCSEs ever were. Though, it was manageable given that much of FM can be learnt quickly with ordinary A level maths knowledge. As such, the only cases where I think 4 A levels should be considered are when maths and further maths are being taken.

My experience of FM generally was very good. I enjoyed the course (I did Edexcel with FP1 and FS1 as my “options” papers). For Edexcel, at least, there are plenty of free online resources such as BicenMaths and Physics and Maths tutor, though I believe you can also find other resources on Dr Frost maths and the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) - neither of which I used. Granted a few topics had me bamboozled for days (good lord inverting 3x3 matrices gave me a few aneurysms lol), but it was always very rewarding to finally reach a correct solution in the end.
(edited 1 month ago)

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