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4 A-Levels with Further Maths

I'm in year 11, and have been accepted at 6th form to do physics, maths, further maths and computer science. I would really like to do a physics degree at Cambridge.

What is the workload like taking 4 A-Levels? Any advice to be as successful as possible? Would love to hear all your experiences!
Reply 1
Hi, I'm in year 13 and for the past 2 years i've studied Further Maths, Maths, Physics and Economics. 4 A-levels can definitely be a lot of work, but if you are strong at maths, then doing further maths makes standard maths a lot easier. Physics is very difficult, and computer science seems ok according to my friends but there is a lengthy NEA
Reply 2
I'm doing maths, further maths, physics and computer science (year 13). I found the workload OK, but that could possibly be down to the fact that I knew most of A level computing already from being a massive nerd. What helped me a lot was to focus on maths mainly to start with. I found that this basically automatically improved my physics skills as at least 50% of the subject comes down to mathematics. In further maths in particular you will basically cover all of the physics mechanics section twice - once for both subjects so it's basically impossible not to improve at it. I had my computing NEA done in just a few weeks but, again, I'm a massive nerd and actually enjoyed doing it.

Long story short, it's very doable and Cambridge is well worth the effort. Good luck mate!
Original post by Hobbitses
I'm in year 11, and have been accepted at 6th form to do physics, maths, further maths and computer science. I would really like to do a physics degree at Cambridge.
What is the workload like taking 4 A-Levels? Any advice to be as successful as possible? Would love to hear all your experiences!
It is more work, however the subjects you have chosen pair well together so you also benefit from a fair amount of shared subject knowledge and the skills align so even the knowledge which is not exactly the same still is beneficial.

It’s quite common and there is nothing stopping you dropping down to 3 at the half way point. Once you know how you are getting on.
Original post by Hobbitses
I'm in year 11, and have been accepted at 6th form to do physics, maths, further maths and computer science. I would really like to do a physics degree at Cambridge.
What is the workload like taking 4 A-Levels? Any advice to be as successful as possible? Would love to hear all your experiences!

Are you aware of Cambridges undergraduate degree structure, in which instead of pure sciences like physics, you take Natural sciences, which is 4 subjects in first year, including maths, and then gradually specialise through the years.

I am absolutely not trying to put you off, I love natural sciences, but Cambridge doesn't do a 'Physics' degree.

In relation to the 4 subjects, I did 4 including further maths and I found it was absolutely fine. The maths, further maths, and physics all feed into each other in some ways which also helps.
Reply 5
Original post by Fibonacci28
Are you aware of Cambridges undergraduate degree structure, in which instead of pure sciences like physics, you take Natural sciences, which is 4 subjects in first year, including maths, and then gradually specialise through the years.
I am absolutely not trying to put you off, I love natural sciences, but Cambridge doesn't do a 'Physics' degree.
In relation to the 4 subjects, I did 4 including further maths and I found it was absolutely fine. The maths, further maths, and physics all feed into each other in some ways which also helps.

Yes, I do know about the Natural Sciences and it looks good for me. Sorry for being unclear. I hear that doing further maths really helps with science at degree level.
Thank you
Reply 6
Original post by Hobbitses
I'm in year 11, and have been accepted at 6th form to do physics, maths, further maths and computer science. I would really like to do a physics degree at Cambridge.
What is the workload like taking 4 A-Levels? Any advice to be as successful as possible? Would love to hear all your experiences!

I do 4+EPQ (your specified A level combo but Chemistry instead of Physics and an EPQ with everything). EPQ was overkill and imo, a complete waste of time because none of my offers required it and that took out a chunk of my time.

As for the workload, I don't do too much at home and I feel like it is manageable. I obviously don't do A level Physics, which from what I've seen and heard sounds hard, but you can focus on that side of things.

Tips to being successful: Innovate, don't follow 😂 (that was a joke).

I understand you are talking about A levels here. So to be successful, manage your time well across ALL subjects (as stupid as it sounds, this is what I felt I should've done. I kinda neglected chemistry as soon as Y13 started to keep up with everything else which I regret but I'm working on it) , prepare thoroughly for all tests, review content throughout the year and smash your admissions tests and interviews.

Good luck!
Reply 7
Original post by vnayak
I do 4+EPQ (your specified A level combo but Chemistry instead of Physics and an EPQ with everything). EPQ was overkill and imo, a complete waste of time because none of my offers required it and that took out a chunk of my time.
As for the workload, I don't do too much at home and I feel like it is manageable. I obviously don't do A level Physics, which from what I've seen and heard sounds hard, but you can focus on that side of things.
Tips to being successful: Innovate, don't follow 😂 (that was a joke).
I understand you are talking about A levels here. So to be successful, manage your time well across ALL subjects (as stupid as it sounds, this is what I felt I should've done. I kinda neglected chemistry as soon as Y13 started to keep up with everything else which I regret but I'm working on it) , prepare thoroughly for all tests, review content throughout the year and smash your admissions tests and interviews.
Good luck!

Thanks :smile:
Do you have any advice for time management and your methods in studying and revising successfully? Any advice will be great.
Reply 8
Original post by Hobbitses
Thanks :smile:
Do you have any advice for time management and your methods in studying and revising successfully? Any advice will be great.

Distribute time equally across all subjects to begin with.

Work ahead of your school so that if you feel that you are struggling with something, you've given yourself that extra time to go through it without falling behind on something.

Maybe create a work timetable?

That's all I've got to be honest with you. The only other thing I can say is be prepared for your grades to drop at the start of Year 12 in your first set of tests because the mark schemes are a bit of a jump from GCSE so it will take some time to get acclimatised with it (took me about 3-4 months but that's because of not much work being done outside of school so if I were to go back in time, I would do the stuff I've told you to do here).

Maths should be straightforward enough. The first few topics are just GCSE grade 7+ standard.

Computing, I'm not sure because our teacher doesn't teach us and we had to teach ourselves the course (my teacher put screenshots of the textbook in OneNote so we just went through those notes individually).

Further Maths, it depends on how you keep up I think and how your school teaches it. Some of the concepts in Further Maths are a bit tricky (as you'd expect), but good teachers will allow you to get past this sticky situation and if they can't help you, there's a wealth of resources online.

Also, when you take Further Maths, different schools do things slightly differently. My school did all of A level Maths in Year 12 and then did all of Further maths in Year 13 and since some of the Further stuff builds on concepts taught in Year 2 Maths (like compound angle formulae), I found this super helpful understanding why something is the case. Other schools do Year 1 Maths and Year 1 Further Maths in Year 12 and then year 2 Maths and year 2 Further Maths in Year 13 so see what your school does.

Physics, I can't comment on but this is the one subject I would say that will have a noticeable drop in your grades in your first set of tests (it was Chemistry in my case) because mark schemes for science subjects because more specific and strict.

The only other thing I would say is, enjoy Year 12 as much as you can, because Year 13 is literally work all the way throughout the year and it just doesn't end. Make sure you take some time off throughout the year to avoid burning yourself out and the final thing left to say is Good luck!
Have you looked at physics at Cambridge? You do know that it doesn’t exist right, and you have to apply to do natural sciences? Most colleges like to see two sciences on your set of A levels and usually chemistry too. I’m not sure what they’d think of your set, they meet the criteria but you’d wouldn’t have that much flexibility in terms of options in the first year without chemistry. Just making sure you’re aware!!!!
Also forgot to mention, doing 4 a levels is absolutely fine, especially if the 4th is further maths and you’re good at maths, it just feels like doing three I can’t lie

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