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    Hi there

    I would like to do a physics course via the OU which obviously requires a great deal of Maths. As I haven't touched Maths since GCSE (i'm now 34), I was advised to start with MU120 and then MST121 and then Physics (plus another higher Maths level for advanced Physics). I would like to avoid 2 years of foundation Maths before starting Physics. I've had a look at MU120 and there's a whole host of stuff there I don't know but it doesn't look too bad to learn. My question is, therefore; do you think it's possible/realistic to go straight from GCSE Maths to MST121 (skipping MU120) if I do a couple of months prep and work extremely hard during the course (i'll also be working full-time)? Or is this totally unrealistic. I had a look at the sample papers and it was ALL way over my head. However, i'm always willing to put in the time/effort. I'm getting on a bit now so really would prefer to avoid 2 yrs of foundation.

    Any feedback from students with experience of MST121 would be greatfully appreciated.

    Many thanks, Jon (Mod Edit - Please don't include email or other personal contact details in public posts. Thanks)
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    I've just done MST121 this year and, yeah, you can definitely do it from GCSE maths if it's still fresh in your mind. A few weeks before the course starts, they give you quite a substantial booklet with lots of "things you need to know" type stuff, which was largely just GCSE material with some new things thrown in (which get covered again in the real course anyway). MST121 doesn't have an exam, which means you can do all the assignments with the books in front of you. It does cover around 85% of A-level maths calculus (which is arguably the hardest topic), so you can't take it lightly.
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    That's great, thanks. My GCSE's were 20 yrs ago so any maths skills I did have are now non-existent. If they dish out prep study which are not pre-requisites, i.e. it’s possible to self-study requirements before the course starts, then that’s fine by me.

    I would still be interested in hearing from someone else with experience of MST121 to reinforce what you’ve told me before I register on the course.

    Many thanks,
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    There are plenty of reviews somewhere on the website from people who've done the course some of which are from people in your position (not having done maths for 20 years). The pass mark is only around 40% and there's no grading (which means it makes no real difference whether you got 90% or 50%).
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    strauss_jon,

    Swayum is a capable mathematician and it is not surprising that he breezed through this course. My wife did MST121 after taking AS and A2 mathematics and AS further mathematics and, although she also found it easy, I think she would have really struggled if she was in your position.

    What grade did you get at GCSE? If it was lower than an A, I think you should do MU120 first.
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    (Original post by strauss_jon)
    Hi there

    I would like to do a physics course via the OU which obviously requires a great deal of Maths. As I haven't touched Maths since GCSE (i'm now 34), I was advised to start with MU120 and then MST121 and then Physics (plus another higher Maths level for advanced Physics). I would like to avoid 2 years of foundation Maths before starting Physics. I've had a look at MU120 and there's a whole host of stuff there I don't know but it doesn't look too bad to learn. My question is, therefore; do you think it's possible/realistic to go straight from GCSE Maths to MST121 (skipping MU120) if I do a couple of months prep and work extremely hard during the course (i'll also be working full-time)? Or is this totally unrealistic. I had a look at the sample papers and it was ALL way over my head. However, i'm always willing to put in the time/effort. I'm getting on a bit now so really would prefer to avoid 2 yrs of foundation.

    Any feedback from students with experience of MST121 would be greatfully appreciated.

    Many thanks, Jon ([email protected])
    Hi John.

    I hope that you get this.

    I did A-level maths at School and I found MST121 pretty easy to get through. But I think that was due to delving back through the midst of time.

    I would recommend that you take a look at http://mathschoices.open.ac.uk/
    there is a quiz to see what level you are at.

    also as you need 70 credits from optional Level 1 courses (http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01B27) why dont you simply take MSTU121 and MST120 then another course for 10 credits. Thats that and you have done the optional element and you will be up to scratch with the maths. And dont forget that doing those two courses will give you a certificate in maths, which will be always valued. so at the end the end you will have a formal qualification in maths, which would be very useful for someone with a physics degree who their only other stint with maths was GCSE some half a lifetime ago.

    What else where you thinking of doing for your 70 optional credits? I would suggest that you will need a solid maths background so you may as well get the easy (if it so happens to be) getting the 30 MST120 credits. Furthermore, if you do find it easy, it will adjust you to the proceedures and regulations of the OU without having to think to hard on the course material at hand.

    Please can you justify why you do not wish to do MST120? IS it just time? if it is, you will simply have to do another L1 course anyway so the time is the same, plus it is optional so it doesntreally count towards the course.

    Also be aware that your marks from your L1 courses do not contribute to your final grade, so really you are best just going through the motions.

    I hope some of that helps.
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    mods: can this be moved to OU section of TSR
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    (Original post by strauss_jon)
    Hi there

    I would like to do a physics course via the OU which obviously requires a great deal of Maths. As I haven't touched Maths since GCSE (i'm now 34), I was advised to start with MU120 and then MST121 and then Physics (plus another higher Maths level for advanced Physics). I would like to avoid 2 years of foundation Maths before starting Physics. I've had a look at MU120 and there's a whole host of stuff there I don't know but it doesn't look too bad to learn. My question is, therefore; do you think it's possible/realistic to go straight from GCSE Maths to MST121 (skipping MU120) if I do a couple of months prep and work extremely hard during the course (i'll also be working full-time)? Or is this totally unrealistic. I had a look at the sample papers and it was ALL way over my head. However, i'm always willing to put in the time/effort. I'm getting on a bit now so really would prefer to avoid 2 yrs of foundation.

    Any feedback from students with experience of MST121 would be greatfully appreciated.

    Many thanks, Jon ([email protected])
    I was wondering the same thing. I got a B in GCSE maths when I left school in 1995, although I have to admit I don't recall doing much, if any revision for this - I found the subject enjoyable, and never struggled with it.

    I've attempted the quizes on each of the maths courses on the OU website and it says you should be able to answer most of the questions before undertaking the course. I found the quiz to MU120 really simple. I then tried the quiz for the MST121 and, although I didn't know straight away how to answer the questions, they all made sense and I think with a bit of revision I would be fine answering them correctly. However, MST121 course extract was way above my head too!

    I have ordered the book 'Countdown to Mathematics - Volume 1' from Amazon.co.uk [URL="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0201137305/ref=sib_rdr_dp"]. You can browse some of the pages on amazon so you kind of know what to expect to learn. There is also a Volume 2 too. These books seem ideal as revision guides so I think I may work my way through those and start MST121 in January 2010, rather than this year. Hopefully then I will be up to speed with everthing.

    Good luck!
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    Hey Flexifish

    Thanks for your response. I'm just trying to get my head round what you've said, I'm new to all this and need to understand the credits system etc. Yes, I wanted to skip 120 to save a yr but if it works out the same due to how the system works, then i'll do 120 also. Let me do some reading into how it all works and ill post a reply later today or tomorrow. Would appreciate it if you could have a peep once i've replied. Thanks again...
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    Hi,
    I was probably in a similar situation to you when I started with the OU. I did start with MU120 and wish I hadn't. With ms121 there is a book at the start which has all the information you will need to start at that level.
    Hopefully I will graduate in 2011 with a Bsc (hons) Physical Sciences. I can post soon with some other info when I've found it all
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    (Original post by lincs_b)
    Hi,
    I was probably in a similar situation to you when I started with the OU. I did start with MU120 and wish I hadn't. With ms121 there is a book at the start which has all the information you will need to start at that level.
    Hopefully I will graduate in 2011 with a Bsc (hons) Physical Sciences. I can post soon with some other info when I've found it all
    Please

    Is there any typical OU maths taster material anywhere?
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    (Original post by darkeneddreams)
    Please

    Is there any typical OU maths taster material anywhere?
    There is open learn where the ou have made some units available for free.
    http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/a...p?search=mu120
    There are alot of the MU120 units available see the link above.
    http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1993
    There is also one MST121 unit available.
    http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/tasters/mst121/
    This may also be of interest.
    Good luck.
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    Thing I found with MU120, was that there was too much 'learning to learn' type content, TMAs always seemed to have questions requiring you to reflect on what you have learned and how your learning style has improved and so on and so forth. The actual amount of proper maths content was disappointingly low, and the first half of the course moves at the speed of a sleepy tectonic plate.

    It's good if you want to run through the basics again and learning how to use the graphical calculator was admittedly cool, but for the sort of maths applied in science and engineering MST121 is likely to be a lot more useful.
 
 
 
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