A-Level Further and Additional Maths
Background information about studying Further and Additional Maths
The maths studied in Further and Additional Maths is principly the same as in ordinary maths, but there is more of it, and it is slightly more challenging. Most people who do Further Maths will have an A* at GCSE, but depending on your school or college, it can be done with an A; any lower and you will struggle. Doing all this extra maths allows you to explore more disciplines and experience more areas of maths, and is useful if you want to do something maths-related at university.
Additional Maths often consists of applied units beyond the scope of the single maths course. For example on OCR (MEI) you can do M1-M4, S1-S4. M4 and S4 are considerably more difficult than the previous modules and are closer to topics you would study during a first year mechanics or statistics module.
What can I expect from studying Further and Additional Maths?
Can be quite challenging at times, especially at A2. Most people don't find the applied units as difficult (especially the early ones) as they are the same as could be done in maths. Most of the AS course isn't much harder than AS Maths, there is just more to do.
Not as much workload as doing maths and another subject. Can be time-consuming, but generally not too much required outside lessons in my experience.
However, some schools teach all of single maths during the first year (with perhaps some Further Maths - I did 8 modules in the first year) and the rest during the second. This does mean you can end up with several exams if you are doing Additional Maths as well, as most of the more advanced units are examined only in the summer.
Required Individual Study
Not necessarily very much if you work hard in lessons.
How is it assessed?
The edexcel course is all exam based. 6 modules of equal weighting make up an A2 in further maths. At AS these are FP1 and two other modules (applied are the most straight-forward) and at A2 it is another FP module and two other modules with 2 or above in the title (ie, not M1, S1 etc). Some can be swapped with modules in ordinary maths to improve grades.
None on edexcel course.
MEI has 3 units that require coursework. C3 - Based on numerical methods. Finding roots of polynomials using iterative methods. NM - Again based on numerical methods, however usually this involves numerical integration using trapezium/midpoint rule. DE - Differential equations module. Involves carrying out an experiment (eg flow of water cascades) and forming a differential equation to model it.
Not usually required.
Field trips and excursions
Generally no opportunities.
Where can I go with a Further Maths or Further and Additional Maths A-Level(s)
It opens up many opportunities at university and shows a high level of logic and problem solving skills. If you want to do Maths, Physics or Engineering at a good university, it will be useful or required. It could also be useful for subjects such as Computer Science or Economics.
What I like about studying this subject: I like being able to learn more about what we glance over in Add Maths/normal maths. I also love that I've gotten really close with my FM class, 'cause we spend so much time together. I also like the speed we work through everything, there's no time to get bored!
What I dislike about studying this subject: The extra homework can be awkward at first, but I've quickly adjusted. Also, the lack of frees when all my friends have them. Can be a bit depressing to be in class when I know that my friends are all in the cafe.
What I like about studying this subject:I chose maths because I have always been good at it, and studying Additional Maths has allowed me to explore as much as I can at A-level.
What I dislike about studying this subject: S4 is hard. It can get a bit overwhelming to have so many maths lessons a week, and in the summer I had 10 maths exams without retakes.
What I like about studying this subject: I enjoy the challenges it brings, and it has made me appreciate how interesting maths can be; I mean the Core modules are fairly humdrum, but I don't think you can beat the beauty of e^(i*x) = cosx + i*sinx :) we also have a LOT of fun sometimes cos no one really does too much work in lessons, and it definitely doesn't take up as much time at home as other subjects.
What I dislike about studying this subject: It is difficult (esp. the MEI spec, I am struggling with FP2), and Further Maths classes need to cover a hell of a lot of material so the pace is quick. There are one or two people in my class who simply couldn't cope. Also, the sheer number of maths lessons can be depressing, I have >12 hours of lessons a week. Overall though, it's worth it if you like your maths, and it has made me more confident when dealing with numbers.
What I like about studying this subject: Its challenging; it made me understand the fundamentals in maths and how it relates to other disciplines, such as Economics, Physics, Engineering ... everything. The pace is satisfying; I wouldn't be able to stand studying division ofr the first month; I prefer getting the easy stuff done with and concentrating wwith the harder topics. It's really fun in the lessons and well, it opens so many doors for University choices.
What I dislike about studying this subject: The workload. 8 Modules in the first year; am resitting 5 of those this year to get my grade up. Our class was rather disruptive, and teachers weren't very good at controlling the class (half our class got Us and Es at the end of the first year). Taking FM along with 4 other AS's is a bit to much and it inarguably takes more of my revision time. Overall i think its worth it if you can cope with the sylabus.
What I like about studying this subject: Further maths is a good introduction to some topics in university level mathematics.
What I dislike about studying this subject: I'm not very satisfied to only learn the fact, but not the underlying ideas and logic.
What I like about studying this subject: Learning more about maths in general and realising which modules I am best at, and therefore where to specialise (in my case pure maths and statistics). It also compliments Accounting and Economics well. What I dislike about studying this subject: Mechanics modules, although the challenge of having to work at them is a good thing, and exam clashes are frequent in OCR MEI.