Further Maths or not?

Associate
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I had originally been going to do Maths, Physics, D&T, Chemistry and General Stuides for my AS levels. However when term started I changed my mind and am currently doing Further Maths, Physics, D&T and General Studies.

I'm now having second thoughts about further maths though. In the past I wanted to do electronic engineering but am now thinking of computer science.

My reasons for the doubting are several;
1) Means having to do Further Maths, Physics and D&T for A2, and that's 14 lessons of Further Maths per week (and thus not a lot of free periods).
2) I'm not really sure that further maths is that relevant to what I want to do.
3) Could/would effect how well I do in Physics and D&T.
4) Not much variety so potential to get very boring.

My gut instinct was to do further maths initially but after having had a few lessons I seem to want to do Chemistry. I'm going to need to commit to a decision pretty quickly though, don't want to leave it later than the end of next week really or I will have missed too much Chemistry. Advise please.

Thanks, null :)
 
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If you want to go into engineering (apart from Chemical engineering) I'd recommend Further maths over chemistry (assuming I've understood correctly and you've swapped FM for Chemistry).

I'm starting y13 and in y12 I chose maths, physics, chemistry and German. I chose German for a bit of variety. I loved it, but got a B at AS, when my other AS results were As. I've become pretty much set on doing engineering and it turns out that further maths is very very useful, so I'm doing AS further maths in my free time. I wished I'd chosen FM instead of German - I think I'd have liked it anyway.

I don't know much about Computer Science (apart from lots of people seem to get disenchanted with it a few months after starting it :p) so my opinions might not be relevant. Either way your choices seem balanced so I wouldn't worry too much.
 
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Energize said:
Whats the difference between further maths and mechanical maths anyway?

The maths A level is made up of 6 modules (3 at AS and 3 at A2). There is some flexibility in the modules taken, some of which may be Mechanics modules. FM can also contain some mechanics modules, but a "further pure" module is compulsory.

So basically FM is more maths - it depends which modules the individual/college/school chooses.
 
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I'm doing it, it's not too bad at all. The only thing that annoys me about it is that my mechanics teacher teachers the most boring lessons ever, and that it means that I only get one free a week. Apart from that it's all good though.
 

daz

daz

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Unless you're going to do Maths or Physics at university, I would personally just do Maths... unless of course you think you can get an A in further maths.
 
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Don't take the lazy route. Do FM if you want to do engineering (dunno about CS), you will give a better impression to unis and once there, your first 2 years may be a bit easier.

Do yo have the option to switch to normal maths if fm becomes too tedious?
 
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Speaking from experience:

I did maths, physics, electronics and music tech for my A levels, and am about to go into my 2nd year of a masters physics course

Variation is good in A levels, i don't think i could have managed without music in there somewhere for variety. For you i suspect DT is that sort of outbreak for you.

My first year of my degree course comprised of a massive maths module, essentially catching the people who hadn't done further maths ie. me to everyone elses level. I found it quite hard but had some good friends who knew what was going on. I believe the situation is similar for electrical engineering, i have a friend doing that but he didnt even to maths at AS level and is having to learn the further course essentially. To put it simply that is quite hard, but with computer science i believe the maths requirement is a little lower, so as long as you stick with your maths A level and try to really understand it, i think you would not be missing out on having the extra knowledge as it would be taught to you in your first year anyway

Basically, if you can cope with maths and find it fairly natural then you won't have a problem when it comes to your degree. If you find it a bit harder, then it might be better learning it at A2 level as the teaching is easier.
 
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'Regular' maths at A-Level probably lost me about a grade in my other subjects and was the bane of my sixth form. Don't do it, lol. :(
 
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Further Maths is only worth it if you are seeking to study Maths (or a related discipline at University) IMO. It's definitely worth considering for those looking to go to top maths unis like Warwick etc (I think Oxbridge have their own entrance exams anyway?) as they will often want students to take a STEP paper or similar if they don't have FM.

Ironically I actually selected to study Further Maths at my school but when the classes were announced at the start of 6th form, I wasn't listed as doing it. In the end I couldn't be arsed kicking up a fuss about it and just stuck with regular Maths as at least it meant I'd have more free periods.
 
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I'd pick what you enjoy, nothing worse than studying something you don't enjoy or have an interest in, and given further maths is imo one of, if not the hardest a-level, you need to be both good at maths and enjoy it to have a chance with it.
 
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Further maths absolutely destroyed any interest i had in maths whatsoever, it was an absolutely maths overload and it just bored me, and made me lazy.

i went from A* at GCSE maths to a D at A-level. (i dropped further maths in 2nd year and turned it into regular maths).

my laziness played a part in my poor performance but that was just because i was so sick of it, i pretty much slept most lessons, and slept through the entire p5 module, and the p5 exam and actually got a 0 in that test. i am confident that i could have came out with a much higher grade if i actually tried though..

basically dont take it unless you love maths, because it will hit you as soon as you see all the "Further Maths" blocks all over your timetable. Starting a day with maths and ending in maths was just painful, and having 2 in a row bad too :/
 
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^Even then it can be hard to judge. I always enjoyed maths at school, including A-level, but found degree level to be a different kettle of fish.

I think one of the problems with Mathematics is that it can be quite soul destroying when you aren't sure how to approach a question. Generally speaking, either you know/remember the required technique and where to apply it, or you don't. This is in contrast to more arty subjects where you can pretty much always write something about any given question, even if the answer you give isn't of very high standard and not entirely relevant.
 
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Further maths will only help you if you go to an Oxbridge university for computer science. I got offers from York and Bristol (4th and 5th best at the subject according to 2007 league tables) and I only did maths. I did start off doing further but after a while you get so bored of it.
 
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I highly recommend doing further maths if you go on to study any degree which contains mathematics. I found it helped me greatly throughout my first 2 years of Economics course, it really felt like I had a headstart.
 
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Further Maths will destroy whatever love of maths you may have. I did it for AS level and it depressed me so much!

It really is just a maths overload and I got to the point where I cracked and couldn't careless! It affected my normal maths AS level because my brain was always concentrating on the quite frankly useless drivel taught in FM.

Any course in university where maths is important will no doubt have a maths module - my Computer Science course in the first year had a 3 hour maths lesson every Wednesday for the first year.

SiriusB
 
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