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can anyone explain A level Maths/FM/ additional FM certification?

(16 Posts)
TooHasty Tue 03-Feb-15 12:17:08

On my previous thread about Additional Further maths,somebody posted

Someone on a thread recently talked about serious mathmos doing at least 10 modules in yr12

Sorry this is a thread about a thread, but I didn't want this specific question to get buried.I am confused about how this would be certificated?
I understood (but might be wrong)they were certificated in multiples of 3


Maths AS = C1&2 plus 1 other module
FM AS =FP1 and 2 other modules
Maths A2 = C3&4 plus 1 more
FM A2= FP2 or FP3 plus 2 more modules

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 03-Feb-15 16:38:14

Ok, the exact quote, from Radley's advice to their prospective Oxbridge maths candidates was

Any Radley candidate will be the top Further Maths set, working towards ten early modules in the summer of 6.1. [Which is y12]

So not necessarily what Jane Smith at Bog Standard High needs to be aiming at.

And yes, your understanding of the certification is correct. But you don't have to cash in all your modules until you've finished taking them, so the ten don't have to be a round number of qualifications.

Essexmum69 Tue 03-Feb-15 17:03:51

Generally that is correct however my DS is taking 10 modules in total! 6 for A level maths, 3 for AS level further maths and an extra module M2 because he cannot fit further maths A2 into his timetable but has been advised that his preferred uni courses like this particular module. So he will study it, sit the exam and get a mark but not actually cash it in towards an A level!

roisin Tue 03-Feb-15 17:27:08

There are 18 available modules (Edexcel) they can be combined in various compicated ways to create at least 6 different A Level qualifications. You need a PhD to be able to understand it though.

As already said above, if you're doing a wide variety of modules, you may not "cash them in" immediately, as you can wait and mix and match to see where they fit best...

roisin Tue 03-Feb-15 17:37:53

Is your ds doing 10 in yr12 Essexmum or 10 across yr12 and yr13?

ds1 in yr12 did a fairly straight forward 6 modules in yr12: C1, c2, c3, c4, s1 and s2; cashed in as an A level. Unfortunately - despite stellar marks in almost all modules, he did quite badly with c4, which is a defining module for the A*. So he will re-sit this this summer.

This year he will also sit D1, d2, fp1, fp2, m1 and m2, which will combine to be a further maths A Level.

ds2 (same school but new regime) will do c1, c2, s1, m1, d1 and fp1 in yr12 = 2 AS Levels. Then do another 6 (more difficult) modules the following yr to make the full A level. He wants to do some extras (aiming to do Maths at Uni), but it's hard to see how this will fit, especially as they're not doing any of the challenging materials in yr12... Ho hum...

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 03-Feb-15 18:18:24

The exam boards decide how the mix and matching happens - you'll get the best maths grade, with the best possible ums total, before going to FM. So it might turn out that M2 isn't the 'extra' module for Essex's son, iyswim smile

Full seventeen page explanation (!!!) at

sablepoot Tue 03-Feb-15 18:18:25

Ds did 5 easier modules in year 12 (c1, c2, m1, s1 and fp1), then 8 more in year 13. The eighth was an extra (M3) that he chose to do for fun and as belt and braces in case he messed up one of his other further maths A2 modules which he needed a A* for (but it proved not to be needed for that). All the modules get submitted if you do extras and the best results are used to calculate the result. Even if a complete maths A level is achieved in year 12, the modules can still be moved around between the maths and further maths qualifications a year later to optimise grades. Five in year 12 and 7 harder ones in year 13 was how his school did things, and several went on to Oxbridge so more is definitely not essential, though not doing C3 and C4 until year 12 does mean you can't start STEP preparation as early, so a small disadvantage from that perspective.

Essexmum69 Tue 03-Feb-15 20:43:46

Just 10 in total. Also taking three science A levels. He is doing C1,2,3,4 D1, S1,2, M1,2, FP1.
So yes he essentially has a spare but my understanding is that it cant be used instead of C1,2,3,4 or FP1. They will use the highest 4 grades of the other 5.

sablepoot Tue 03-Feb-15 21:25:52

that's right Essex, m2 could replace either s2 or d1, but that's about all.

sablepoot Tue 03-Feb-15 21:27:58

I think you have to include the '1' module of the same name to be able to use the '2', but maybe spread across two qualifications (maths a2 and f maths as) you can get away without.

TooHasty Tue 03-Feb-15 22:03:49

Ok Thanks for all your replies I am beginning to get my head round it.
One of the problems DS has is that there is some sort of student vote on which modules will be followed in Y13, so he won't know for quite a while which modules he will be self teaching.

SecretSquirrels Wed 04-Feb-15 10:59:39

DS did 15 modules in all.
The college taught 13 and he self taught FP4 and M3.
None were "cashed in" until the end of Year 13 and the exam board use the best spread to maximise the A level maths first and then the A level Further Maths. This was important as his offers required A* in both.
The additional modules did not form part of his Cambridge offer but whether they contributed to him getting that offer who knows.

Needmoresleep Wed 04-Feb-15 12:05:08

I understand it is possible to take so many modules that you end up with three A levels. Though I also understand that this means an awful lot of maths, and perhaps better to get some variety.

One nice thing about doing double maths is that if you do well as AS you have a certain amount of flexibility so can be pretty certain to get a good grade in the Maths A2. DS found one of two of the papers used for the Further quite tough and both he and some of his friends found their marks would vary from paper to paper. As a result bhe got a poor mark in his mock but was Ok on the day. For one or two of his friends it was the other way round. Inter alia it seemed to be not just about the understanding but the ability to work reasonably fast.

skylark2 Wed 04-Feb-15 12:19:03

DS is doing 2 modules in year 11 (he's already done GCSE), 4 in year 12 and 6 in year 13. I think they may actually study more than the 6, especially those planning to carry on with maths at university, but I slightly lost the plot at that point since he isn't. But no, they don't have to do them in multiples of three per year.

Ten modules all in year 12 does sound like a huge amount of maths. Not sure what the advantage is in doing that much that early?

roisin Wed 04-Feb-15 13:58:00

The advantage, Skylark, is that if you're planning to apply for Cambridge Maths, or other super-selective, completing 10 modules by the end of yr12 enables you to focus on prep for the STEP papers and/or do additional modules, which will make the first year at uni slightly easier if they've covered more in advance.

There is a rider though, because if you have covered more material earlier, then there is some anecdotal evidence that Oxford and Cambridge expect more of you at interview, pre-test and/or STEP.

Don't forget that in future when the modular A Levels go (from Sep 2016 for Maths), then pupils will have to either do all Maths and Further Maths modules at the end of yr13 - 12 exams; or do all of the A Level modules at the end of yr12 and all of the FM modules at the end of yr13. There will be no other options.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 04-Feb-15 16:33:20

Dd2 did two in y11, is doing 3 in y12, and plans to finish up with just C4 in y13 - thus giving herself the chance to resit C3 as well if the A* looks at all shaky! And also, when she's had a bad day in History, keeping herself the option of dropping the history, and doing AS FM in y13!

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