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Thinking about doing Maths A level, but not Further Maths - disadvantaged?

(55 Posts)
amidaiwas Mon 01-Jul-19 14:59:14

Helping dd with her A level choices.
She's thinking of maths but definitely not Further Maths. Surely all the A/A* grades in maths are swooped up by those dedicated mathematicians doing both?

Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
RainOrSun Mon 01-Jul-19 15:07:16

I did maths A level, without further maths, way back in the dark ages.
I got an A. So not all the top grades go to those doing further maths. But since the most talented mathematicians tend to do further maths, I would suspect there is quite an strong correlation between further maths as a subject, and maths with a top grade!

TheFrendo Mon 01-Jul-19 15:08:15

www.bstubbs.co.uk/a-lev.htm

For the year 2018...
98,000 students took A level maths,. Of these 41,000 got A/A*

16,000 took Further maths. If all of these get A/A*, then that leaves 25,000 A/A* grades for the remaining 82,000 students doing maths without further maths.

There are plenty of A/A* grades left over.

BubblesBuddy Mon 01-Jul-19 15:11:55

It’s a great subject to do. Not all STEM courses require FM at university so no need to do it. Plenty of humanities courses are helped with maths such as Geography and it wouldn’t be sniffed at for Law either.

ExCwmbranDweller Mon 01-Jul-19 15:31:16

As a parent of a maths/further maths A level student now trailing around universities looking at courses here are a few things I've learned.

If you want to do a maths degree then further maths is the best way forward. All the good unis want it but can't make it compulsory as not all schools offer it. They can ask for STEP or other harder maths exams as an addition to maths for entry to make up for the lack of further maths.

If she is interested in doing a maths/physics/engineering type degree it will be really helpful to have done it even if it's not required.

If she doesn't want to do a subject like those above then do it as a fourth A level so she's got some flexibility.

It's HARD, my A* A* at GCSE (two maths exams in Wales) boy who 'enjoys' his A level maths syllabus has had to really work at it.

If she really loves maths she should go for it because it stretches them and makes them think (and makes the main A level maths look a lot easier!).

Justathinslice Mon 01-Jul-19 15:34:14

What does she want to do after?

What other subjects is she interested in?

amidaiwas Mon 01-Jul-19 15:38:06

What does she want to do after? doesn't know. changes weekly.
If she really loves maths she should go for it No she doesn't. But she doesn't hate it and is good enough at it.

No she definitely definitely won't be doing a maths degree. She is much more English/Philosophy/Classics interested. But likes Physics (particularly the abstract, philosophy bits) hence now re-considering maths.

If she doesn't want to do a subject like those above then do it as a fourth A level so she's got some flexibility.
Yes i think that's probably the way to go...

OP’s posts: |
amidaiwas Mon 01-Jul-19 15:40:25

*For the year 2018...
98,000 students took A level maths,. Of these 41,000 got A/A*

16,000 took Further maths. If all of these get A/A*, then that leaves 25,000 A/A* grades for the remaining 82,000 students doing maths without further maths.

There are plenty of A/A* grades left over.*

This isn't the new linear A level though is it? Those were the days when you could keep repeating modules until you got the grade you wanted. Things have got a lot tougher, or so I understand.

OP’s posts: |
sincethereis Mon 01-Jul-19 15:43:16

Further maths is unnecessary unless:

A - you want to study math at a top 10 university
B-you want to study physics at a top 10 university
C- you want to study compsci at say Cambridge.

Other than those following situations, it’s pointkess

sincethereis Mon 01-Jul-19 15:43:30

those situations *

Pointless *

Closetlibrarian Mon 01-Jul-19 15:43:32

I did maths A level (also many moons ago, before the A* days) and taught myself the AS further maths in my spare time (with a few as hoc tutorials from my maths teacher). I got an A in both, and found the extra further maths pretty easy. My point being, if she’s really good at maths then doing further maths as a 4th A level most likely won’t be too much work/effort but will also likely get her another A/A*.

amidaiwas Mon 01-Jul-19 15:44:45

Maths would be her 4th A level, def no room for FM!

OP’s posts: |
sincethereis Mon 01-Jul-19 15:51:36

sorry, my point is that FM is unnecessary and so she won’t be disadvantaged unless in those cases

BobbinThreadbare123 Mon 01-Jul-19 15:57:31

*Further maths is unnecessary unless:

A - you want to study math at a top 10 university
B-you want to study physics at a top 10 university
C- you want to study compsci at say Cambridge.

Other than those following situations, it’s pointkess*

Not necessarily true. Most physics degrees ask for maths and physics and one other.

Check it out: furthermaths.org.uk/universities&page=physics_entry

First entry is Cambridge.

sincethereis Mon 01-Jul-19 16:04:42

@bobbinthreadbare123
I’m confused ? I think I’m agreeing with you!

cptartapp Mon 01-Jul-19 16:09:11

DS1 is waiting on his GCSe results, predicted a 7 in maths, although hit 8 a few times on practice papers at home. He doesn't love Maths, says it's ok, but it is one of his strongest subjects and is looking to combine it with Business and Geography with accountancy a possibility in the future. His fear is that he will be in classes of natural mathematicians who also do further maths for which he has no inclination.
Watching with interest.

Alliumlove Mon 01-Jul-19 16:10:50

DD1 and DD2 both had a hard time from maths and physics A level teachers who wouldn’t take them seriously in their a level classes because they were not also doing further maths. I would have hoped it was a one off school problem, but I have heard that of other schools too.

At uni, DD1 doing a stem subject has not struggled at all, and got a full set of offers so it obviously didn’t bother the admissions tutors either.

ForTheRecord Mon 01-Jul-19 16:15:24

If she is definitely not doing maths or a maths based science at uni then it's not much use at A level. But, if she changes her mind a lot... then are you sure there's no maths at uni on the cards?

amidaiwas Mon 01-Jul-19 16:20:02

You say that ForTheRecord but lots of jobs like A level maths. Eg financial services. Not having it does close doors (well it did for me in the 90s)

OP’s posts: |
ExCwmbranDweller Mon 01-Jul-19 16:29:27

cptartap I wouldn't worry, in DS year there must be 30-40 doing maths and they only allowed 4 of them to do further maths and one of those dropped out! Your boy will be in the majority I would have thought. Maths, business and geography sounds like a great mix.

cptartapp Mon 01-Jul-19 16:48:35

That's reassuring, thanks.

Justathinslice Mon 01-Jul-19 17:13:32

If she wants to keep a door open for a physics degree, then she needs regular math, but not further math.
Physics, math and classics perhaps?

BubblesBuddy Mon 01-Jul-19 17:22:39

If she wants English, Philosophy or Classics she needs A levels that keep those doors open. Obviously Maths won’t shut doors but the other two or three A levels need to be chosen with care.

Maths is often needed for Economics and it’s not just STEM subjects where it’s useful. One could argue it’s not needed for English of course but there is no reason why it cannot be included. If she really wants a financial job afterwards, are the degrees outlined above the best way to achieve it?

ErrolTheDragon Mon 01-Jul-19 17:28:23

* Further maths is unnecessary unless:

A - you want to study math at a top 10 university
B-you want to study physics at a top 10 university
C- you want to study compsci at say Cambridge.

Other than those following situations, it’s pointkess*

Not necessarily relevant for the OPs DD ( maths but not FM will probably suit her best from the sound of it), but FM is far from 'pointless' for any maths, physics, compsci and also engineering and some economics degrees. My DD was advised by engineering admissions tutors etc that while FM might not be required (though it pretty much is in reality for Cambridge) it would definitely make life easier when she got there.

And back in the day when I'd done double maths, physics and chemistry A levels before a chemistry degree, some of the extra topics I'd done versus those with single maths definitely helped (less new maths to learn).

Leah2005 Mon 01-Jul-19 17:34:24

My son has just finished maths, further maths and Comp sci. He was an A* student at most subjects at GCSE. Further maths has been the hardest slog - he chose to repeat his first year because he got a U (I think) at a.s level. The course changed then to linear so he has had all exams this year. I would not recommend anyone to do further maths unless they need it for uni. With hindsight, my son wishes he had dropped it and taken up another subject instead when he started again.

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