Everything You Need To Know About A-Level MathsA-Levels
GCSE results are fast approaching and it’s now the time to make that big decision: what do I study for A Level? I’m sure there are lots of options to choose from, A Level Maths might be one of them.
A Level Maths can be a very demanding, challenging subject and is a huge step up from GCSEs. Here we have summarised what you should expect when deciding to take the plunge and study Maths for A Levels.
It is a Big Step Up from GCSEs
One of the main reasons that A Level Maths is said to be much more difficult than GCSE Maths, is that you are expected to learn a lot of the content independently. If you are a self-sufficient worker that enjoys problem solving, then A Level Maths may be an ideal path for you.
As it is quite a challenging subject, if you got less than a grade 6 or 7 (grade B) at GCSE it could be difficult to get up to speed. Always ask your teacher and tutor for advice on whether they think A Level Maths is for you.
If you are not sure what to expect, you can look up your syllabus with the exam board your Sixth Form or College uses. Each exam board varies and it’s worth finding out about your own one as you don’t want to be revising anything you don’t necessarily need to.
Some of the standard topics that you will most likely be learning, either from scratch or building upon, are algebra (of course), geometry, proof, trigonometry, vectors, kinematics, forces and Newton’s Laws. Stuff for a strong Mathematician!
Maths is usually completely exam based, where the exams are made up of Statistics, Mechanics and Pure Maths. Don’t think of A Level Maths as just calculations though, as a lot of critical thinking and problem solving goes into it too.
Make sure you haven’t over committed yourself to anything. Students often find the workload easier to manage when doing similar subjects. Physics for example might have some cross over with Maths, a great time saver. At the same time if you can’t quite just get enough of Maths, you can delve deeper and do Further Maths as a separate A Level.
Make sure you ask for help if the pace of your class is not right for you or there is a question you are unsure of. It’s almost too easy to shy away from topics you might not have got the grasp of yet. Figuring out exam content can be really detrimental when it comes to exam time, where you really want to just focus on improving your knowledge, so make sure you ask your teacher or tutor for help when struggling, after all, that’s what they are there for!
You don’t have to become an Accountant
Accountancy is a popular choice for mathematicians, but don’t worry, it’s not the only choice. Universities highly regard Maths as a subject to study at A Level and for your degree, which puts you ahead of the game.
Maths can open up a lot of doors for you that you may not even have ever thought were possible! A lot of game designers, architects, forensic scientists and animators (to name a few) need the skills you learn at Maths A-Level and University. There is also a heavy demand for Maths Teachers making you a very popular person!
Advice from Our Tutors
Tutor House’s expert Maths Tutors cannot stress how much you need a good grasp and understanding of each topic. Past papers are super helpful for this, and a great way to practise for your exams but you still need to learn the content rather than the past paper itself. Make sure you follow up on questions that you found difficult when doing past papers by reading up and absorbing the material on that topic. Before you know it, it will all become as easy as pi.
To Sum it All Up…
A Level Maths is a great choice where you can really improve your skills in calculations, critical thinking and problem solving. There are also many exciting opportunities that come with it! Still, it’s a hard subject, make sure you have the right support, you are committed to the subject and that you make the most of your study experience.