Mathematics is among the most popular subject with which many students have a love/hate relationship. Some people like it because of the challenges and the subject’s helpfulness for their preferred career field. Meanwhile, others hate math because of the complex concepts.
So, is A level maths worth it? A-Level maths is worth it because all sciences use mathematical techniques, and doing A-Level math will give you an edge in these subjects. In addition, doing A-Level Maths will give you a huge advantage in other subjects, including Social Sciences and History.
Remember that you will have to decide whether or not to take math during your A Levels. Some institutes keep A-Level Maths mandatory for specific groups such as science students. You may also choose whether to take A Level Maths or Further Maths.
If you’re entering college life soon and struggling with this decision, you’re in the correct place. Here is all the information about whether A Level Maths is worth it or not. Keep reading!
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Difference Between A Level Maths And Further Maths
The best way to understand these two math branches is by comparing the differences. So here are the top differences between A Level Maths and Further Maths:
The content of A Level Maths and Further Maths vary depending on the institute and exam board. The two major topics that fall under the A Level category as per Edexcel are Pure Maths and Applied Maths.
Meanwhile, the Edexcel specification for Further Maths includes Pure Maths and Statistics. The topics tested under these two subjects are:
|A Level Maths
– Algebra and functions
– Coordinate geometry
– Sequences and series
– Exponentials and logarithms
– Numerical method
|– Logarithmic functions and indices
– The quadratic function
– Identities and inequalities
– Scalar and vector quantities
– The binomial series
– Rectangular Cartesian coordinates
As you can see, the content of Further Maths is greater than the topics of A Level Maths. So you will have to study more and understand various new concepts.
You must also note that Further Maths involves A Level Maths and a few more concepts. Typically, students with the highest GCSE grades are recommended to take this branch of math.
The difficulty level of A Level Maths and Further Maths is significantly different. Both branches involve learning new complex concepts. However, Further Maths is more difficult because of the advanced formulae and techniques.
Many topics of A Level math are primarily introduced to students during high school. These concepts are further improved in college with some new additions. So it will be easier for you to grasp A-Level Maths if your basic concepts are clear.
The same cannot be said for Further Maths because some topics are completely new. This means you will not have prior knowledge or understanding of concepts. Further Maths will require you to make more effort.
3- Different University Requirements
Maths is mainly recommended in A Levels because many universities keep it as a prerequisite. However, the type differs depending on the field you want to specialize in. Students with Biology, Physics, and Chemistry are recommended to take A-Level Maths.
This is because many mathematical concepts are necessary for some exam types of Biology and Physics. Medical students are mainly advised to take A-Level Maths. Meanwhile, Engineering students are recommended to take Further Maths.
Of course, you should note that you can get admission into a medical school with Further Maths too. However, that may not be the case for some engineering schools. You may not get admission into some engineering institutes if you have only learned A-Level Maths.
Another difference between A-Level Maths and Further Maths is the scoring points. When you study the former subject, you will only get a score for that branch. However, that is not the case with Further Maths.
Students with Further Maths will get a grade in A Level Maths and another one in A Level Further Maths. These individuals are also allotted separate UCAS points. UCAS points (AKA UCAS Tariff points) measure the relative value of all post-16 qualifications in the United Kingdom. So the scoring system of the advanced branch is more difficult to ace.
The respect that students also get is different because of the difficulty level. Many people with C in Further Maths are relatively more respected than students with A in A Level Maths. This is mainly due to the tough scoring system.
What Skills Can You Get From Taking A Level Maths?
The skills students gain from taking A-level mathematics include problem-solving skills, logic, and statistics. Your research skills with maths A Level will also set you for working independently. These transferable skills will be useful in both your personal and professional life.
However, many students still believe that math is useless once they graduate and enter their desired career fields. However, that is not entirely true. Math is integral in various life processes and can help you excel in your professional life.
The statistical problem-solving questions of A Level Maths are mainly designed to improve data analysis skills. It will also enable you to gain better interpretation skills. This is why medical students are advised to take A-Level Maths.
Business and accounting students also benefit from this subject because of the calculations they will have to make in their professional fields. So A Level Maths helps students of various fields.
Can You Take Further Maths Without A Level Maths?
Generally, you cannot take further maths without A-level math, or at least you have also taken maths. Further mathematics is like an add-on to the primary maths A-level. Typically, further math covers topics you can’t study as part of the maths course, including imaginary and complex numbers.
Many professional fields require you to have Further Maths knowledge. Here are some jobs that you must be aware of:
- Investment Analyst
- Finance Advisor
- Chartered Accountant
- Software Developer
These top jobs involve you taking Further Maths but remember you cannot skip A Level Maths. This is because the former subject is mainly considered an add-on. So you must have A Level Maths if you want to take Further Maths.
The advanced subject requires you to have A-Level knowledge to build some concepts. This is why you cannot skip the subject when preparing to get into your dream university.
How Hard Is Maths At A Level?
A level Maths is difficult to a certain extent and may sometimes overwhelm you. However, that does not mean you cannot ace the subject. Paying attention in class is an effective way to clear your concepts.
Many people may be scared that your A-Level Maths is the hardest subject out there. This mindset negatively affects many students who take the subject due to mandatory requirements. The truth is that A-Level Maths is not the hardest subject.
You should also practice more problems daily to improve your skills and ace exams. If you adopt good studying habits during your education life, it will be easy to get a good grade in A-Level Maths.
How Long Is A Level Maths?
Another thing that you may be confused about A Level Maths is its span. Typically, the course lasts for two years and is divided into parts. The first one is AS Level Maths, while the second is considered A2 or A Level Maths.
If the subject is not necessary by universities for your career field, you may be allowed to drop it after completing AS Level. However, it is best to continue the subject in the second year and maximize the benefits.
A Level Maths Vs. Further Maths: Which One Is Harder?
The content of A-Level Further Maths is generally much harder and more challenging than that of A-Level Maths. Further Maths is helpful if you want to get accepted into a prestigious university and study a maths undergraduate degree.
In addition, Further Maths requires more thinking and more abstract thought. It also tends to deviate from the tedious formulae and arithmetic in many Maths syllabi. If you have an advanced math level, like a challenge, or enjoy proving things, you will find Further Maths more fun as you learn exciting new things.
The exam questions in Further Maths aren’t any harder than those in standard A-level maths; the only more challenging part is understanding the new content.
- Logarithmic Functions And Their Properties.
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Is A Level Maths Worth It?
A Level Maths is worth it because universities give the subject importance. You will require it to nail specific papers in Biology and Physics. Besides that, the subject is also necessary for engineering students.
Psychology students are also expected to have knowledge of A-Level Maths at specific institutes. So taking this subject is worth it because it will allow you to easily get admission into different universities.
This is everything you must know about whether A Level Maths is worth it. The subject is worth it because it is preferred for multiple career fields. It is also a mandatory take in most institutes.
Like any subject, A-level math will require you to work hard and be patient and persistent.