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3 A-levels in Mathematics

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by David Getling, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I've just been reading the Edexel Spec and from what I can make out if a student takes every single maths module they will end up with 3 maths A-levels:


    Further Mathematics

    Further Mathematics (Additional)

    Am I correct in this? It seems that such a directed focus would increase the chances of getting the A*AA expected by the best universities.

    The reason I ask is that I'm seriously considering setting up my own college to do exactly this: I'd also (of course) offer coaching for STEP. I'm sure there are students out there who would relish such a chance. And, I think I could vastly undercut the fees charged by most independent colleges.
  2. I suspect you'll find those universities would require a non-maths A-level in a AAA offer.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Even for a Maths degree?
  4. fishtail

    fishtail New commenter

    Yes, in my experience, students going for maths have been told that maths and further maths are considered as pretty much one A-level and mandatory for studying maths at uni. Not sure about additional,but these students weer told they needed two other A levels as well as maths and further maths.
  5. Yes. As the OP says, getting A*AA by doing 18 maths modules is an "easy option" (in terms of workload, at any rate). Since the top universities are not particularly shy about requiring 4 A-levels when two are M/FM, I doubt many will let you get away 3 A-levels if those are M/FM/AFM.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Thanks for the feedback. It's interesting that by demanding other subjects (even for maths) universities will never get someone who has done all of the mechanics, statistics and decision maths modules, even though these areas are different enough to merit all being studied.
  7. As all the above
    The 18 unit 'nutters' generally do at least the last 6 for intrinsic reward.......and good on them, especially in a 2 year post 16 stint [​IMG]
  8. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    I know that my son is probably going to do one extra module and a friend of his is doing all of the mechanics with most of the stats thrown in for balance (he has already had a read through D1 and D2 but can't be bothered doing the exams as the content bored him). As the previous post states, this is being done out of interest; he is learning independently for fun. At that level I don't think collecting exam grades comes into it. The extra modules are in addition to 3 other non Maths A levels.
  9. 'Never' is a strong word. There are quite a few people who still take all 18 modules - back in the day, I did all 24 pure/applied topics for FM, even though you could only answer 12 questions (so the norm would have been covering around 16 topics to give some margin - covering all 24 was clearly overkill).
    I think it's pretty standard that at university you'll be redoing the AFM topics, so I'm not really sure it makes sense to do them at A-level at the expense of dropping all other subjects.

  10. A student at our school who has completed all 18 modules did the last 6 himself, just for his own interest. He will have three A levels in Maths and an A level in Physics. His Cambridge offer was 2 E's, but he needs a 1 in both Step II and Step III. His 'insurance' offer at Warwick is A*A*A plus a distinction at AEA. None of the Universities he applied to seemed bothered by the fact that he only did Maths and Physics, and none asked for other subjects.

    The topics covered in all 18 modules are pretty much what used to be covered in the 'old days' in Maths and Further Maths - all quite interesting actually. Of course, they will all be covered within the first couple of weeks in a Maths degree!

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