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A level advice please

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by sun seeker, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. sun seeker

    sun seeker New commenter

    Hi all , I am writing om behalf of my nephew, He is bright and looking to possibly be a pilot. He has been told he will be a solid B at GCSE and thinking of doing A level maths. Someone has recently told him unless he is capable of an A he will struggle at A level . Can someone tell me if this is true please? I am worried enough as I am no maths expert and have helped him in the past - when he was at primary school!! LOL. As head of a primary school I am sure A level will be beyond me
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

    Most GCSE Grade B students struggle with A Level mathematics (quite a few GCSE A* students struggle in fact).
    Most pilots have good A Levels in mathematics and physics. Your nephew can become a pilot without them but he may have to find about £100,000 to pay for the training himself.
  3. sun seeker

    sun seeker New commenter

    wow! that was quick. He is looking to do maths , geography and a science. Not sure if this science is specific or combined or even if a combimed one is possible at A level. Does it have to be physics? Do you know if the RAf are any different?
  4. DM

    DM New commenter

    It is phenomenally hard to become a RAF pilot. I don't think they are recruiting at all at the moment. Their website suggests you need two A Levels in any subject but the reality is that every successful applicant has three or four A Levels and top grades in maths and physics. If your nephew has anything less than perfect eyesight then he would not be considered anyway.
    The selection process involves operating equipment with both hands and both feet while making mental calculations - it is very tough.
  5. sun seeker

    sun seeker New commenter

    Thank you very much for your help. I will pass it on. He is really clever, in th top 10% in his high school. He works hard and I am sure he will succeed in whatever he decides to do. He is going to take a year off after his A levels and spend time travelling as a ski instructor whilst weighing his options. Once again thanks,
  6. I recommend he gets a private tutor if he is going to try it. I have been tutoring for years and have had more than one student come for tuition who had a B at GCSE and ended up with a B at A level. It's not impossible - but it's a lot of hard work!
    Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. It might be worth letting him know that a lot of the A level is based on algebra.. the reason that many places insist on A grade GCSE is that if students are not comfortable with all of GCSE algebra,they will struggle to keep up... Maybe a private tutor this year to ensure he "gets" rearranging and solving equations and other algebra this year might help? (and might improve his grade this year too? - even if he is doing modular, the final module is likely to be the one with most algebra..)
  8. Guish

    Guish New commenter

    I teach some French students who have been studying for bac and now want to move to A levels. They struggle a lot as they do less Algebra in the french system. However, if they are brilliant and work hard their Algebra, they can do well. I have students who got B's for their extended Maths at IGCSE and C's in Mathematics A- levels. Hence, your nephew can do well if he's bright enough and work his Algebra well.

    I sent you a pm too.
  9. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    With due respect (and asssuming he goes to a typical state school) then being in the "top 10%" does not necessarily make him "very clever".
    Very clever students Would be in the top 1% of most state schools and would be achieving A* grades. B grades are not really a very high standard these days.
  10. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    I forgot to add the positive bit which is that I would generally support a grade B student doing A/S Level maths and would expect them to be capable of around a grade C. They would definitely struggle with A2 and if the carried on to do a full A Level and worked really hard would probably get a C grade overall but many dont and drop out after year 12.
  11. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    Some years ago I taught a very bright lad A level Mathematics and he achieved a B grade. He eventually became a pilot with BA but only after a very extensive series of interviews, training schedules and aptitude tests, and a great deal of waiting around, including two years as cabin crew. About 1 in a hundred of potential pilots actually make it.
  12. sun seeker

    sun seeker New commenter

    Thank you all for your advice. I will pass it on. [​IMG]

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