Should I study A-Level Maths?
The morning of the 25th August 2016 will be remembered as the collection day for GCSE Results, once all the nerves have passed and results opened its time to relax a little and think about what happens next. If you're moving onto A-Levels, you will need to think long and hard about what subjects you want to study for the next two years, and may be wondering if Mathematics is the right choice for you. To try and help with that decision we have a few questions you should ask yourself before choosing to study Mathematics as A-Level.
Does the course I intend to study at University require Maths?
This could play an important role in the making of your decision, if your intended university course requires maths you will feel it necessary to do Maths at A-level so as to sustain the idea of wanting to do your chosen course. If Maths isn't a requirement for the course, you should check the course requirements and see what subjects they do require or what subjects best fit around them to give you the best possible chance of getting into University to study. If you are going to a college to study and are thinking of studying Maths, please note that some colleges require you to have attained at least a Grade B at GCSE in order for you to study Maths at A-Level, so be sure to check the entry details to your prospective colleges.
Is Maths one of my strongest subjects?
If the answer to the question is yes and you are willing to put in the hard work, then you should seriously consider doing Maths at A-Level. If, however, it is not one of your strongest subject it is advised that you should look into other subjects, subjects in which you are perhaps stronger and feel more confident in. After all, you will be studying these subjects for the next two years of your life. If, like some, you think you were just OK at Maths throughout GCSE’s, you should think twice before choosing Maths at A-Level. It goes without saying the difficulty of work increases, however the amount of studying outside school also increases and you should note that and be willing to keep up with the demands before choosing Maths.
Do I like solving problems and puzzles?
If you enjoyed going through the harder questions towards the end of the papers in the GCSE exams and enjoy solving Mathematical puzzles when outside of school, A-Level maths could be for you if it is one of your strongest subjects. A-Level Maths requires a lot of hard work solving solutions and so you should be aware of the amount of work required of you before making your final choices.
My personal recommendation
My personal recommendation is that you should only consider studying Maths at A-Level if you attained a Grade A or higher in GCSE. The increase in difficulty of work could see some weaker students fall behind and struggle throughout with the A-Level course. Furthermore, consider maths if you enjoy Maths and puzzle solving, you will likely be doing this course for the next two years of your life so it is important that you enjoy working and being challenged mathematically. Additionally, you should be looking at doing at least five hours of Maths at home every week, with that number rising when exam time comes around, this is to ensure you have had extensive practice of solving puzzles and solutions and are capable of achieving great results when the time comes to take the exam. Most students who failed A-Level Maths were not willing to put in the extra hours away from school and therefore struggled to keep up when exam time came.
To conclude, seriously consider doing A-Level Maths if you genuinely enjoy the subject, have a passion for solving solutions and feel it is one of your strongest subjects. If you are willing to put in the work A-Level Maths is looked upon positively by Universities and can help you in certain life situations. If you feel Maths wont be quite right for you, assess your options and look into other subject and consider which subjects you enjoy, are strong in and would like to study for the next two years of your life.