July 1, 2021

A Level Further Maths Explained

Students that take Further Maths are in a special group. Less than 2 percent of students who take A-Levels go on to take Further Maths. This means that taking Further Math will distinguish them and give them a unique qualification. 

Taking further Maths will make students a great candidate for a wide range of university courses and careers that may interest them. Although there are certain professions where it is more beneficial to have Further Mathematics. 

Further Mathematics allows students to expand on what they are learning in A-level Mathematics. Further Mathematics is not something that is taken in isolation, it should be taken after the student has successfully completed A-level Mathematics or alongside A-level Mathematics. 

This is because the curriculum for Further Mathematics is designed with the intention that students already know or have a background in A-level Mathematics. 

Who Should Take Further Maths?

It is best that students have a passion for and have a track record of performing well in Math before deciding to take Further Mathematics. With Further Maths students can broaden and deepen the knowledge that they have gained from taking A-Level Maths.

How Beneficial Is Further Mathematics?

In Further Maths, students will do Statistics, Mechanics, Pure Maths, and Discreet Maths in some cases.

If students have achieved a Grade A in GCSE maths then these students should consider studying Further Maths. There are a few important questions that students need to ask themselves before they pursue Further Mathematics.

It is important that they decide which career field they wish to pursue. The contents of Further Mathematics are more relevant to some career fields than others. 

However, in general, even if a student does not wish to pursue careers that are related directly to mathematics, studying further mathematics can still be beneficial. 

For example, even in a field outside of mathematics, they may be required to take an admission test and this admission test will usually have a mathematical component to it. Studying Further Mathematics will assist them with doing well on these entry-level examinations.

Studying Further Maths for University

If students plan to go to university to study math then Further Maths will probably be required before students can enroll in these courses. Further Maths is often also a requirement for many degrees that have a lot of math content. If students plan to study physics, economics, or engineering they need to take Further Maths in most cases.

Even if a university does not require students to have Further Maths for entry into these programs, many students who apply for these degrees have Further Maths as a qualification. This means that in order to compete with them it is best for the student to also have Further Maths.

What Does a Further Maths Course Consist Of?

In Further Maths students will need to take an additional six models along with their Math A-level courses. Students must take at least two Further Pure Models: FP1 and FP2 or students may choose FP3.

These models are an extension of the models that students take at Maths A-level. The four core models from A level Maths are:

  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry
  • Calculus
  • Algebra

While the four subjects mentioned above are at the heart of Further Mathematics there is a lot more that students will cover during the course. The materials that students will cover will develop their analytical and problem-solving skills. In Further Mathematics they will do topics such as:

  • Matrices
  •  Imaginary numbers
  •  Different coordinate systems

There is a lot more that students will cover but these are some of the main topics that students should look out for.

There are some courses that students can take in Further Maths simply because they want to. For example, students can take mechanics, statistics, and discrete mathematics by choice.

If students opt to study mechanics they will be studying a subject that is very close to physics. Mechanics looks at the idea of motion to figure out how things move.

Statistics deals with the interpretation of numerical data and generates answers to numerical questions. Discrete mathematics will take a look at objects that can only take on distinct or separated values.

Assessment of Further Maths

Further Maths assessments like the other assessments in A level are done based on an examination at the end of the student’s final year. This means that students have to get exam ready throughout the whole studying process.

Many schools offer mock examinations prior to the actual exam. Mock examinations can monitor students’ progress to see whether or not they are ready to sit the actual exam. Mock examinations are normally based on previous examination papers and are one of the best ways to look at a student’s strengths and weaknesses before they go into the actual exam.

In addition to mock examinations, students can also go online to do further maths revision courses. Many of these courses are quite detailed and go step by step into various sections of the syllabus. This will give students additional practice that can be beneficial to them when they sit the examination.

These practice websites usually offer free help and some of them may have forums so that students can discuss the examination with other candidates who are also practicing. Needless to say, the more preparation that a student can get ahead of the Further Maths examination the more likely it is that they will succeed when they take the exam.

Further Maths examinations may differ slightly based on the exam board with which students take it. However, there are some general examination patterns that are often followed.

There are likely to be four exams, each of these exams will last for one and a half hours. There are two compulsory exams that students normally have to take. There are also two optional papers that are required. Students may choose from the following:

  • Mechanics
  •  Pure Maths
  •  Statistics
  •  Discrete Math 

The results of the examinations will be issued at a date to be announced once the student sits the examination.

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