An Introduction to Maths as an Academic Subject
For thousands of years humans have studied maths and it has made a lot of people very successful, Pythagoras, Einstein, an all those suited up business men who’ve studied some engineering or financial mathematics. It is safe to say that it is everywhere, and that is why it is such a popular subject at A Level. But the common misconception by GCSE students is that it is going to be more of the same old stuff… wrong. In fact GCSE is much easier that back in the day where you Mam or Dad took it, where they used differentiation and integration, you done Pythagoras’ theorem.
This is not to devalue your GCSE achievement, it is still a difficult subject and it takes effort to get the top grades! But over time the important bridging points from GCSE to A Level have been lost, making the gap larger and larger.
So yes the GCSE leaves a lot of must know information out so that it tests calculation rather than understanding. If you’ve just started your A Level you’ve probably been given a homework telling you to do lots and lots of algebra manipulation. Yes, you’ll need to, you haven’t done enough at GCSE to start the course yet but you already are. Now, rather than dwelling on the negatives, we can say now that there’s so much to learn. And as you’ll come to realise, the less you know the more you are interested, once you think you know something it is then really hard to revise, to get those top grades. If you want to do science at degree level it is best to get an A in your maths so that the learning curve isn’t too steep when you hit university. If you don’t want to do science it is not that important but it will show a diversity in you which will help you get selected, so either way it is worth having the A Level.