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FBS maths - why do A level

Why study A level mathematics at FBS
by

David Gaya

on 17 January 2011

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Transcript of FBS maths - why do A level

Why do A level Mathematics? What is the course like? Modules 3 modules at AS level in year 12 3 modules at A2 level in year 13 Core Maths 1 Core Maths 2 Decision Maths 1 Searching and sorting algorithms
Network algorithms to find the shortest or cheapest way to connect things
The chinese postman problem
Critical path analysis
Linear programming Algebra like simultaneous equations and quadratic equations
Coordinates and geometry such as gradients and midpoints
Sketching quadratic, cubic and other curves
Calculus - differentiation and integration
Series Sine and cosine rule
More algebra
More geometry
Trig graphs and more trigonometry
Radians
The binomial expansion
Logarithms and exponentials
More calculus Is it hard? Yes You can't get by on natural ability so much like at GCSE,you need to work steadily throughout the two years of the course. You will need to attend clinics at lunchtime or come and see your teacher in your study periods. Core Maths 3 More graphs
More trigonometry
More calculus
More algebra and functions Core Maths 4 More algebra - partial fractions
More geometry
More binomial theorem
More calculus
Vectors So why do a "hard" subject? 1. To get into a "good" university or onto a popular course Most univeristies have lists of suitable and unsuitable A levels. Cambridge University publish their lists The A list: "Suitable" Biology
Chemistry
English Literature
French
Further Maths
Geography
German
Music
Maths
Philosophy
Spanish The B list: "more limited suitability" Art & Design
Business Studies
Design & Technology
Drama/Theatre Studies
English Language (Arts)
Film Studies
Government & Politics
Law
Media Studies
Psychology
Sociology The C list: "Suitable Only As Fourth Subjects" Accounting
Citizenship
Computing
Critical Thinking
Dance
General Studies
Health & Social Care
Home Economics
ICT
Music Technology
Photography
Physical Education 2. To get a well paid job Jobs that require advanced mathematics generally pay high wages Here is a list of graduate starting salaries Protective service officers
Health professionals
Functional managers
Engineering professionals
Public service professionals
Business and statistical professionals
Information and communication technology professionals
Business and finance associate professionals
Health associate professionals
Architects, town planners, surveyors
Public service and other associate professsionals
Teaching professionals
Legal professionals
All occupations (including those not listed above)
Science professionals
Sales and related associate professionals
IT service delivery occupations
Managers in distribution, storage and retailing
Artistic and literary occupations
Science and engineering technicians
Media associate professinals
Design associate professionals
Social welfare associate professionals
Managers and proprietors in hospitality and leisure services
Legal associate professonals
Sports and fitness occupations £25,053
£24,968
£22,942
£22,823
£22,657
£22,535
£22,244
£22,217
£20,543
£20,472
£20,016
£19,577
£19,550
£19,300
£19,290
£19,020
£18,538
£18,488
£18,098
£18,046
£17,505
£17,493
£17,293
£16,825
£16,553
£16,151 Certain degrees require maths A level You will probably find that degrees in maths, statistics, physics, astronomy, engineering, computer science and possibly economics all require maths at A Level.

However, many other subjects, including medicine, architecture, and the laboratory and social sciences, do have a certain amount of mathematical content - and these subjects will be much easier for those with an A level in maths.

Many degree courses do not require specific A level subjects, but, of those that do, maths is by far the subject most commonly required. In fact, there are very few degree subjects for which an A level in maths would not be useful. A-level maths equals money Article | Published in The TES on 19 February, 1999 | By: Harvey McGavin People with a maths A-level go on to earn significantly more than their peers with equivalent qualifications in different subjects, according to new research.

The study compared the incomes and educational backgrounds of 4,500 people and concluded that having a maths A-level can increase long-term earning power by 7 to 10 per cent.

Maths conferred a clear advantage even when taken by weaker students. Researchers at the centre for economic performance at the London School of Economics found that the "return" in terms of pay to maths A-level was not simply because high-ability pupils were more likely to take the subject.

People who had only scraped a pass in the subject still enjoyed a higher income later in life - even the few who got a grade E earned 8 per cent more than those who did not take maths.

"If you take maths A-level the pay off is not just if you get grade A - even less able students are still benefiting," said Dr Anna Vignoles, who conducted the research with Peter Dolton of the University of Newcastle. The findings held true even when traditionally highly paid, maths-based occupations in banking, accounting and IT were removed from the equation and maths had a large positive effect on the earnings of graduates and non-graduates alike.

Nor were the higher salaries due to the fact that qualified people in short supply can usually command higher rates of pay. In that case, the differential could be expected to diminish over time as more people trained in the lucrative shortage area. But researchers observed the enhanced salary in both the 80s and 90s.

The study concludes: "There is clear evidence of a large positive return to maths A-level, even controlling for previous ability and further study at the graduate and post-graduate level. This result is more powerful than previous research which has only indicated that basic numeracy produces financial returns." Interestingly, the study found no evidence of positive returns to science or language A-levels.

"A possible explanation for this result is that the maths skills learned at A-level, such as logical thinking, problem solving and statistical analysis, may be closer to those actually used in the workplace than the skills developed in other subjects," Dr Vignoles said.

"There is a lack of information - I think many people are aware that going into science may lead to a more highly-paid career than doing English, for example. But we found that, even in the same occupation, someone who did maths is doing better."

The findings back up research by Professor Carol Fitz-Gibbon at Durham University, on the long-term consequences of curriculum choice. This showed that students in schools where the maths department had strong "pulling power" and recruited well onto A-level courses were better off and had a higher quality of life five years after leaving school than similarly able students who took English. Further Maths Year 12 You study the same 3 modules as the "normal" maths class to gain Mathematics AS level ...but you study an extra 3 modules in the same amount of time to also gain further mathematics AS level. You have to study FP1 Complex numbers
Geometry
Matrices
Numerical methods
Sequences
Proof You have to study 2 other applied modules. We will choose from: M1 M2 S2 D2 Year 13 2 choices: Easy Do the same 3 modules as "normal" maths
End up with Maths A level and Further Maths AS level Hard Do the same 3 modules as the "normal" maths A level
Also do 3 more further maths modules
You end up with 2 full A levels Have to do FP2 - this is hard M1 M2 S2 D2 FP3 - hard and any two of these Additional Maths S3 S3 Builds on GCSE
Reinforces a lot of A and A* grade work
Great introduction to A level maths An "A" grade in GCSE maths and any grade in additional maths is better than an "A*" grade in GCSE maths on its own Additional maths is worth UCAS points for university admission Grade Tariff points
A 20
B 17
C 13
D 10
E 7 For comparison an "E" grade at AS level is worth 20 points and an "A" grade worth 60 So should I do it or retake?? Anyone who wants to do A level maths and is gets a B, A or A* in their GCSE maths should do it. Results are published on Jan 14th - we will change sets around then. Anyone who gets an A or A* at GCSE should do it We can only have 32 pupils in each set so this will constrain choices. Sets 1 and 2 will start additional maths now, set 3 will prepare to retake GCSE If you do start additional maths it is great preparation for your retake Any set 3's who want to do additional maths must change now.
Any sets 1 and 2 who want to move into set 3 must change now.
Remember set size may constrain your choice
See me at the end if you want to change sets, we may let or may not depending on numbers Statistics 1 Mean and standard deviation
Stem and leaf, box plots
Scatter graphs and correlation
Regression
Normal distribution
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