Author Topic: A level options  (Read 11357 times)

rr

Re: A level options
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2015, 01:03:21 pm »
A contemporary of mine did lat., gr. and div. at A-level and was thus assured of two years of one-to-one tuition.  He is now a CoE vicar.

Miss W has done some Latin and on occasion her tuition has been one-to-one.
Mini and micro get two years of compulsory Latin, and like it.

TimC

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Re: A level options
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2015, 03:05:02 pm »
I did Sums, Moar Sums, and teh Physik. Gave up Moar Sums after a year, as just Sums was maxing out my poor brane. Miss C Minor did Sums, Moar Sums, Stinks and teh Physik and has just embarked on a 4-year MSc in Physics with Theoretical Physics at King's. I think it's a ploy to get into the video games industry and play GTA5 until she retires.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: A level options
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2015, 03:25:39 pm »
Sums, Harder Sums, Physics and Stinks here, then Chem Eng and now I work designing plants that will go bang or really big bang if I get it wrong depending on which project I  am on. previous projects were refineries and fertilizer plants, just not on the same site.

Same here, now I work for a consultancy telling people like you why it's all going to bang and where the holes in your systems are.  Did a 4-year MEng, extending it to 5 as a thick sandwich which was very useful.

Now have an 11 year old of my own who is having sums drummed into her breain at every opportunity.  Maps and hills (Geography) got turned into a sums lesson on map scales last week
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Mr Larrington

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Re: A level options
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2015, 04:25:27 pm »
A contemporary of mine did lat., gr. and div. at A-level and was thus assured of two years of one-to-one tuition.  He is now a CoE vicar.

Miss W has done some Latin and on occasion her tuition has been one-to-one.
Mini and micro get two years of compulsory Latin, and like it.

My skool also had two years of compulsory lat. and while most people dropped it like a red-hot jar of mouldy Marmite as soon as they were able I enjoyed it enough to keep doing it another three years up to O-level.  Timetabling constraints meant I couldn't do lat. and geog. chiz so the latter had to go.  Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est - Wigan, Hunslet & Hull Kingston Rovers.  Or something.

So I did stuffs (physics)

Damn, I wish I'd thought of that one!
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: A level options
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2015, 07:17:12 pm »
I'd have opted for physics instead of further maths - physics is nowhere near as hard as its reputation suggests, and I found it probably the easiest (mentally much easier than maths and not as much stuff to remember as chemistry).  Or is further maths what kids need to actually cope with university these days?

Anyway, I ended up doing chemical engineering like various other people here.  I was terrible at it and it was deadly dull.  Got a 2:1 purely through exam technique and would have killed thousands had I ever gone into the industry.  Mind you, one girl got a First and I remember patiently and fruitlessly trying to explain to her why the condensate from her high-pressure steam circuit wouldn't flow back to the boiler of its own accord and that she needed a pump  ::-)
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: A level options
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2015, 07:29:35 pm »
Mind you, one girl got a First and I remember patiently and fruitlessly trying to explain to her why [...] she needed a pump  ::-)

I'll bet you did:-)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A level options
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2015, 07:53:13 pm »
Or is further maths what kids need to actually cope with university these days?

If it's a hard science or engineering, where you have to muck about with serious calculus etc, I think that's a good rule of thumb.

The maths content of softer sciences is more statistics, which is (IME) much easier to pick up as you go along - assuming a good grounding in the basics.


Further Maths is a far more relevant A-level for Electronic Engineering than Electronics is.  (DAHIKT.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: A level options
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2015, 09:58:50 pm »
I'd have opted for physics instead of further maths - physics is nowhere near as hard as its reputation suggests, and I found it probably the easiest (mentally much easier than maths and not as much stuff to remember as chemistry).  Or is further maths what kids need to actually cope with university these days?

Anyway, I ended up doing chemical engineering like various other people here.  I was terrible at it and it was deadly dull.  Got a 2:1 purely through exam technique and would have killed thousands had I ever gone into the industry.  Mind you, one girl got a First and I remember patiently and fruitlessly trying to explain to her why the condensate from her high-pressure steam circuit wouldn't flow back to the boiler of its own accord and that she needed a pump  ::-)

In my experience Chen eng is so wide ranging that you end up using g bits of it all over the place without conscious effort. There aren't many degrees that cover anything from advanced mathematics, chemistry, metallurgy, economics, people management, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics...

That said you wouldn't give me the job of designing a distillation column these days, but I can deal with people, understand how almost any business works, manage risk and not be baffled with bullsh$t in a technical conversation. 
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

rr

Re: A level options
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2015, 10:21:23 pm »
I'd have opted for physics instead of further maths - physics is nowhere near as hard as its reputation suggests, and I found it probably the easiest (mentally much easier than maths and not as much stuff to remember as chemistry).  Or is further maths what kids need to actually cope with university these days?

Anyway, I ended up doing chemical engineering like various other people here.  I was terrible at it and it was deadly dull.  Got a 2:1 purely through exam technique and would have killed thousands had I ever gone into the industry.  Mind you, one girl got a First and I remember patiently and fruitlessly trying to explain to her why the condensate from her high-pressure steam circuit wouldn't flow back to the boiler of its own accord and that she needed a pump  ::-)

In my experience Chen eng is so wide ranging that you end up using g bits of it all over the place without conscious effort. There aren't many degrees that cover anything from advanced mathematics, chemistry, metallurgy, economics, people management, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics...

That said you wouldn't give me the job of designing a distillation column these days, but I can deal with people, understand how almost any business works, manage risk and not be baffled with bullsh$t in a technical conversation.

Indeed the first thing I ever applied chem eng to was the refectory queue, and a good slice of our year ended up as accountants, which is process analysis with easier sums.

Mrs R and my brother did business studies degrees, I've yet to find anything that they studied and I didn't.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: A level options
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2015, 11:45:06 pm »
FWIW my sister did Sums (P&A), Stuffs, Stinks and Biology before she studied Biochemical Engineering at UCL.
She has remained a polymath superwoman.

Mr Larrington

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Re: A level options
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2015, 12:02:49 am »
Far be it for me to introduce the vexed question of whether exams are so easy these days that Bagpuss could get a hatful of top-end GCSE passes without even cribbing off Professor Yaffle.  But the build-up to our Hard Sums O-Levels (1980) one of our teachers spent a long time drumming some particularly abstruse concept into our thick skulls before blithely telling us "But you probably won't need to know this until the second year of a Sums degree".

So we killed him and sold the film rights to Lindsay Anderson.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: A level options
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2015, 05:59:12 pm »
My degree covered International Relations, history, ethics, psychology, conflict resolution, development studies, weapons development, philosophy, politics, economics...
Getting there...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: A level options
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2015, 06:04:26 pm »
...and as a result you know how best to pick up a bargain 155mm self-propelled gun?
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: A level options
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2015, 06:37:31 pm »
A Levels were in 1968 for me.  Maths, Further Maths and Physics.  The usual "engineering" choices although in retrospect I would have been better served taking Chemistry instead of Further Maths.  In those days we had no modules, no pick and choose, no course work included - you did the whole subject.  e.g. statistics was not a separate subject or module.  In Physics that year, our teacher decided there had been no questions on thermionics for some years so we did not cover much.  Of course some came up in the exam.  For some reason I was obsessed with the photo electric effect and spent many lunch times in the Physics lab messing about.

This all led me to a life in electronics and related subjects.  Nobody told me I'd have been wealthier and better regarded if I'd used the sums to be an accountant.  If asked I usually advise people not to go into professional engineering, but if they must then they should work for a small company or preferably abroad.  Bitter - no I've got over that since I retired early 6 years ago and the trouble was I enjoyed my work too much to be worried about a trifling thing like salary.  Typically I worked 30% extra hours each year in unpaid overtime.

I get miffed when people say that their nephew is doing an engineering degree.  I always ask "civil, electronic, electrical, etc". Of course they mean mechy stuff.

Latin - that was compulsory in the first year at grammar school.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: A level options
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2015, 09:30:18 pm »
A Levels were in 1968 for me.  Maths, Further Maths and Physics.  The usual "engineering" choices although in retrospect I would have been better served taking Chemistry instead of Further Maths.  In those days we had no modules, no pick and choose, no course work included - you did the whole subject.  e.g. statistics was not a separate subject or module.  In Physics that year, our teacher decided there had been no questions on thermionics for some years so we did not cover much.  Of course some came up in the exam.  For some reason I was obsessed with the photo electric effect and spent many lunch times in the Physics lab messing about.

This all led me to a life in electronics and related subjects.  Nobody told me I'd have been wealthier and better regarded if I'd used the sums to be an accountant.  If asked I usually advise people not to go into professional engineering, but if they must then they should work for a small company or preferably abroad.  Bitter - no I've got over that since I retired early 6 years ago and the trouble was I enjoyed my work too much to be worried about a trifling thing like salary.  Typically I worked 30% extra hours each year in unpaid overtime.

I get miffed when people say that their nephew is doing an engineering degree.  I always ask "civil, electronic, electrical, etc". Of course they mean mechy stuff.

Latin - that was compulsory in the first year at grammar school.

I think that's par for the course as a professional engineer whether in mainstream, or having branched out as I did into various safety related specialisms and now a professional auditor of other peoples management systems.  I'm reasonably well paid and love my job, hence I've been here 8 years and am looking to buy into the business in a year or so. 

I could have earned more as a counter of other peoples money, but would I have been happier, no.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: A level options
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2016, 09:54:21 am »
I did Maths, moar Maths, Physics and French. Mainly because I didn't enjoy Chemistry!
Then a Physics degree, and Aerodynamics masters -> computer programming.
I would have thought that Physics would go with either Maths and Further Maths (and get you a nice crossover with Mechanics) better than either Chemistry or Bio, but it sounds like a nice set of options that would keep things open... And what do I know - my A levels were 20 years ago!
Cheers
Duncan

Re: A level options
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2016, 10:07:24 am »
Ooo. Where did you do your Aerodynamics Masters ?  Mini-h is thinking along similar lines (but is still a year away from GCSEs.) Thanks.
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Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A level options
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2016, 05:27:01 pm »
I would have thought that Physics would go with either Maths and Further Maths (and get you a nice crossover with Mechanics) better than either Chemistry or Bio, but it sounds like a nice set of options that would keep things open... And what do I know - my A levels were 20 years ago!
Cheers
Duncan

She's not keen on physical SCIENCE but having a talent for TEH SUMS will (hopefully) make her a strong candidate when she applies for university. Plus a couple of her closest friends will also be doing maths and moar maths which is always a help.
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David Martin

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Re: A level options
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2016, 11:00:07 pm »
I did Stinks, stuffs, and furry things. (Chemistry Physics and Zoology). Should really have done Maths and More Maths but I had done AO pure maths and theoretical mechanics so have the basis of calculus.

I'm pretty sure the standard of maths for O'level /GCSE has declined, and if you want to do a proper science at University then an absolute minimum of a top grade at GCSE, and preferably A level/Higher is to be desired. The biggest challenge we see is application and problem solving.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: A level options
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2016, 07:03:36 pm »
Ooo. Where did you do your Aerodynamics Masters ?  Mini-h is thinking along similar lines (but is still a year away from GCSEs.) Thanks.
Cranfield. I did Aerospace Dynamics specialising in CFD, though there were Aero and Flight Dynamics specialisms sharing the majority of the courses. If you're interested further, PM me and I can elaborate (though it was over 10 years ago)...
Cheers
Duncan

fd3

Re: A level options
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2016, 11:05:11 pm »
I don't know how many of you will be familiar with the current structure of the A Level Maths courses but it's a lot more flexible and sensible than when I took mine (early 80s). For A you take 6 modules : 4 core (pure) and 2 applied. Further Maths students do Further Pure modules (2 I think) plus 2 more applied modules. Applied modules can be selected from mechanics, stats and decision maths. Students taking both just sit a whole bunch of exams and the exam board sorts it all out for them.
Almost; moar maths is 2 further pure options +4 other options, which can be 2 further pure and 2 applied, or 4 applied (actually it might be min 3 further math but I don't think so).  You can keep stacking up math a levels as long as you complete a set of 6.

... And ffs there's a helova lot of mathsy physicists about here!
[/I could be wrong]

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A level options
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2016, 03:15:22 pm »
Thanks for the clarification. Good job it's not me taking the courses! Miss W has finished her GCSEs now and is looking forward to 6th form. I'm looking forward to catching up with some of the maths that I've forgotten.
Pen Pusher

Re: A level options
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2016, 08:24:03 am »
Mine will be doing Politics, Philosophy, History and Drama. He wants to be a Drama Teacher. He's also an A star Maths student and I encouraged him to take this at A level and drop one of the Arts subjects. I thought it would be a good quality-add to his CV.

However he said no as he's not passionate about the subject. This is fair enough as one needs to be passionate about A levels in order to do well in them.

Re: A level options
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2016, 08:35:58 am »
I don't know how many of you will be familiar with the current structure of the A Level Maths courses but it's a lot more flexible and sensible than when I took mine (early 80s). For A you take 6 modules : 4 core (pure) and 2 applied. Further Maths students do Further Pure modules (2 I think) plus 2 more applied modules. Applied modules can be selected from mechanics, stats and decision maths. Students taking both just sit a whole bunch of exams and the exam board sorts it all out for them.

In my day we did either pure & mechanics or pure 'n' stats. No mixing of applied subjects like today. Our Further Maths course was taught in the upper 6th but I dropped out after a term as I was horribly ill (plus I was trying to fit in my grade 8 violin before I left school).

So I did stuffs (physics), sums & stinks. Further Maths would certainly have helped me later as my Engineering degree was very theoretical. I managed to get by though.

Don't forget than new A levels are coming on stream for some subjects and already have for others. OTOH new style already in for physics for last year's Year 12, Maths will come on stream in 2017. (Better check...I could be wrong)

New ones are probably harder (although how that relates to grades is anyone's guess),  and are decoupled from AS, so backloads all the pressure to Year 13. Good news for procrastinators!

Other possible good news for you is that Ofqual produced a study of grade disparity between subjects, and found there was a two grade difference in difficulty between the easiest and the hardest subjects at A level (phys, chem, f.maths, multiple being the hardest) and are running a consultation on how to redress this.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A level options
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2016, 02:19:22 pm »
Other possible good news for you is that Ofqual produced a study of grade disparity between subjects, and found there was a two grade difference in difficulty between the easiest and the hardest subjects at A level (phys, chem, f.maths, multiple being the hardest) and are running a consultation on how to redress this.

How do they measure that?  Even if there is an objective way to measure the hardness of Physics compared to, say, Geography, wouldn't the same technique be able to settle once and for all that bollocks that old people talk about exams getting easier?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...