The truth is, A-level maths is one of the hardest subjects there is, and students who don’t have a grade 7 or above at GCSE are often unsuccessful at A-level (a couple of years ago I made this video
that goes into a lot more detail about why this is and how to decide). But this year it’s even harder than usual for students to judge whether they’ll be prepared for A-level. The harsh truth is that the way grades are being awarded by centres there will be many students who will be awarded grade 7 whilst only working at grade 5 or 6 level. That may well be the fair thing to do in the context of the pandemic but A-level maths won’t be any easier than usual when they start the course.
This year more than ever, students thinking about taking A-level with these sorts of grades would be well advised to try to look ahead over the summer, to consolidate the harder parts of GCSE and to work on some of the earlier parts of A-level to get a feel for how different it can be.
That’s why, by 30 June, I’ll have completed a new online course, to help students decide whether A-level Maths is the right choice, and to get ahead and give themselves the best chance of success. Designed to be studied either 2 hours per day over 5 weeks or 5 hours per day over 2 weeks (though keen students could spend twice as long or more on the exercises!) this course picks up 5 key foundational themes from A-level.
It will boost their confidence in the hardest topics from GCSE/IGCSE and point the way towards A-level, including introducing some new topics like logarithms and differentiation to give them a taste of what the full A-level course is like. There will be some really tough questions in each section to challenge the strongest students too.
As well as being suitable for Year 11 students who have decided to take A-level already, it could also be great for advanced year 10 students about to start something like a GCSE/IGCSE in Further Maths or the OCR FSMQ Add Maths qualification.
Right now, the course is still being produced and tested but if you sign up as a pre-order now you can save 50% (and get a full refund if for any reason the course isn’t finished on time), so take a look here
and sign up now, or send it to a friend you know who might find it useful.
As ever, just reply to this email or write to me at email@example.com if there’s anything more you’d like to know about the course or if you have any other suggestions.
Kevin Olding (aka Mathsaurus)
MMATH (Oxon) LLB MSc MRes FRSA