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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:04 pm 
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DS’s school doesn’t offer Further maths as an option. He is looking to apply for engineering next year and no universities are asking for Further Maths, just maths and physics at HL. Even to study maths at Oxbridge, HL maths is required (albeit a 7) not Further maths.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:07 pm 
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bondgirl - every school can offer Further Maths through the AMSP [previously FMSP].

Details here: https://amsp.org.uk/teachers/a-level-further


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:12 pm 
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Thanks G55. I meant as an IB option - DS’s school only offer IB in the 6th form.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:18 am 
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bondgirl wrote:
DS’s school doesn’t offer Further maths as an option. He is looking to apply for engineering next year and no universities are asking for Further Maths, just maths and physics at HL. Even to study maths at Oxbridge, HL maths is required (albeit a 7) not Further maths.


Hi bondgirl,
Do the universities you've research ask for any of the new "flavours" of higher maths? I guess this would be too new for your son?
The IB now offers Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretations.

Also, do you know if anyone is doing 4 subjects at higher level? The IB page says that a maximum of 4 subjects can be taken.

Thanks!

Salsa


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:29 am 
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Hi salsa!

I would ask a different a different question: what is the best preparation for a particular STEM degree course? Which are the best Sixth Form options as preparation, not the easiest track on to that course.

You have touched some important aspects, though.

Several valid points have been made. It’s worth adding, though, that a University Faculty in the UK is looking for intellectual potential and suitability for the particular degree course. They are just trying to be fair and sensible when comparing candidates, in most cases without using Written Entrance Assessments or Interviews for most courses. They typically receive applications from all over the world with a wide range of qualifications. Indeed, there are some schools in the UK alone which themselves offer A Levels, Pre U and IB in the same school, with some candidates offering two or even three of these in their UCAS Applications .

IB is generally offered by the ‘better’ or ‘posher’ schools, many of them private and a few state grammar schools at the top end socio-economically. So it’s extremely unlikely that a candidate offering IB on their UCAS Form is going to be at a ‘tough’ school or ‘deprived’ or at a disadvantage with a particular University or Faculty. In fact, the statistics show that such candidates are disproportionately successful in getting places at the top Faculties and the top Universities. This is in spite of ‘contextualisation’, that is assessing a candidate in their full circumstances so that , for example, a Duke’s son from Eton with A*A*A* may not necessarily get the place ahead of a boy from a tough background with AAA from an inner city ‘comp’, a school without a single teacher with a full Maths degree, let alone a teacher qualified to teach FM. (I’ve worked at some schools like this.)

I did a bit of Maths in my youth. My daughter does not but a lot of her Cambridge friends, and her school friends at other Universities, now do Engineering/Physical Sciences/Computer Science/ Economics at leading UK faculties. They all say that what matters most is having done very demanding Maths before starting at University (and keeping it up during any gap year), not the label of the qualification. Also important is the ability to ask for help, knuckle down and adapt early on if faced with unfamiliar or ‘scary’ Maths on their degree course .Those with A Level Further Maths A and A* grades are glad for that grounding but are still surprised at how challenging the Maths is on their degree courses.

Finally, I would add that the highest quality Maths and Physics are probably better prep than DT or Computer Science.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Hi Jean.Brodie,

Thank you for your detailed response. I definitely agree with you! My son, however, is doing the maths (pardon the pun)! He thinks that it would be easier to get an A* than a 7, which is required by some universities. So, I've been trying to come up with something to quantify how much harder the IB higher would be.

We believe in the IB and think it would make him a better prepared student and that this would help him at university. He, however, is looking at what happens short term.

Dartford Grammar sent 44% of students to STEM university courses, so they must be teaching the IB well.

Having said all that, my son changes every day and now has come up with aeronautical engineering! (Goodness help us!)


Salsa


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:13 pm 
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Jean.Brodie
DT is a preferred A level in some Cambridge colleges - it is not a 'soft' A level. Design is a very important part of Engineering these days. My DS spends most of his time designing in his Engineering graduate role.


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