I'm Ashleigh and I am an A Level student in studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics. These subjects are really enjoyable, but also quite challenging, and today, I want to talk about a few things about them and possibly answer a few question and respond to statements.
What skills do you need for your subjects?
Numbers are essential. I do hardly any writing of words in Maths and only a little bit in Physics. It's so important that you can work with numbers, but a lot of it is just expanding on work I did lower down in school, so that makes it not too bad. For Physics, I would say that the ability to think logically is pretty important. It can also be quite difficult to sit through 2 hours of theory because it can require a lot of intense thought. I have 2 hours of physics followed by 2 hours of maths, and so my brain was a little frazzled when I first started, but now I'm used to it, so it doesn't bother me so much.
What misconceptions are there about your subjects?
1. Science is for boys.
Lies. my physics class is one-quarter girls (9 boys, 3 girls) and my maths class is all girls (there are only 3 of us). I suppose that boys are more likely to pick up physics, but more girls take up further maths in my school. I certainly don't feel at a disadvantage because I'm a girl.
2. Physics is the hardest A Level
This isn't strictly true but it can be true. For me, the hardest a level would be something like history, because even though I enjoy learning about the past, I can't write essays about it without being bored out of my skull, and even when I try my best, I scrape a B. If you're good at maths, you'll be good at physics. Also, I have the tendency to overthink my physics a lot. It's really easy but because I think it's hard, I convince myself that it is harder than it is. It's all about perspective
3. All people who take science are super smart.
I took science. I rest my case.
People who take science tend to be good at science, but my class last year for Physics contained 26 people. This year, that has been cut down to 12 after people didn't get the grades they wanted, and so that is not the case.
Does your school treat your subjects differently to others?
Yes. The sciences are treated as superior to any humanity like English or History, and they are treated as superior to Art and Music. It's really strange. We are helped more with regards to personal statements and summer school applications. One of my friends was told she wasn't allowed in an advanced PSE class because, even though she had the grades required to get in, they told her that she hadn't taken any academic A Levels (she took Art, RE, and English), science students are taken a lot more seriously.
How can you revise for your subjects?
Past paper questions. All of the questions you can possibly get your hands on, answer them. My Maths teacher once told me "I took Maths because I'm a lazy learner. I don't want to learn fact after fact. I want to be able to practice something and then know it. Maths is for lazy learners. If you understand something, little practice is needed." Sometimes, you need to do questions to gain an understanding, and so they are definitely my recommendation. You can also try podcasts from websites like Audiopi.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them on Twitter, via email, or Instagram and make sure to check out my blog.
I hope you enjoyed this! I know I enjoyed working with Ashleigh. If you want to see my post on studying humanities, head over to her blog and check it out!