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 Post subject: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:54 pm 
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My first day of college was today, and I have so many things I need to buy including text books and ring binders. I don't know if exam boards are the same world wide but I'd like to know how many topics there are in each book. I'm assuming around 5-10 topics per book, but if anyone can tell me how many topics are in these books ASAP then that would help me decide any binders, and how many dividers I need to get.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1846908930/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0435519115/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0435519107/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0435631497/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0435631470/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0748782826/ref=ox_sc_act_title_7?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Chichester, England
Although I do AQA maths instead of Edexcel, this is what I found on the web:

Core 1: algebra and functions, quadratic functions, equalities and inequalities, sketching curves, coordinate geometry in (x,y) plane, sequences and series, differentiation, integration.

Core 2: algebra and functions, coordinate geometry, sequences and series, trigonometry, differentiation, integration.

Decision 2: algorithms, graphs and networks, critical path analysis, linear programming, matchings.

Chemical Ideas: 15 topics (I'm too lazy to list them, but the 15 include topics in the A2 course as well. The topics in the Chemical Ideas are also included in the topics in this book, so you shouldn't need to double up)

Physics AS: particles, quantum phenomena, electricity, mechanics, materials, waves (although the last three all sort of merge together, so it can be hard to separate them into individual topics)

I would suggest that if you can, try and study Mechanics 1 instead of Decision 1. It will help you out a great deal in physics, and is far more credible (Decision is considered to be a bit of a joke, I only did it because I needed modules for my further maths AS Level).

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:22 pm 
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I might be doing further in the second year, but I haven't been put on that course at the moment because I didn't get many A's in my GCSEs so the college suggested it would be too much work for me, regardless of my A* in Maths :(. But thanks Luke! It's funny, instead of this topic I was going to ask you via PM but thought others might be able to help too just in case :D

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Location: Chichester, England
How many As did you get at GCSE? At the end of the day you should be able to study what you want, if you teach yourself a course or module you should be able to get your college to enter you into the exam; it gives you a lot of flexibility in what you can do (hence why I recommend trying to learn mechanics, even if it means teaching yourself). If you want to study maths or similar degrees at uni you really want to try and get a further maths A level.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:39 pm 
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1 A*
1 A
4 B's
3 C's
2 P's (Pass)

The college said I may be able to do further maths next year depending on how I do in regular maths

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Location: Chichester, England
Well further maths is a good option, but it might be best to leave further maths until next year, as A Level is quite a jump from GCSE. You really need to study like mad from the start if you're going to keep up with it all! :lol:

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3x3x3 average of twelve: 9.77 seconds.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:59 pm 
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If I am to study at home for mechanics, will the text books cover everything? (Seems like a silly question but I felt I needed to ask) Also, What courses are you doing at college?

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Yes, the textbooks should cover everything. I expect your college will have a teacher who knows the mechanics module, so you should be able to talk to them, should you have any questions.

I was studying maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and computing, but I dropped computing, and am carrying on with the other four into A2.

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3x3x3 average of five: 8.92 seconds.
3x3x3 average of twelve: 9.77 seconds.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:13 pm 
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How would it work if I studdied the mechanics module at home? Would I drop decision or carry on with that too? If that's the case I don't quite understand, because it's just a module, I wouldn't be getting any other A levels out of it would I? Is the point of the mechanics module (in this scenario) to better my physics course?

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Location: In my study drooling over my puzzle hoard - Precioussssss!
Oh dear! This makes me feel like an old man!

In my day...... (See old man sentence!!!!!)
We had O levels, A levels (& S levels for the very bright!)

None of my qualifications are valid now! :shock: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:15 pm 
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Luke wrote:
I was studying maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and computing, but I dropped computing, and am carrying on with the other four into A2.

Bad decision, there's no future in chemistry (the poor chineese and indians do all the advanced chemistry for next to nothing these days), so you should have dropped that instead of computing.

Read this, and the comments from PhDs (mainly bio/chemists) struggling to get a job: http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/20 ... detail.php

I would recommend to do maths, statistics, probability, computing, anything else to do with data analytics = better career prospects with Big Data.

To be honest, I am very cynical about all the huge hype around Big Data right now, but like when the internet just got started, there was huge hype, a huge bubble which suddenly burst around 2000, and then a steady learning and growth phase with Web 2.0, and now it's bigger than ever.

I'm pretty sure the same will happen with Big Data, so you want to learn as much as you can as fast as you can to become an expert and position yourself for a great career in this field as it takes off (again, once the initial bubble has burst). And who knows, you may even develop your own breakthroughs while in college and start your own Google in your college dorm room. I'll just take a 1% share for the great career advice, thanks. :wink:

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Last edited by KelvinS on Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Puzzlemad wrote:
Oh dear! This makes me feel like an old man!

In my day...... (See old man sentence!!!!!)
We had O levels, A levels (& S levels for the very bright!)

None of my qualifications are valid now! :shock: :shock:

Don't forget CSEs. CSE grade 1 = O level grade C. Remember the Eleven Plus? I was in the first post Eleven Plus year and the start of the Comprehensive system.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
Puzzlemad wrote:
Oh dear! This makes me feel like an old man!

In my day...... (See old man sentence!!!!!)
We had O levels, A levels (& S levels for the very bright!)

None of my qualifications are valid now! :shock: :shock:

Don't forget CSEs. CSE grade 1 = O level grade C. Remember the Eleven Plus? I was in the first post Eleven Plus year and the start of the Comprehensive system.

I was in the very last year that did GCE O levels in 1987, just before they merged with CSEs into GCSEs. That was good for me because I could get top grades from just the exams at the end, without having to do any course work during the two years, otherwise I would have suffered. :)

PS. GCSEs are like razors, with stars instead of blades: they keep adding more stars/blades to fool us that the standard is getting higher.

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If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done - Thomas Jefferson


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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
KelvinS wrote:
To be honest, I am very cynical about all the huge hype around Big Data right now, but like when the internet just got started, there was huge hype, a huge bubble which suddenly burst around 2000, and then a steady learning and growth phase with Web 2.0, and now it's bigger than ever.

I'm pretty sure the same will happen with Big Data, so you want to learn as much as you can as fast as you can to become an expert and position yourself for a great career in this field as it takes off (again, once the initial bubble has burst). And who knows, you may even develop your own breakthroughs while in college and start your own Google in your college dorm room. I'll just take a 1% share for the great career advice, thanks. :wink:

"Big Data" is a marketing term and it's hard to take anything that's heavy on marketing seriously.

The concept of storing and processing very large sets of data certainly isn't a bubble and isn't going away. Beyond the obvious things like search engines, advertising networks and tracking companies, processing huge amounts of data is revolutionizing computing. The same goes with "Cloud {Services, Computing, Storage, Processing}" and although there is certainly a lot of hype there it's not going away either.

Like most fields, there are two sides to it. The people that use the systems and the people that design and build them. To be on the design and build side of things you need a PhD in computer science with a focus in either algorithms, information theory, storage and networking, or systems and networking.

It seems like every company is deploying Splunk (or Splunk-like search) and storing data in Apache Hadoop (or other map-reduce like storage clusters).

The world simply generates too much data to use individual computers to analyze it or use simple linear-scan search algorithms. Distributed storage and cluster computing are the future of all data processing. Eventually the "big data" buzzword will implode but the concepts behind it won't.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:59 am 
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I completely agree with the above, it's all to do with the value of clairvoyance, or at least making better decisions based on better forecasts: He/she who can identify real, meaningful and reproducible patterns or correlations in the vast amounts of data we now generate, will be able to make better forecasts and therefore better investment decisions. The key to this is a solid understanding of probability and statistics, to see through complexity and distinguish between real correlations and random noise.

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 Post subject: Re: A-Level questions
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:57 am
Location: In my study drooling over my puzzle hoard - Precioussssss!
Tony Fisher wrote:
Remember the Eleven Plus? I was in the first post Eleven Plus year and the start of the Comprehensive system.

Oh yes! I was at the beginning of the comprehensive debacle but luckily managed to get through my 11plus and get a place at one of the last grammar schools left!
Thank heavens!! :lol:

KelvinS wrote:
That was good for me because I could get top grades from just the exams at the end, without having to do any course work during the two years, otherwise I would have suffered. :)

I did the Nuffield Biology A level and had to do a thesis. Not from book/internet research! I had to set up experiments and run them and write a thesis on it! Great fun! :D

JackRTully wrote:
1 A*
1 A
4 B's
3 C's
2 P's (Pass)

What is considered good these days?
I got:
O levels - 10 As and a B
A levels - 4 As
S levels - 2 distinction
Got me into Edinburgh university med school! :shock:

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Hopelessly addicted to puzzles!! :oops:
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