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Maths is a highly useful subject to have, even if your anticipated degree path isn’t directly related to the area of study. Maths lends itself to a range of transferrable skills which could benefit you in your chosen subject, even if only to help you to apply a rational thought process or make logical, well-thought out decisions.
It is quite fascinating to think that Maths is the only language that is exactly the same for all humans, regardless of nationality, culture, religion or gender. Just like Pi is always going to be roughly 3.14 no matter who or where you are, the principal Maths tools and functions are exactly the same for everyone.
In fact, as a subject that is purely logical and objective, Maths is one of the few subjects whereby you can really measure yourself against the rest.
If you know a Maths answer, you know it – there are no two ways around the situation. The only place that students could fall short of getting the same top mark that a fellow pupil got is if they failed to show all of their working out.
You won’t be able to use a calculator in your Maths exam as the examiner will want to see your working out. Photo by me_chris on Visual hunt / CC BY
On the other hand, it is quite difficult to guess answers in a Maths exam because you really need to be sure of your response and how you came to arrive at it.
Maths and the skills that emerge from understanding its tools and functions are directly linked to a number of other subjects.
For instance, Maths and Physics are interrelated while some of the methods applied to solving questions in Maths also apply to Chemistry, Information Technology and the Sciences.
Consequently, an A Level in Maths can make your learning journey much easier and smoother if you decide to take one of these scientific or technical courses at university.
Maths additionally makes a great joint subject, because it is so neutral and can offer a nice balance in your student life. It is easily combined with courses like History, English, Music as well as languages to provide you with a varied and all-round learning experience.
Add to that the fact that you will have the opportunity to meet very different crowds of pupils, and you can benefit from a very rich experience as you embark on your degree-level qualification.
Moreover, if you do decide to throw yourself into your Maths studies and take it as a joint or individual degree at university, you could be looking to receive a better financial reward further down the line than some of your peers.
The prospects for Maths graduates are pretty high, especially if you study at an establishment that is highly-rated for its Maths department.
While most universities across the UK offer very good tuition in a range of subjects, it is inevitable that some establishements offer a slightly better level of teaching, usually due to the expertise of their departments.
The UK University Times Subject Ranking for 2018 deems the University of Cambridge being the top choice for mathematicians, closely followed by The University of Oxford. This comes as no big surprise due to their outstanding and unrivalled reputation.
Cambridge is home to the top ranked university for Maths. Photo by llee_wu on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND
Other universities that take the top five spots include The University of St Andrews, the University of Warwick and Durham University. While these top-ranking establishments are dispersed around the country, you may still find that other educators might be better suited to you.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t set your sights on gaining entry into one of these well-known unis, so take a look at their requirements and see if you’ve got what it takes to become their next model Maths pupil!
Maths is not only a subject that will teach you to count, basic Maths is also relevant to your everyday life as a student, including helping you with budgeting for things like rent and groceries.
Although it may sound very straightforward, having only ever had to think about pocket money, your wages and rent paid to parents (if applicable), the burden of having all of these new expenditures to worry about can be a bit overwhelming.
For example, as a tenant, you will need to remember to put aside cash for your TV licence, electricity and heating bills, food shopping, toiletries and other expenses.
While this seems simple enough to grasp, the concept of budgeting is quite something else. For instance, do you buy that special something that you’ve been waiting to purchase even though it could leave you short on money? It is at times like these when you may need to rack your brains to work out if you can make up for the funds in your next pay packet or if you can afford to put the item in question on your credit card to be repaid at a later date.
Admittedly, complicated equations don’t come in to play (unless you are a student who has a lot of time on their hands!) however you will often find yourself using mental arithmetic to add, deduct, multiply and even divide during this stage of newfound freedom.
Learn what to expect from A-Level Maths at School.
By studying Maths, you can develop a range of skills that are sought after by employers and that will also help you throughout your day to day life. For example, Maths encourages logical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving.
Without these properties deep-rooted into your senses and responses, you would not be able to get by in our modern and complex Western society.
What’s more, with the world very quickly turning towards technical solutions and automation, we are constantly interacting with machines and devices. These interactions and functions require us to have a basic understanding of logic, analytics as well as other technical skills if we are to move forward with our lives with ease, embracing newfound technologies.
Careers involving Maths are usually permanent, which is promising if you are keen on finding a stable career, not to mention the fact that Maths graduates earn on average a much higher starting salary than other industries.
Along with this fantastic introductory pay package, the potential to rise up the salary scale is a huge advantage for the professionals.
Maybe you didn’t take A level Maths at school but now wish to as an adult. Find out how to resit your A Level Maths later in life here.
Furthermore, if you are self-employed and need to take charge of your accounts, then having a good grounding in Maths can be extremely useful and could potentially save you money. For even those who pay an accountant or accountancy firm to deal with their tax return need to do their own working out at times!
For example, as a professional, you will no doubt spend a lot of time working out costs to see if jobs are worth it in terms of what return they can bring.
If you wind up self-employed, Maths could be a very useful asset you when it comes to working out your accounts. Photo by remysharp on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
A Landscape Gardener, for instance, might draw from their Maths skillset in order to calculate the value of their time quoting for garden transformations, how much they will need to spend on materials for a particular job, how many days of labour will be required to complete the actual work, all before they commit to offering a final price to their customer.
Whether the individual keeps track of this subconsciously or they regularly sit down to do their working out, you can now see that there a lot of things at play and which need to be given careful consideration.
A person who is not proficient enough to project their costs and expenditure accurately could soon find that their work dwindles because of their lack in consistency when pricing up or because they are simply working at a loss.
In addition, money can be saved by opting to provide your accountant with your own accounts for them to submit on your behalf, as opposed to paying them to calculate all of your earnings and payouts themselves. This involves a lot of dedication from the sole trader and also a relative amount of skill, including the ability to work with numbers and spreadsheets.
Finally, by submitting your own tax return without the help of an accountant, you can also save further administration fees, but you would need to be very confident in your maths ability and that your figures are correct, or else you could be facing a big tax bill – now that’s a number that you won’t like!
Find out where to find A level Maths past papers with our blog, here.
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