Are you wondering how Maths at university will differ from studying Maths at A-level? If you are, I can tell you from experience that on your first few weeks, it’s almost like studying something else completely. So, I will share some pointers on what you can expect from this challenging subject.

• Your two compulsory modules will be Calculus & Analysis and Linear Algebra. So, if you feel confident with integration and solving equations, this might be your cup of tea! But be warned with Calculus, it requires more analysis than integration

• How strong is your memory? I hope the answer is “very” because you will be required to memorise lots and lots of proofs. A proof is an argument explaining how and why a theorem is true, such as Pythagoras Theorem

• Teamwork is key. Unless you are like Will from the movie “Good Will Hunting”, you cannot be a genius at every Mathematical aspect so communicate with your fellow students, solve math problems together

• Lectures did not appeal to me at first because I wanted to do some Maths, not hear about it, but you will adapt to it. If you are receptive and a good listener, you will process information in lectures quicker than others

• Microsoft Excel is used frequently in Maths so expect a lot of computer work. Don’t worry if you’re not good with computers, you will learn how to be but it requires your commitment to attend weekly computer classes

This may feel like a lot of information threw at you but don’t worry. At the beginning of the year, you will be allocated to a small group of Maths students, all in your year. Every group has their own personal tutor, a feedback leader (someone who reports back to you on homework) and surgery leaders (students in higher years helping you solve and understand a certain aspect of Maths). Plus, you can all work together in your groups as you will be meeting weekly.

If you still find yourself struggling, talk to your lecturers. Every lecturer has a ‘Office Hour’ where they dedicate one hour of their time to answer questions from students. There is also an option called “Peer Mentoring” where a group of students studying Maths gather together to support each other. There are also students from higher years who attend with the sole purpose of assisting first year Math students.

And of course, you can always leave a question for me and I will try my best to find the answer. So now that I’ve given you some pointers, hopefully you have some idea of what it will be like studying a Maths degree.

Thank you for reading

Leon

Great blog! I wanted to Sk what a levels did you do? Could you explain in more detail as to what information we will be required to memorise? How did you adjust to proofs?

Hi

I did A level Maths, Business and Computing and Maths was not even my strongest (I got a B). As for what you will need to memorize, there will be so many proofs, that I can guarantee. Obviously, to remember a proof, you’ll need to remember a theorem,. E.g. you will need to remember the product rule (for differentiation) and why it works every time (the proof). However, your lecturer will go over every theorem and proof you need to know for the exam.

To adapt to learning proofs, it’s simply about writing it down, understanding it then remembering it. Most people skip the second part but if you manage to understand what your proof means, you will find that remembering it becomes easier. Just be aware, proofs involve more numbers, symbols and formulas rather than a detailed paragraph so you will have to learn how to write them in ‘mathematical’ style which they will teach you.

Hope that helps 🙂