UoA Young Scholar

Has anyone does the UoA YS in MATHS153 or COMPSCI? What is the difficulty and does it make you stand out as an individual. Do you have to apply as a transfer?

Hi there, I did Maths 153 as a high school student so I might be able to provide a bit of insight there.

The course is definitely a large step up from secondary school mathematics. Half of the course is around calculus and the other half is linear algebra (dealing with vectors and matrices and solving systems of equations). The course is also a lot more formal than anything I had done at high school, in the sense that we were learning about theorems and proofs, and learning about calculus in a much more fundamental way (such as learning first principles and the definition of a limit). I personally enjoyed this, but I know that a lot of people didn’t care much for it.

How new the content might be will really depend on whether you studied NCEA, CIE or IB. Coming from NCEA, most of the content is quite foreign, however if you have done CIE then a lot of the calculus stuff is familiar and you have also had an introduction to linear algebra before.

In terms of workload, it’s fairly intensive. The amount of content that you cover isn’t extreme, but you have weekly assignments that can take a few hours or more, and preparing for tests and exams takes a bit of time as well. It’s certainly not impossible though - I put in a fair amount of time each week working on it and ended up with a solid A+.

In terms of standing out as an individual, I think it certainly helps because it shows that you are able to balance extra study, at a university level, on top of your normal secondary school activities. It also provides you with a solid base of mathematics that is useful for a range of fields from engineering to economics, and might allow you to skip the first level Maths paper once you go to university (dependent on university that is).

I personally really enjoyed the course. It was academically stimulating and really well lectured, and I think it also prepared me very well for not only my university studies, but also my secondary school exams (especially Scholarship Calculus).