Because I'm OK at Applied Math but failed Pure Math two times, I asked my instructors and a brilliant friend studying the undergraduate Math Tripos at the University of Cambridge for advice. They all said that there's no secret or shortcut, that you must know your material, practice a lot, and keep trying. But I've been doing all this and still failed two times. So I Googled to see if even Cambridge math undergraduates fail PM. What should I learn from the quotes? Is Applied Math easier? Why or why not? I bolded the text.
Stealth77 ( Emmanuel [College] ).
I'm also in Maths IA (or rather just finished). A 2:2 isn't that bad. I have friends with 3rds and know of people not even on the class list. Remember, you can do mostly applied courses next year.
smilepea. a lot of people [,] who didn't get on very well with first year because it was too pure [,] really like second year as you can focus almost totally on applied.
Xavikadavi post 20 . [ This is the person who's suffering like me and responded below. ]
What you say about the pure/applied side makes a lot of sense - for final revision I focused on my strongest topic for each paper which in every case was the applied one- I've found these so much more managable over the year (hence why I thought maybe I should be on the natsci course doing physics . I found pure impossible- esp. groups and analysis.
smilepea post 22. I have a friend who only did applied this year (in IB) or as far as I can remember any way (she may have done one pure course) and got at 2.1. Doing only applied meant that she was much happier and did much better. And the applied courses are much, much better in 2nd year, I know the first year applied courses aren't brilliant and certainly not what I consider applied!!
Zhen Lin, post 23
I've found that applied questions consistently take longer to do. This isn't a disadvantage if you find pure questions impossible, but if you can do both, then, from a mark-maximising perspective, it is a disadvantage to focus on applied.