A Level Mathematics

 

Mathematics can best be described as the formulation and application of both numerical and abstract concepts. This definition, however, barely scratches the surface of a subject that can easily be considered as an art, a language or a science.

From a practical point of view, one can clearly see the influence of Mathematics on such vocations as accountancy, architecture, economics, engineering, finance and science- based subjects. On the other hand, people have even been known to treat it as an aesthetic pursuit in its own right.

Students will usually require Higher Tier GCSE mathematics to at least grade A. Mathematics beyond GCSE is reliant on sound algebraic skills and much of the course is of an abstract nature. It will  benefit those students who enjoy problem solving that requires a high degree of logical thinking. It is essential for those who wish  to pursue numerate disciplines at university such as mathematics, physics, economics and engineering courses.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The AS units are designed to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level and involve the art of concise and clear problem solving. Once these have been thoroughly practised both in class and in private study time, students move on to the more advanced techniques of examination-style questions. These act as suitable revision for the final module papers.


AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8371

 

The AS course consists of three modules. There is no coursework.

C1: Core maths 1

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Core Maths C1 revisits key algebraic topics first met at GCSE including indices, quadratic functions and curve sketching. Students are introduced to Calculus, one of the most important branches of mathematics.

C2: Core maths 2

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Core Maths C2 explores the applications of Calculus to gradients and areas under curves and illustrates how differentiation can be used to solve some real life problems. The module also covers trigonometry, binomial series and the factor and remainder theorems and their uses. The concepts of exponentials and logarithms are introduced and their applications to geometric series. This mathematics underpins the now infamous pyramid selling schemes.

S1: Statistics 1

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Statistics S1 is primarily concerned with the analysis and interpretation of data and the mathematics of chance.

Methods of data display familiar from GCSE are broadened to include new concepts like histograms and more sophisticated data summary measures such as standard deviation. New techniques to analyse bivariate data include correlation and regression. The idea of conditional probability and the concepts of independent and mutually exclusive events build upon elementary GCSE probability. The normal distribution as a model for many real life measurements completes the unit.

Reading List

Author
TitleISBN
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Core Mathematics C1  ISBN 9780435519100
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Core Mathematics C2  ISBN 9780435519117
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Statistics S1 ISBN 9780435519124

 

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

As with the AS units, there is a good deal of emphasis on developing problem-solving techniques during classroom time. On the whole, however, more advanced work is undertaken outside class as a prelude to the rigours of the final module examinations.

A2 Specification Number
Edexcel 9371

 

The A2 course consists of two A2 modules, C3 and C4 and one AS module, D1. There is no coursework.

C3: Core maths 3

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Core Maths C3 explores functions, trigonometry and differentiation first met at AS in much greater depth. There is also a short section on numerical methods that introduces new techniques to solve equations that cannot be solved analytically.

C4: Core maths 4

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Core Maths C4 revisits some of the ideas from C2 including the trapezium rule and binomial series. This unit focuses mainly on Calculus and explores the many techniques of integration in considerable depth. The concept of a vector and associated ideas complete this final, lengthy module.

D1: Decision maths 1

17% of A level
Written Paper:1 hour 30 minutes
Decision Maths D1 is the study of algorithms and networks. There are no prerequisites.

Reading List

Author
TitleISBN
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Core Mathematics C3  ISBN 9780199149872
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Core Mathematics C4  ISBN 9780435519070
K. Pledger Heinemann Modular Mathematics Decision Mathematics D1 ISBN 9780435519193

Anastasia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”

Julia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AABB

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”

Andrew

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”

Cynthia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”

Akmaral

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”