IGCSE Mathematics

The course

Mathematics can best be described, at this level, 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 an art, a language, or a science. The student of mathematics has to be creative and imaginative, have a sense of flair and most importantly be curious about the world around them.  

From a practical point of view, one can see clearly its influence on such vocations as accountancy, architecture, economics, engineering, finance etc. On the other hand, people have been known to treat mathematics as an aesthetic pursuit in its own right! Academically, it is a slightly more rigorous course and places a greater emphasis on algebra methods than the conventional GCSE. A more focused syllabus, the IGCSE is accessible to all students but also provides those who wish to study mathematics post-16 with the necessary background. 

The course is divided into three components or assessment objectives:

• Number and algebra (55% of total). This looks at fractions and decimals, ratio, percentages, algebraic manipulation, formulae, linear and quadratic equations and graphs, proportionality, functions, calculus and set theory.
• Shape, space and measures (25% of total). This looks at bearings and constructions, trigonometry in 2D and 3D, area and volume, similarity and vector geometry.
• Handling data (20% of total). This looks at measures of average, probability and histograms.

What skills do I need?

You need to be good with numbers and abstract reasoning.

How is the course assessed?

All students pursue the Higher Tier International GCSE course which covers the grade range A*-E. The course is assessed by means of two written exam papers. Each paper lasts 2 hours and is worth 50% of the total marks.


Complete Mathematics for IGCSE (Extended)
By D. Rayner
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0199138746

Exam Board and Specification Code

Pearson-Edexcel 4MA1

Michael Danzelman
Head of Department