What is it about at sixth-form level?
The mathematical family does not grow without labour pains. According to the Greek philosopher Iamblichus, the discovery of irrational numbers by Hippasus so shocked the followers of Pythagoras, who believed that all numbers could be expressed as fractions, that he was drowned at sea. It took a long time before zero was mathematically acceptable and negative numbers were not dismissed as imaginary. But what of their square roots? The laws of Maths seemingly dictate that a negative squared is a positive. Yet they too are now embraced, even though they have inherited the label imaginary numbers. The level of abstraction here is indicative of the progression towards degree level Maths that you will find in the Further Maths A level, which will build on the knowledge of the single A level in Maths to introduce new and fascinating areas of the subject.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
Further Maths is a second A level in Maths and regarded as a subject in its own right. The aim is to build on skills developed in A level Maths and increase depth and breadth of subject knowledge. Further Maths is an academically rigorous and demanding subject and is suited to those who are considering Higher Education courses in Maths, Engineering, Physics, and other highly numerate disciplines or simply for those who really enjoy Maths!
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
Further Maths is a self-contained course. Students should be realistically aiming at least at a grade A in single subject A level Maths in considering an A level in Further Maths.
How is the course assessed?
The course is assessed entirely by written examinations at the end of the upper sixth year: two papers on Further Pure Maths and one paper each on Statistics and Mechanics. Each of the four papers is 90 minutes long and they all carry the same weight in the final grade.
Core Texts and Suggested Reading
To be confirmed at the start of the course
Edexcel AS and A level Further Mathematics Core Pure Mathematics Book 1/AS Textbook
Published by Pearson, ISBN 9781292183336
Edexcel A level Further Mathematics Core Pure Mathematics Book 2 Textbook
Published by Pearson, ISBN 9781292183343
Edexcel AS and A level Further Mathematics Further Statistics 1 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 9781292183374
Edexcel AS and A level Further Mathematics Further Mechanics 1 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 9781292183312
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: Pearson-Edexcel 9FM0
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