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Mathematics

What is it about at sixth form level?

Maths at A level deals with abstract and sometimes difficult concepts, but it always examines the knowledge and understanding of these concepts by means of practical questions. Two-thirds of the A level involves the study of Pure Maths, which greatly extends the Geometry and Trigonometry and particularly the Algebra studied at GCSE or IGCSE, as well as introducing a new topic called Calculus which deals with finding the gradients of curves and areas between curves and lines, and also with solving what are known as differential equations. The other one-third of the A level involves the study of Statistics and Mechanics. Statistics involves studying the idea of sampling, the presentation and interpretation of data, probability, statistical distributions (essentially patterns) and hypothesis testing. The Statistics part of A level Maths builds on the Handling Data and Probability sections of GCSE or IGCSE Maths. Mechanics involves studying kinematics (including the SUVAT equations), Newton’s laws of motion and forces and moments. The Mechanics part of A level Maths will be familiar to students who have studied or are studying Physics or the Physics part of Combined Science. Students need to study both Statistics and Mechanics in Maths A level.

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Why study it and what skills does it develop?

Maths is a highly-respected subject that develops students’ ability to analyse problems and to think logically about solving them. Maths A level is a prerequisite for the study of a wide variety of disciplines at university, including Architecture, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Finance, Geography, Psychology and Physics. Maths A level is highly valued by employers across a wide range of jobs.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

A minimum grade of 7 at GCSE or IGCSE mathematics.

How is the course assessed?

A level

The course is assessed entirely by written examinations: two Pure Maths papers and one Statistics and Mechanics paper. All papers are equally weighted and are 2 hours long.

Reading

Edexcel AS and A Level Pure Mathematics Year 1/AS Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183398

Edexcel AS and A Level Mathematics Statistics and Mechanics Year 1/AS Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183282

Edexcel A level Mathematics Pure Mathematics Year 2 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1292183404

Edexcel A level Mathematics Statistics and Mechanics Year 2 Textbook + e-book
Published by Pearson, ISBN 978-1446944073

Exam Board and Specification Codes

A level: Pearson-Edexcel 9MA0

Dave Costin
Head of Department

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