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Mathematics

A Level 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 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 Maths A level 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 Maths A level 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

Mathematics for A-Level The Textbook
Exam Board: Edexcel
Published by CGP Books
CGP Product Code: MHN72
ISBN 9781782947233

Exam Board and Specification Codes

Pearson-Edexcel 9MA0

Dave Costin
Head of Department

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