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A Level Mathematics

What is this subject about and where can it take me?

Mathematics A level is a qualification that is highly sought after and well-respected by employers. Students who have studied maths at this level are in an excellent place when it comes to choosing careers. Science, engineering and manufacturing employers place a huge demand on the pool of available talent and careers for people with good maths skills are well-paid, interesting and rewarding.

Students will have been successful at GCSE with at least a grade 6 in maths. The work they did for that qualification is the bedrock of the work they will see at A level, especially in algebra. But of course there will be new material and ideas, perfect for students who have an enquiring, logical and analytical mind. Working with proof and justifying results help them to formulate reasoned arguments and, importantly, students will have excellent numeracy skills and the ability to process and interpret data.

What skills will I develop?

The A Level Mathematics course aims to develop mathematical knowledge, concepts, processes and skills in a variety of contexts so that students appreciate the relationships between the various areas of mathematics and can apply them using models of physical situations (e.g. in statistics and mechanics).

Mathematics is a two-year course. Two thirds is pure mathematics and one third is applied mathematics (mechanics and statistics). The pure mathematics builds on algebra and problem solving from GCSE Statistics allows students to analyse data and interpret probabilities. Mechanics is a branch of mathematics that deals with forces and motion. All students study both of the applied topics, statistics and mechanics. 

Entry requirements 

To study A level maths students must have achieved a grade 6 at GCSE-level in mathematics. Students will have good algebra skills and enjoy this part of the GCSE curriculum. They should have, or develop, a neat, detailed and methodical style of working. Students with this approach are likely to succeed at advanced level. Mathematics is a demanding and fast-paced subject, requiring discipline and application from the outset.

A-level structure

  •  Paper 1 Pure mathematics 2 hrs. = 1/3 of A-level
  •  Paper 2 Pure mathematics 2 hrs. = 1/3 of A-level
  •  Paper 3 Statistics and Mechanics 2 hrs. = 1/3 of A-level 

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

What will I be taught?

Subject content – overarching themes

  •  Mathematical argument, language and proof
  •  Mathematical problem solving
  •  Mathematical modelling

Detailed subject content

  • Proof
  • Algebra and functions
  • Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane
  • Sequences and series
  • Trigonometry
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Differentiation
  • Integration 
  • Numerical methods
  • Vectors
  • Statistical sampling
  • Data presentation and interpretation
  • Probability
  • Statistical distributions
  • Statistical hypothesis testing
  • Quantities and units in mechanics
  • Kinematics
  • Forces and Newton’s laws
  • Moments 
A Level Mathematics Exam Board: AQA
Assessment  Papers Topics Studies Duration Percentage of final qualification
Examinations 1

Any content from:

  •  Proof
  •  Algebra and functions
  • Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane
  •  Sequences and series
  • Trigonometry
  •  Exponentials and logarithms
  •  Differentiation
  • Integration
  • Numerical methods 
2 hours (100 marks) 33.3%
2

 

Any content from Paper 1 and content from: Vectors

  •  Quantities and units in mechanics
  •  Kinematics
  • Forces and Newton’s laws
  •  Moments
2 hours (100 marks) 33.3%
3

Any content from Paper 1 and content from:

  •  Statistical sampling 
  •  Data presentation & Interpretation
  •  Probability
  • Statistical distributions
  • Statistical hypothesis testing 
2 hours (100 marks) 33.3%
The Level 3 qualification will be graded on a five-point scale: A, B, C, D and E.