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Mathematics Exam Information


Course Content

In Year 10 and 11 we naturally focus on ensuring that our students achieve the highest of standards at IGCSE. In recent years around half of our students have achieved an A* grade, and so our expectations are naturally extremely high – even for students for whom Mathematics has previously posed challenges. In recent years every single one of those students has achieved a C grade at the very least.

The topics that we study fall under these broad headings:

  • Numbers and the number system
  • Equations, formulae and identities
  • Sequences, formulae and graphs
  • Geometry and trigonometry
  • Vectors and transformation geometry
  • Statistics and probability

Students in the top set also have the opportunity to study towards the AQA Level 2 Qualification in Further Mathematics. Although this qualification is by no means a requirement for A Level, it allows us to expose our most able mathematicians to some more advanced ideas – and the final exam simply offers them an opportunity to showcase what they have learnt. Typically half of the students entered have been able to achieve the coveted A^ grade (A* with distinction).

Course Structure

Throughout this two-year period, all students receive seven lessons per cycle. Additional support is available (when needed) through the twice-weekly Maths Clinic. A member of the Mathematics Department is on hand so that students can come to seek help or reassurance with any aspect of their work.

At the end of the course, students sit two exam papers, both of two hour duration. There is no distinction between the papers in so far as all topics are equally likely to be examined on either paper.

Reading and Resources

Additional resources to help with exam preparation can be found on Class teachers will be able to advise on which topics to revise and how to find them on the website. In addition, the department sells CGP Revision Guides, Practice Books (with answers) and calculators – all at cost price.

Exam Board: Edexcel IGCSE

A Level

It is expected that any students wishing to take Maths at A Level will have achieved an 8 grade at GCSE/IGCSE.

Course Content

Following the recent A Level reforms, the course is now fully prescribed. This means that all students will study exactly the same content. Two thirds of the course will consist of Pure Mathematics, one sixth will consist of Mechanics and one sixth will consist of Statistics.

Pure Mathematics focusses on the methods and techniques that underpin the subject. Some of this will be extension of ideas that were explored at IGCSE, while other ideas will be entirely new. Topics include:

  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • Vectors
  • Proof

Mechanics is the branch of the subject that deals with the physical world around us. Essentially we look at how (and why) things move and we use our Mathematics to make predictions about how they will behave. Topics include:

  • Force
  • Newton’s Laws
  • Kinematics
  • Moments

In Statistics we try to make some sense of the vast quantities of data that pervade the modern world. We look at how data is collected, analysed and presented. We also look at the techniques which statisticians use to make informed decisions based upon the evidence that they have available to them. Topics include:

  • Sampling
  • Data presentation and interpretation
  • Probability
  • Hypothesis testing

Course Structure

There will be three two-hour exams at the end of the Upper Sixth.

Reading and Resources

A graphical calculator is essential. We sell the Casio fx-9860GII in the department (at cost price) and would encourage all students to acquire this model. Other calculators will certainly be serviceable but we can't guarantee that we'll be able to offer help with different models during lessons. No additional reading is required, although the department is always happy to recommend books on recreational Mathematics (of which there are many). Additional resources to help with exam preparation can be found on the MEI website and through - both of which we have subscriptions to.

Exam Board: AQA

A Level Further Mathematics

Students may elect to study Further Mathematics alongside Mathematics. This is an A Level qualification in its own right and it is timetabled just like any other subject. Further Mathematics is typically pursued by only the most confident Mathematicians (who have achieved a 9 grade at GCSE/IGCSE, although 8 grade may be acceptable in some cases) but it is extraordinarily valuable to those who intend to pursue a science-related subject in their future studies.

Course Content

Some of the material that we study is simply an extension of work that is covered as part of the standard Mathematics A Level (including more Mechanics and more Statistics). However we also look at some branches of the subject that are entirely new. These will include:

  • Hyperbolic functions
  • Differential Equations
  • Complex numbers
  • Matrices

Course Structure

There will be three two-hour exams at the end of the Upper Sixth. These will be in addition to the exams taken as part of the Mathematics A Level.

Reading and Resources

As Mathematics (above)

Exam Board: AQA