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What is the A level Maths qualification?

A level Mathematics is often thought of as full of difficult calculations. Calculations, however, are only a very small part of the content. Logical thinking, reasoning and the development of specific ideas into generalised solutions are what the qualification is really all about.

In Pure Maths, students study highly abstract topics which require considerable imagination combined with the discipline of ‘proof’. This makes up \(\frac2 3\) of the content and the other \(\frac 1 3\) is Applied Maths. Mechanics – the study of motion and forces to work out how and why objects move and Statistics – making sense of the complex and variable world around us via analytical methods.

AS and A level Mathematics are two separate qualifications. An AS qualification is half the size of an A level qualification. AS Mathematics is graded A-E, and A level Mathematics is graded A*-E.

Of all the A level subjects taken in England, A level Mathematics is the most popular among school students?

Why A level Maths is a valuable qualification

Students that study A level maths develop some highly prized employability skills.

Successful students have an enthusiasm for problem-solving, a willingness to try a variety of approaches and the tenacity to keep going in the hunt for possible answers to awkward problems.

Although mathematics is highly logical, it also requires imagination and determination to do well. It develops strong written communication and verbal skills when explaining how you have arrived at a solution.

If you think A level Mathematics will be useful preparation for a career in your business, we would encourage you to refer to it in your job advertisements, even if it’s just desirable, rather than essential. If young people see that you value the knowledge and skills A level Maths develops, they will be encouraged to choose to study it.

What’s studied in A level Maths?

Overarching themes:  Mathematical argument, language and proof.  Mathematical Problem solving.  Mathematical modelling.

The use of technology must permeate the study of AS and A level Mathematics. 

All A level qualifications include:

ProofStatistical sampling
Algebra and functionsData presentation and interpretation
Coordinate geometryProbability
Sequences and seriesStatistical distributions
TrigonometryStatistical hypothesis testing
Exponentials and logarithmsQuantities and units in mechanics
Differentiation and IntegrationKinematics
Numerical methodsForces and Newton’s laws

You can find more detail about the content of the Mathematics A level on the government website.

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