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What are Core Maths qualifications?

Core Maths is a specific type of maths qualification for students who have passed GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 or better but have decided not to study AS or A level Mathematics.

The Core Maths course is around half the size of an A level course and can be studied alongside A levels or vocational courses. 

These qualifications are equal in size to an AS level qualification and are graded A-E. They have the same number of UCAS tariff points as an AS level qualification and are included in the government’s school/college performance tables.

Level 3 Core Maths can also be known as Mathematical Studies or Mathematics in Context.

Why Core Maths is a valuable qualification?

Core Maths is a valuable qualification for your prospective employees. It was designed in partnership with employers, and its objective is to enhance the employability of school leavers and apprentices by developing their quantitative and problem-solving skills.

Since the first Core Maths exams took place in 2016, today, its popularity among students is growing rapidly: over 12,300 students completed it in 2022.

This means there will be increasing numbers of young people who’ve now studied Core Maths applying for jobs backed by this excellent qualification to make them far more workplace-ready when dealing with, for example, statistics, graphs and other data.

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

 What’s studied in Core Maths?

 All Core Maths qualifications include:

Interpreting solutions in the context of the problem
Understanding sources of error and bias when problem-solving
Working with data
Understanding risk and probability
Understanding variation in statistics
Using exponential functions to model growth and decay

Most Core Maths qualifications also include the following:

Percentage change
Interpretation of graphs
Financial maths
Using standard units
Fermi estimation
The Normal distribution
Correlation, knowing it does not imply causation
Making and evaluating assumptions when modelling or problem solving

You can find more detail of the content of each of the 4 different specifications on their websites:

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