The A-Level is a big step up from GCSE and will require commitment and dedication. With consistent effort and regular practice good grades are obtainable at A-Level by all students.
Why study this subject at A-Level?
Mathematicians like to have definite answers. Sometimes that answer is unique (as in “What is x if 2x=6?”). Sometimes there are no answers (e.g. “What real number satisfies x2=-1?”). Other times there are more than one answer (as in “What is x if x2=4?”). The question “Why should you study mathematics at A-level?” certainly has more than one answer!
Indeed, one of the many reasons to study mathematics at A-level is that there is a multitude of options open to you afterwards. For example, careers in science, engineering, computing, medicine and finance all rely on mathematics. The main reason to study mathematics should be that you enjoy it. Some people enjoy the problem solving aspect, others like the fact that questions have definite and absolute answers, while for many others it’s their best/favourite subject.
For reasons to study Further Mathematics see: http://furthermaths.org.uk/whystudyfm
Summary of the course
The course is the standard A-Level Mathematics course consisting of Pure Mathematics and Applied (both Mechanics and Statistics). A-Level Further Mathematics involves Further Pure Mathematics and two Further Mathematics Options. Students choosing Further Mathematics must do so in addition to Mathematics, and will sit two A-Levels (in Mathematics and Further Mathematics). Details of the course content can be found below in the summary of content assessed within each exam paper, or in detail within the specification online at the website above.
How is the qualification assessed?
The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Mathematics consists of three externally examined papers, each 2 hours in length and equally weighted. Students must complete all assessment in May/June at the end of Year 13.
Paper 1: Pure Mathematics 1 : Proof, Algebra and functions, Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane, Sequences and series, Trigonometry, Exponentials and logarithms, Differentiation, Integration, Vectors.
Paper 2: Pure Mathematics 2: Proof, Algebra and functions, Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane, Sequences and series, Trigonometry, Differentiation, Integration, Numerical methods.
Paper 3: Statistics and Mechanics:
- Statistics Statistical sampling, Data presentation and interpretation, Probability, Statistical distributions, Statistical hypothesis testing
- Quantities and units in mechanics, Kinematics, Forces and Newton’s laws, Moments
The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Further Mathematics consists of four externally examined papers, each 1.5 hours in length and equally weighted. Students must complete all assessment in May/June at the end of Year 13.
Paper 1: Further Pure Mathematics 1 Proof, Complex numbers, Matrices, Further algebra and functions, Further calculus, Further vectors
Paper 2: Further Pure Mathematics 2 Complex numbers, Further algebra and functions, Further calculus, Polar coordinates, Hyperbolic functions, Differential equations
Paper 3 & 4: Further Mechanics 1 – Momentum and impulse, Collisions, Centres of mass, Work and energy, Elastic strings and springs; Further Statistics 1 – Linear regression, Statistical distributions (discrete), Statistical distributions (continuous), Correlation, Hypothesis testing, Chi squared tests