Mathematics A Level
A Level Exam Board: AQA
The Maths GCSE grade required to study Maths at A Level is 8. The Maths GCSE grade required to study Further Maths at A Level is 9. For Further Mathematics A Level, study beyond GCSE (e.g. the AQA GCSE Further Mathematics course) is highly beneficial; if you have not had this opportunity, you should contact the Registrar for a study pack over the summer and ideally arrange a discussion with the Head of Mathematics to determine your suitability for this course. Pupils wishing to study Further Maths who studied their IGCSE at Caterham MUST discuss this with either their teacher or with the Head of Mathematics before choosing this option.
An A Level in Mathematics is essential if you are going to read degree courses in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering and for almost all Computer Science and Operational Research courses. An A Level is useful for Higher Education courses in Accountancy, Architecture, Statistics, Meteorology, Optics,and for some courses in Management Science, Economics, Chemistry, and Psychology.
Structure of course:
Single Mathematicians study 5 periods of Pure mathematics per week with one teacher, and 3 periods of applied mathematics per week with another teacher. Further Mathematicians study 8 periods of Pure mathematics per week with one teacher, and 6 periods of applied mathematics per week with another teacher.
Students who wish to drop Further Maths and switch to Single Maths can do so after discussion with the Head of Department; a switch the other way is only possible right at the beginning of the course
There are two ways of taking Mathematics at Advanced Level:
- A single subject, Mathematics. This includes Pure Mathematics and some Applied Mathematics (Statistics and Mechanics).
- A double subject, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, which count as two A Levels. This develops the material studied in Single Mathematics, as well as introducing many new and challenging concepts.
What is A Level Mathematics about?
There are three main areas:
- Pure Mathematics, where the study of Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus is continued.
- Applied Mathematics (Mechanics), which involves the study of forces and the way in which forces combine to make things move (Dynamics) or stay still (Statics). This is especially useful to those studying Physics.
- Applied Mathematics (Statistics) which involves the study of probability and how to handle and analyse quantities of data.
Single Mathematicians are assessed after 2 years with three 2 hour papers. All papers include Pure mathematics drawn from throughout the course. Half of one of the papers is Mechanics, half of another of the papers is Statistics.
Further Mathematicians are assessed after 2 years with six 2 hour papers. Three of the papers are the same as the single mathematicians (above). The other three papers follow the same structure, testing Further Mathematics material