A-Level Mathematics is about patterns and structures. It involves logical analysis, deduction and calculation within these patterns and structures. As an A-Level it is a challenge but it is popular for its clarity and the fact that you know when you are right.
Mathematics is unique; it is a highly regarded A-Level in its own right (with high currency value when it comes to applying for both university and jobs) but it also supports other A-Level subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, economics, geography, psychology and business studies. Mathematics is an essential transferable component across many disciplines.
Maths is used wherever numerical, logical, graphical or statistical skills are needed. Those with maths A-Level earn on average 10% more than those without.
Engineering degrees require excellent mathematical skills and, whilst not strictly necessary, medical students have commented on the usefulness of mathematics in their studies.
Girls in the Sixth Form must study pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics regardless of the examination board used. From September 2017, girls will study the Edexcel syllabus.
Pure mathematics is generally regarded as the main tool of mathematics and includes familiar topics such as algebra, indices, calculus and trigonometry and also new topics like series, the binomial theorem and differential equations.
Statistics involves analysing data by applying models and drawing conclusions. It includes probability distributions, correlation and regression and skills learnt here will complement scientific analysis.
Mechanics includes studying how things act in the real world, using equations to model motion (kinematics) and analysing forces acting on objects. These skills complement the study of physics.
A mathematics degree is one of the most desirable degrees for future employment. Employers in all walks of life need people who can think quickly and logically. A-Level Mathematics is necessary or advisable for many degree courses such as accountancy, astronomy, architecture, economics, meteorology, ICT, engineering, medicine, veterinary science, physics, dentistry, chemistry and psychology.
Mathematics isn’t an easy A-Level. We advise that you need an A* grade at GCSE (and even then it will be a challenge) and you must be prepared to work hard but there is a genuine feeling of satisfaction when the correct solution is found to a problem!
Further Mathematics is also offered at A-Level.
The following information is based on the Edexcel specification:
If girls choose to study A-Level Mathematics, they will be examined at the end of Year 13 and take 3 papers – 2 pure papers and a paper on a mixture of statistics and mechanics. All examinations will be 2 hours long and out of 100 marks each.
“The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.”