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.
If you choose to study mathematics at A-level you will study topics under the headings of pure mathematics, statistics, and mechanics.
Pure mathematics is generally regarded as the main tool of mathematics and includes familiar topics such as algebra, indices and trigonometry as well as new topics like series, the binomial expansion and calculus.
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.
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 three papers – two pure papers and an applied paper on a mixture of statistics and mechanics. All examinations will be two hours long and out of 100 marks each.
Further mathematics is also offered at A-level.
The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.