What is Mathematics?
A level Mathematics consists of two branches of mathematics, Pure and Applied. The key themes of Pure Mathematics are Algebra and Functions, Coordinate Geometry, Sequences and Series, and Differentiation and Integration. These themes are continued into the second year of Core along with other topics such as Advanced Trigonometry. Students will be encouraged to develop their skills and apply them to a wide range of problems. The Applied section of the course covers Mechanics and Statistics in both years.
Why study this course?
A level Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses, especially the sciences, geography, psychology, sociology and medical courses. People entering today’s most lucrative industries such as IT, banking and the stock market need to be confident using mathematics on a daily basis. Even in areas where pure mathematics isn’t required, other mathematics skills learned at AS and A level, such as logical thinking, problem solving and statistical analysis, are often very desirable in the workplace.
How is the course assessed?
For AS Level you will take 2 units (Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics). For A Level you will take 3 units (two of Pure Mathematics and one Applied Mathematics). These are all assessed by an exam in May/June
Who is the course suitable for?
Mathematics is rather different from many other subjects. An essential part of mathematical study is the challenge of analysing and solving a problem and the satisfaction and confidence gained from achieving a ‘correct’ answer. You do not have to write essays, but you do need to be able to communicate well in written work to explain your solutions. Mathematics is not about learning facts. You do not achieve success by just reading a textbook or by producing and revising from detailed notes - you need to ‘do’ mathematics.
A level mathematics is a much sought-after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in higher education such as the sciences and geography, psychology, sociology and medical courses. There are also many areas of employment that see an A level in Mathematics as an important qualification. People entering today’s most lucrative industries such as IT, banking and the stock market need to be confident using mathematics on a daily basis.