LEVEL: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM
This course is aimed at those who have a real passion for Maths with a strong background in the subject, those who particularly enjoy algebra and who love to be intellectually challenged!
You can expect to tackle increasingly challenging problems which involve much deeper thinking and creativity than experienced at GCSE, as the solution to many questions will not be immediately obvious.
By working out how to solve complex problems, or to represent real situations mathematically, you will develop important, valuable intellectual abilities. For example, modelling real situations mathematically is a significant feature of the course. This will require you to think creatively about a given situation and to extract information given in technical terms by reading a question very carefully indeed.
Content is taught through a mixture of formal lessons, homework assignments and the occasional online package. There is a wide range of extra materials available to help you through the ideas and methods you will meet.
The subject can be combined with most courses and can lead to almost any career.
Two-thirds of the course is based on Pure Mathematics. The other third is split evenly between two compulsory Applied Mathematics areas – Statistics and Mechanics.
During the first year, we lay the foundations for each of the main strands of the subject:
In Pure Maths, these include:
- Algebra and Algebraic Graphs/Geometry
- Logarithms and Exponentials
In Mechanics the topics are:
In Statistics we look at:
- Descriptive Statistics and Interpretation
Year 2 is largely an extension of the ideas and methods met in Year 1, widening the range of techniques that can be used in each area and increasing the level of complexity of problem that can be tackled.
Level 3 standard entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language or Literature. Minimum grade 6 in Mathematics.
Is there a big jump from GCSE?
Yes there is. You will need a lot of grit and determination, as you will get stuck much more often than at GCSE – but with persistence and a lot of help from time to time, you will learn a lot from these experiences.
Do I need a new calculator?
You will eventually need at least an Advanced Scientific Calculator, but there is no need to purchase one for the start of the course. We will advise on some suitable models towards the end of the first term.
Studying A Level Maths exposes you to a whole new set of concepts and methods, which in turn, alter your perspective on problems and everyday life. Maths is very rewarding when you persist and suddenly crack the missing piece, and with further support sessions you are able to get that extra opinion and refining.
The College are very keen to enter you for competitions such as the UKMT, these are brilliant opportunities to test your thinking and a fun method of revising.
In all of your tests, everything you have learnt so far; is “fair game”. I feel having to revise now, thoroughly reduces the pressure for the future.
Kester Welch, Maths student