LEVEL 3: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA
This course is aimed at those who have a real passion for Maths with a strong background in the subject, particularly those who enjoy algebra and who love to be intellectually challenged!
You can expect to tackle increasingly complex problems which involve much deeper thinking and creativity than experienced at GCSE, as the solution to many questions will not be immediately obvious.
By learning how to solve more sophisticated and multi-stage 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 – a skill much in demand by employers and higher education institutions alike.
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 consists of three main areas; Pure Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics.
Two-thirds of the course is on this area, and the topics below are continuously developed.
- Algebraic Graphs
- Calculus (Differentiation and Integration)
- Trigonometric Functions and Equations
- Logarithms and Exponential Functions
- Numerical Methods (Solving Equations Approximately)
One-sixth of the marks are awarded for work on Mechanics. We start with Kinematics and move on to Dynamics. The level of complexity of the problems increases as the course progresses.
- Kinematics in One and Two Dimensions
- Constant and Variable Acceleration (Using Calculus)
One-sixth of the course is on Statistics, which begins with Sampling and Descriptive Statistics.
- Descriptive Statistics
- Probability Distributions
- Binomial Probability Distribution
- Normal Probability Distribution
- Hypothesis Testing
You will need (or equivalent to);
- GCSE Mathematics grade 6/B or above
- GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
- plus three more GCSEs grade 4/C or above
There are three, 2 hour written exams at the end of the course.
Previous students have gone to study for degrees in Mathematics, the Sciences, Engineering, Finance, Economics, Medicine amongst many other subjects.
Others have progressed to Apprenticeships, most frequently in Finance or Accountancy or in Engineering. These routes have lead to careers in many different fields.
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.