A Level Pure Mathematics
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This course follows the AQA Specification 6360.
There are 3 modules at AS level : MPC1, MPC2 and MFP1
and 3 at A2 level: MPC3, MPC4 and MFP3.
There is one examination for each module, and no coursework.
Each exam can be taken in January or May/June of each year.
A student who passes all three AS level modules achieves the qualification AS Pure Mathematics.
Passes in the 3 A2 level modules are then required to achieve the qualification A level Pure Mathematics.
The course builds on work covered in GCSE Maths at Higher Level.
You need to be familiar with all the mathematics at this level, and your skills should be at least up to Grade B standard. If you have not studied maths for some time, it would be advisable to brush up your skills by revising some of the Higher Level GCSE topics. One way to do this is on the BBC website "GCSE Bitesize" which provides an interactive revision programme.
This A level course is designed for students working at home. The topics are presented in small "chunks" with worked examples followed by activities for the student. Revision tests are provided after every three or four sections, and there is a Test Paper at the end of each module, which is a mock exam, so you should revise the content of the module before you do the Test Paper.
You will need a graphics calculator, but you will also need to be skilled in manipulating numbers without using a calculator. In particular, no calculator is allowed in the exam for the first module, and the work in this module is built around working out answers without a calculator.
The course is self-contained; you can learn everything you need by working through the materials provided. But if you want to read the same content elsewhere, the best resource is the series of books written especially for the AQA Specification. These are published by Oxford University Press, and the series title is "Advanced Maths for AQA". The books relevant to this course are:
Core Maths C1 + C2, Core Maths C3 + C4, and Further Pure FP1. At the time of writing, OUP had not published a book for the module FP3, though this may be in preparation. A large part of the content of FP3 is Differential Equations, and there are many textbooks which cover this topic.
Beyond this, there are many other mathematics textbooks, too numerous to list, but the Internet is probably a better additional resource for help with particular topics. Many academic institutions provide websites presenting mathematical topics with practice questions. A search, for example, on "area under a curve" will bring up several web pages which you should find helpful.
On this course you work at your own pace. You need to do some forward planning to work out when you will be ready to take the exams, and you will need to register your exam entries at the appropriate time. All administrative details are given in the specification, which you can download from the AQA website.
To complete a full A level it will take in the region of 200 study hours.
To take an A Level you should have a GCSE grade C or above, or the equivalent and preferably in your chosen subject.
You will have access to a tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course to ensure you are ready for your examinations.
The examination board can provide you with a list of examination centres but it is entirely your responsibility to find a centre which will accept you as an external candidate.
AQA will be updating this information for 2009 in the Autumn.
In some cases you should be prepared to travel to another town or city to take your exams.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do your courses meet the latest syllabus changes?
A. yes, all our course materials meet any changes and will be updated free of charge if further changes are made.
Q. Why do I have to find a centre myself?
A. We have students all over the UK and Europe and it is impossible for us to arrange dates and times for individual students.
Q. What if I cannot find an examination centre in my home town?
A. If you wish to gain the qualification then be prepared to travel it is worth it!
Q. How much are exam fees?
A. These vary from centre to centre so please check with your local centre.
Q. Are the courses paper based or on-line?
A. All our courses are paper based and come in attractive sturdy folders.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. Tutors are all working Teachers or Lecturers so contact is by email only.
Q. Why can I not take my exams when I have completed the course and why do I have to wait?
A. Exams are taken at the same times as schools and colleges and are not flexible.
Q. I want to take my exams but there are only a few months to study, is this possible?
A. Depending on the time of year, it is sometimes impossible to complete your studies in a short space of time as your work has to be marked and checked. More importantly the examination boards have cut off times which are not flexible. See our web site for further information.
Q. Will I receive UCAS points on completion of this course?
A. Yes all of our A Levels carry UCAS points. The number of points awarded will depend on the grade you achieve.