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Mathematics A-levels at SCIE

At school level, Mathematics may be thought of as working through problems, getting ‘the right answer’ and practising examination standard questions. Indeed this approach will almost always reward you with a good grade in the examination. However there is much more to the subject than this.

Chinese Mathematics education is famous for its rigour while Western Mathematics education is more investigative. Our aim at SCIE is to combine the best from both systems.

Mathematics is actually a very creative subject. Often when doing a problem good students will pause to ask why the question works out as it does, or what would happen in a slightly different situation. Good students will follow up links between school Mathematics and branches of Mathematics which are not in our syllabus. In fact some of our very good students have produced excellent projects on themes such as ‘Solution of Cubic Equations’, ‘Graph Theory’ and ‘n-dimensional Spaces’.An inquisitive mind is definitely a requirement if you wish to continue with Mathematical study.

There is no ‘typical’ job for Mathematics graduates; logical problem-solving and numerical skills are highly sought after in many areas. Nearly every profession requires the services of Mathematicians and Statisticians at some level.

At SCIE we offer the following CIE components for AS and A level Mathematics:

P1 (basic Pure Mathematics), P3 (more demanding Pure Mathematics), P4 (Mechanics), P6 (Probability and Statistics)

AS level Mathematics (6 periods a week),consists of P1 and P4. For students wishing to continue studying Mathematics in A1, the remaining two components P3 and P6 will convert the AS into an A level.Students joining the College in G1 or G2 will take AS Mathematics in G2.Students joining in A1 can take either AS or AL Mathematics in A1.

A level Mathematics in one year accelerated course (8 periods a week) covers all four components in the A1 year. In opting for this course students should not underestimate the pressures of completing it to a high standard in the available time. Students, who join the school in A1, and who need to choose Further Mathematics at A-level will have to join the accelerated A-level course, but entry to this course is conditional on passing an entrance exam just before the start of the first semester.

Further Mathematics in A2 (12 periods a week) is very demanding course, assuming prior knowledge not only of the A level syllabus but also of the CIE components P5 and P7 in Mechanics and Statistics. There is therefore a great deal of work to be done in these areas before the Further Mathematics syllabus can be started.

As regards the Further Mathematics syllabus, there really is no textbook which covers the CIE course completely. Students therefore need good note-taking skills and need to be well organised and able to follow instructions carefully.

Further Mathematics is useful, but not usually essential, for students wishing to study Mathematics, Engineering or other scientifically-based subjects at University. If you intend to study Mathematics at a high-ranking University, however, you should definitely choose Further Mathematics.

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