All of the A level content will be examined at the end of the course. AS and A levels have been de-coupled so that, while students can sit an AS level halfway through the two-year course the grade awarded at AS will not be counted towards the full A level grade. AS level qualification will carry UCAS points as long as the full A level is not awarded.
The subject content for both A level Mathematics and AS level Mathematics is 100% prescribed by the DfE. See the Mathematics content for full details.
All students will be assessed on their knowledge of Pure Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics. Decision mathematics will no longer be an option at A level. The assessment objectives include a greater emphasis on modelling, problem-solving and reasoning, so some questions are likely to be longer with less scaffolding. This builds on the increase in problem-solving in GCSE so students will be better prepared. The examinations will be taken at the end of the course rather than in modules and it is expected that questions will link different aspects of the course.
The awarding organisation can decide how to assess the content and they are currently producing specifications and sample assessment materials (SAMs) which will be submitted to Ofqual for accreditation in June 2016.
We have produced a breakdown of the structure of the draft specifications for AS and A level Further Mathematics: 2017 A level Further Mathematics structure/assessment.
A level Further Mathematics has 50% of the content prescribed by the DfE. See the Further Mathematics content for full details. Awarding organisations can decide on the topics included in the remaining 50% of the content. There may be some choice of topics offered within this remaining 50%.
AS level Further Mathematics has 30% prescribed content with 70% to be decided by the awarding organisations.
It will still be possible to teach AS and A level Further Mathematics alongside A level Mathematics.
As there will be no content in common with A level Mathematics, schools may wish to choose specifications from different awarding organisations for Mathematics and Further Mathematics.
The FMSP has produced a document that highlights the Changes to AS/A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics content.