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Pearson Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics Specification A  4MA1
The Pearson Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics curriculum offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to mathematical education for students aged 1416. Historically, there have been three main specifications:
Mathematics A (Linear)  4MA1
Mathematics A (Modular) 4XMA1 (Phased out)
Mathematics B  4MB1
However, it's important to note that the modular approach has been phased out, and current students will encounter either the Mathematics A (Linear) or Mathematics B specifications. These curricula are designed to cater to different student needs and abilities, providing a solid foundation in mathematical concepts and problemsolving skills.
Click here to view Mathematics B  4MB1
Specification: Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Mathematics (Specification A) (4MA1)
Syllabus Overview
The syllabus consists of four key areas: Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics.
It has been further divided into six main topic areas/units, ensuring a wellrounded mathematical education:
Tiered Structure
The Edexcel GCSE Mathematics is offered at two tiers to cater to students of different abilities:

Foundation Tier:

Covers grades 1 to 5

Designed for students who find mathematics challenging

Focuses on core mathematical concepts and their practical applications

Builds confidence and essential skills

Topics are presented with more scaffolding and support


Higher Tier:

Covers grades 4 to 9

Tailored for more able students

Includes advanced topics and complex problemsolving

Prepares students for higherlevel mathematics study

Introduces more abstract concepts and requires greater mathematical reasoning

Key Differences Between Tiers:

Content Depth: The Higher tier delves into more advanced topics and explores concepts in greater detail. For example, the Higher tier includes more complex algebraic manipulation and advanced trigonometry.

Question Complexity: Higher tier exams feature more challenging questions that require deeper analysis and problemsolving skills. These often involve multistep problems and the application of mathematics in unfamiliar contexts.

Grade Range: The Higher tier allows students to achieve the top grades (up to grade 9), while the Foundation tier is capped at grade 5. This ensures that the most able students can demonstrate their full potential.

Pace of Learning: The Higher tier generally progresses at a faster pace, covering more content in the same time frame.
Assessment Structure
The GCSE Mathematics assessment consists of three equallyweighted written examinations for each tier:

Paper 1: Noncalculator (33.33% of the total grade)

Paper 2: Calculator allowed (33.33% of the total grade)

Paper 3: Calculator allowed (33.33% of the total grade)
Each paper:

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Total marks: 80

Question types: A mix of question styles, from short, singlemark questions to multistep problems worth several marks
Note: Knowledge of the Foundation Tier content is assumed for students preparing for the Higher Tier.
The assessments are designed to test students' ability to:

Use and apply standard techniques (AO1): Accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions; use and interpret notation correctly; accurately carry out routine procedures or set tasks requiring multistep solutions.

Reason, interpret, and communicate mathematically (AO2): Make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions from mathematical information; construct chains of reasoning to achieve a given result; interpret and communicate information accurately.

Solve problems within mathematics and other contexts (AO3): Translate problems in mathematical or nonmathematical contexts into a process or a series of mathematical processes; make and use connections between different parts of mathematics; interpret results in the context of the given problem; evaluate methods used and results obtained.