How long are A level maths exams?

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Do you have an interest in choosing to study maths at A level? If you are, you’re probably wanting to know everything you can about this subject before taking it. After all, deciding to choose an A level shouldn’t be taken lightly since they are so challenging. You might be wondering about the specifics – such as how long the maths exams actually are. If you are interested in learning about this, read on for more information!


Students across the country can take maths from different exam boards, meaning that the exams will vary from person to person. For the AQA exam board, students have to complete 3 maths papers. All 3 of these papers have a duration of 2 hours, testing students on a mixture of question styles. While short single-mark questions might only take a minute to complete, the longer, multi-step problems towards the ends of the papers will be more time-consuming.

Students should be aware of the time throughout each exam. This is so they leave enough time to complete the more difficult, long questions at the end of the paper. In fact, some students decide to complete the longer problems first to get them out of the way. This might be a good tactic if you tend to spend a lot of time on these styles of questions.


Edexcel, another popular exam board, also have 3 papers at A level, each being 2 hours long. These papers, each containing 100 marks, are based on pure mathematics, and statistics and mechanics. At AS level, however, students are only given 2 papers, and you only have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the statistics and mechanics’ paper. Additionally, if you are looking into doing further maths A level, this varies again. The 4 further maths papers give students 1 hour and 30 minutes each to complete them. A Edexcel A Level Maths Revision Course could be what you need in the run up to the final exams. 

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Is maths a time-sensitive subject?

Most commonly, it is the essay subjects such as history and psychology that are notorious for being time-sensitive. Students often struggle to finish essays due to the little time they are given to analyse sources and write answers. However, maths students are sometimes required to work through their papers swiftly to get to the end of them. With time-consuming questions lurking at the back of the paper, students can’t spend a long time on the shorter questions. Students need to learn and practice how to balance their time within the maths exams. This will give them a better chance of picking up the most marks.

Therefore, whilst 2 hours might seem like a long time to some people, it can certainly pass quickly. Students can often lose track of time when working on complex, long answers. It’s often said that students would feel more comfortable with more time in these exams. That being said, it is doable to complete maths papers within timed conditions. Hopefully, this will have given you a better idea of what to expect with the maths A level exams!

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