A level maths vs core maths?

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When it comes to picking your A level options, you may notice that there are 2 different maths courses. These will be A level maths and core maths. If you’re unsure of which of these qualifications to take, it’s best that you know the facts before deciding. Therefore, if you’d like to be educated on the similarities and differences between A level and core maths, read on!

The differences between A level maths and core maths

A level maths is an advanced qualification that students can take in college to help them get into university or employment. Students will usually take this alongside 2 other A levels. Core maths, however, is a post-16, level 3 qualification that is taken alongside A levels or other level 3 qualifications. The big difference between the two is that if a course requires A level maths, core maths won’t be enough. A level maths is simply harder than core maths. Depending on what you want to apply for, core maths could make your options more limited. It could even rule out specific courses.

Students will often do core maths instead of A level if they haven’t met the minimum GCSE grade required. This is usually a B (6) or above. A few universities may accept core maths as a qualification, although many won’t. It would be wise to do your research into what universities will recognise core maths if you are taking it. Core maths provides you with some additional maths background alongside your studies of 3 A levels. This knowledge is appropriate if you want to apply for a course that doesn’t need maths but could be helpful. Examples of this could include bioscience and social science courses – your maths qualification might help you here.

The similarities between A level maths and core maths

The main similarity between these two qualifications is that they will both give you a foundation of mathematical knowledge. Both may be enough for some universities to recognise you, showing that you have a good understanding of maths. Similarly, you’ll gain similar skills from A level maths and core maths. This includes problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and logical thinking.

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These skills are desirable to employers, meaning you could land yourself in certain, successful careers with either of these qualifications. This includes working as an actuary, accountant, or in academia – but there are so many other professions too! Therefore, you can definitely succeed with either A level maths or core maths. Both give you desirable, employable skills, and both demonstrate that you can work hard.

Overall, A level maths is undoubtedly more difficult than core maths. This is why many students choose to study core maths instead, even though it is less recognised. This is the right decision for many students who would have otherwise failed at A level maths. Despite this, both subjects provide you with a foundation of mathematical knowledge to help you tackle numerical concepts. You might find that this is super useful in many careers, so don’t worry: you have options!

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