HE Exams Wiki
Advertisement
Pi-1453836 1920.jpg

This page covers the options for GCSE and IGCSE maths specifications. If you are not sure where to start or what decisions you need to make or how to decide on tier, GCSE or IGCSE, or specification, go back to the Maths category page which offers advice.

International GCSE Maths Specifications

Edexcel International GCSE Maths A

This is a popular choice among home educators. It is usually relatively easy to find an exam centre in the UK for Edexcel exams. The 2 papers (both allowing calculator) and option of 2 exam sittings a year contribute to it's popularity.

Edexcel International GCSE Maths A page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2018
  • Available in June and January (until 2023) and November (from 2023)
  • Specification code: 4MA1

Subject content

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Maths comprises the following main topics - number, algebra, geometry and statistics. In the specification the content is further split into:

  1. Numbers and the number system
  2. Equations, formulae and identities
  3. Sequences, functions and graphs
  4. Geometry and trigonometry 
  5. Vectors and transformation geometry
  6. Statistics and probability

Higher tier assumes knowledge of the foundation level content.

Assessment

100% exam based.

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Mathematics is a tiered qualification. There are two tiers: Foundation tier - grades 1 to 5 available or Higher tier grades – 4 to 9 available (grade 3 allowed)

  • Paper 1 - 2hrs - 100 marks - 50%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content
    • Formula sheet included
    • Approx 40% of questions on each tier are aimed at grades 4 and 5
    • Tiered - candidates sit paper 1F (foundation) or 1H (higher)
  • Paper 2 - 2hrs - 100 marks - 50%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content
    • Formula sheet included
    • Approx 40% of questions on each tier are aimed at grades 4/5
    • Tiered - candidates sit paper 2F (foundation) or 2H (higher)

Resources

Textbooks

There are a lot of different choices, there is no 'best', look at sample pages and ask for opinions on the Facebook groups. This list may not be complete so please add others.

Generic CGP Maths textbook GCSE/IGCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

(Pearson) Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Mathematics A Student Book 1 (2016)  and Student Book 2 by Turner and Potts. You will need to buy both books to cover the higher tier material.

(Hodder) Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Mathematics Student Book (2016) by Alan Smith and Sophie Goldie

(Collins) Edexcel International GCSE Maths Student Book (Edexcel International GCSE) (2016) by Chris Pearce. One of the best things about this textbook is that the foundation and higher tier topics are clearly marked on the side of the page and in the front of the book.

Workbooks/Revision Resources

These are not essential, but some students may find them useful. You don't need them all!

(Hodder) Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Mathematics Practice Book Third Edition (2016) by Johnson and Clough

(CGP) Edexcel International GCSE Maths Revision Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Course (with Online Edition) (2017)

(CGP)International GCSE Maths Exam Practice Workbook: Higher - Grade 9-1 (with Answers)(2017)

(CGP) Edexcel International GCSE Maths Workbook - for the Grade 9-1 Course (2017) (note this book does not usually come with answers. The answers are available separately in this book, here It might be more efficient to purchase the exam practice workbook linked above.)

(CGP) Edexcel International GCSE Maths Grade 8-9 Targeted Exam Practice Workbook (includes Answers)(2017)

(CGP) Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Maths 10-Minute Tests - Higher (includes Answers)(2019)

(CGP) New Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Maths: Revision Question Cards (2019) Note these are question cards, not flash cards on topics. If you want flash cards, with brief topic overviews, you might prefer the REVISE Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Mathematics Higher Revision Cards which have a very similar content to IGCSE.

Exam board resources

The Teaching and Learning materials on the specification page has topic guides, mapping documents, exemplars, past training and extra papers which are really helpful.

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here. Papers with an R suffix were available in a different time zone. They are the same specification and can be used as practice.

You can use questions from the past papers of the previous syllabus for practice, but be mindful of any minor changes in the syllabus that happened when updated in 2016. There is a mapping document on the 2016 specification page, which describes changes and additions from the previous specification (4MA0) which might be helpful.

Online/Other resources

Hodder has a section for free videos for the Edexcel IGCSE that support their textbook, available here.

As many sites cover multiple exam boards we have a generic Maths Resources page.


Edexcel International GCSE Maths B

Edexcel International GCSE Maths B page and specification

This is sat by only a handful of candidates (usually less than 10 each series) in the UK. It is more frequently sat in places like Singapore and Far East and considered harder. The textbooks, advice and courses you see in the UK are predominantly aimed at specification A. We would recommend if considering Edexcel IGCSE Maths you opt for spec A.


Cambridge International GCSE Maths

Cambridge offer 2 IGCSEs in Maths from 2019. The difference is in the grading, 0980 being 9-1 and 0580 being A*-G, otherwise the syllabus is identical. Some exam centres will only enter students for 0980.

CAIE International GCSE Maths (0980) page and specification

CAIE International GCSE Maths (0580) page and specification

0980 was new in 2019 replacing 0626. There were additions to both 0980 and 0580 in 2020 which involved publication of new textbooks, Books from 2020 will be valid to at least 2024 exams.

  • Exams from: 2019
  • Available in Autumn and Summer series
  • Specification code: 0980 (9-1) or 0580 (A*- G)

Subject Content

The Cambridge International GCSE in Maths comprises the following main topics:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Shape and space
  4. Probability and statistics

Assessment

100% exam based

CAIE International GCSE Maths is a tiered qualification. There are 4 papers, candidates sit 2. Which 2 is dependant on which tier they are doing.

Candidates who have studied the Core (foundation) syllabus content should be entered for Paper 1 and Paper 3. These candidates will be eligible for grades, 1-5 or C to G.

Candidates who have studied the Extended (higher) syllabus content should be entered for Paper 2 and Paper 4. These candidates will be eligible for grades 3 - 9 or A* to E.

Core papers

  • Paper 1 - 1hr - 56 marks - 35%
    • Short answers
    • Calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content
  • Paper 3 - 2hrs - 104 marks - 65%
    • Structured answers
    • Calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content

Extended papers

  • Paper 2 - 1hr 30 mins - 70 marks - 35%
    • Short answers
    • Calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content
  • Paper 4 - 2hrs 30 mins - 130 marks - 65%
    • Structured answers
    • Calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content

Resources

There are several different textbooks, workbooks, teacher books and revision books available for this specification - a list can be found here. There were additions to both 0980 and 0580 in 2020 which involved publication of new textbooks, Books from 2020 will be valid to at least 2024 exams. Check whether answers to student books are included as for Cambridge they are often in the teacher's guide.

Past papers can be found on the specification pages or sites such as pastpapers.co and papacambridge. Each series of 0580 (besides the March series - which is only sat in India) has 3 sets of papers available. These are because they were sat in different time zones. They are the same syllabus and useful for practice. You can use both 0980 and 0580 papers to practice either spec. There were additions to the content in 2020 but papers from earlier will still be useful


GCSE Maths Specifications

GCSE sittings are controlled by the government, as such the content is the same across the specifications, the differences tend to be in wording/styl of exam papers. One paper is a non calculator paper. The non-calculator questions are designed to be manageable without a calculator, so you don't need to expect terrifying questions.

GCSEs are only available to all in the summer. The November sitting is restricted to students who are aged 16+ on 31 August before the exams.


Edexcel GCSE Maths

Edexcel GCSE Maths page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2017
  • Available in June and November (for those 16 or older on the 31st Aug that year)
  • Specification code: 1MA1

Subject content

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE in Maths comprises the following main topics:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

Assessment

100% exam based.

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics is a tiered qualification. There are two tiers: Foundation tier - grades 1 to 5 available or Higher tier grades – 4 to 9 available (grade 3 allowed)

  • Paper 1 - Non-Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • No calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content
    • Tiered - candidates sit paper 1F (foundation) or 1H (higher)
  • Paper 2 - Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content
    • Tiered - candidates sit paper 2F (foundation) or 2H (higher)
  • Paper 3 - Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content
    • Tiered - candidates sit paper 3F (foundation) or 3H (higher)

Resources

Textbooks

There are a lot of different choices, there is no 'best', look at sample pages and ask for opinions on the Facebook groups. This list may not be complete so please add others.

Generic CGP Maths textbook GCSE/IGCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

Edexcel CGP Maths textbook GCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

Pearson Edexcel Student Book - Foundation 1, Foundation 2 or Higher 1, Higher 2 - you will need the two books for your tier.

Cambridge University Press Student Book - Foundation or Higher (they can be bought with different length digital subscription)

Collins Student Book - Foundation or Higher

Hodder Mastering Mathematics Foundation 1, Foundation 2/Higher 1, Higher 2 - depending on level aiming for you will need 2 books, the middle book which crosses over between foundation and higher content and either the Foundation 1 or Higher 2 book.

Oxford University Press Student Book - Foundation or Higher

Workbooks/Revision Resources

There are far too many to list individually so links tend to take you to publisher's pages where you'll find multiple resources. It's easy to over buy, try to get what you need, when you need it. CGP resources are a popular choice. This list will not be complete so if you come across other resources to recommend do add them.

Pearson GCSE Maths revision resources

Pearson Target resources - these are aimed at targeting skills at specific levels.

CGP revision resources

Cambridge University Press Problem Solving Book - Foundation or Higher

Cambridge University Press Homework Book - Foundation or Higher

Collins practice books, skills books, grade boosters

Collins Complete Revision and Practice Foundation, Foundation Flashcards, Higher, Higher Flashcards

Collins Snap Revision

Oxford University Press Homework Book - Foundation or Higher

Oxford University Press Exam Practice Book - Foundation or Higher

Oxford Revise - Foundation Guide, Foundation Workbook or Higher Guide, Higher Workbook

Past Papers/Exam Board resources

The Teaching and Learning materials on the specification page has a huge amount of resources to explore

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here.

Online/Other resources

As many sites cover multiple exam boards we have a generic Maths Resources page.


AQA GCSE Maths

AQA GCSE Maths page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2017
  • Available in June and November (for those 16 or older on the 31st Aug that year)
  • Specification code: 1MA1

Subject content

The AQA GCSE in Maths comprises the following main topics:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

Assessment

100% exam based.

AQA GCSE Mathematics has a Foundation tier (grades 1 – 5) and a Higher tier (grades 4 – 9). Students must take three question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

  • Paper 1 - Non-Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • A mix of question styles, from short, single-mark questions to multi-step problems. The mathematical demand increases as a student progresses through the paper.
    • No calculator is allowed
    • Content from any part of the specification may be assessed
    • Tiered
  • Paper 2 - Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • A mix of question styles, from short, single-mark questions to multi-step problems. The mathematical demand increases as a student progresses through the paper.
    • Calculator allowed
    • Content from any part of the specification may be assessed
    • Tiered
  • Paper 3 - Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 80 marks - 33.3%
    • A mix of question styles, from short, single-mark questions to multi-step problems. The mathematical demand increases as a student progresses through the paper.
    • Calculator allowed
    • Content from any part of the specification may be assessed
    • Tiered

Resources

Textbooks

There are a lot of different choices, there is no 'best', look at sample pages and ask for opinions on the Facebook groups. This list may not be complete so please add others.

Generic CGP Maths textbook GCSE/IGCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

AQA CGP Maths textbook GCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

Cambridge University Press Student Book - Foundation or Higher (they can be bought with different length digital subscription)

Collins Student Book - Foundation or Higher

Oxford University Press Student Book - Foundation or Higher

Workbooks/Revision Resources

There are far too many to list individually so links tend to take you to publisher's pages where you'll find multiple resources. It's easy to over buy, try to get what you need, when you need it. CGP resources are a popular choice. This list will not be complete so if you come across other resources to recommend do add them.

Pearson GCSE Maths revision resources

CGP revision resources

Cambridge University Press Problem Solving Book - Foundation or Higher

Cambridge University Press Homework Book - Foundation or Higher

Collins practice books, skills books, grade boosters

Collins Complete Revision and Practice Foundation, Foundation Flashcards, Higher, Higher Flashcards

Collins Snap Revision

Oxford University Press Homework Book - Foundation or Higher

Oxford University Press Exam Practice Book - Foundation or Higher

Oxford Revise - Foundation Guide, Foundation Workbook or Higher Guide, Higher Workbook

Past Papers/Exam Board resources

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here.

Online/Other resources

As many sites cover multiple exam boards we have a generic Maths Resources page.


OCR GCSE Maths

OCR GCSE Maths page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2017
  • Available in June and November (for those 16 or older on the 31st Aug that year)
  • Specification code: J560

Subject content

The OCR GCSE in Maths comprises the following main topics:

  1. Number operations and integers
  2. Fractions, decimals and percentages
  3. Indices and surds
  4. Approximation and estimation
  5. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  6. Algebra
  7. Graphs of equations and functions
  8. Basic geometry
  9. Congruence and similarity
  10. Mensuration
  11. Probability
  12. Statistics

Assessment

100% exam based.

The OCR GCSE in Mathematics is a tiered qualification. There are two tiers: Foundation tier - grades 1 to 5 available or Higher tier grades – 4 to 9 available. Foundation tier sit papers 1, 2 and 3, higher tier sit papers 4, 5 and 6

  • Paper 1 (Foundation) or 4 (Higher) - Calculator Permitted - 1hr 30mins - 100 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content
  • Paper 2 (Foundation) or 5 (Higher) - Non-Calculator - 1hr 30mins - 100 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • No calculator is allowed
    • Covers all content
  • Paper 3(Foundation) or 6 (Higher) - Calculator Permitted - 1hr 30mins - 100 marks - 33.3%
    • Written examination papers with a range of question types
    • Calculator allowed
    • Covers all content

Resources

Textbooks

There are a lot of different choices, there is no 'best', look at sample pages and ask for opinions on the Facebook groups. This list may not be complete so please add others.

Generic CGP Maths textbook GCSE/IGCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

Cambridge University Press Student Book - Foundation or Higher (they can be bought with different length digital subscription)

Hodder Mastering Mathematics Foundation 1, Foundation 2/Higher 1, Higher 2 - depending on level aiming for you will need 2 books, the middle book which crosses over between foundation and higher content and either the Foundation 1 or Higher 2 book.

Workbooks/Revision Resources

CGP revision resources

Cambridge University Press Problem Solving Book - Foundation or Higher

Cambridge University Press Homework Book - Foundation or Higher

Past Papers/Exam Board resources

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here.

OCR have lots of topic tests and teaching support under Planning and Teaching on the specification page

Online/Other resources

As many sites cover multiple exam boards we have a generic Maths Resources page.


Eduqas GCSE Maths

This is the English version of the Welsh exam board syllabus WJEC. If you are considering this qualification, do check that you have an exam centre registered for the exam board.

Eduqas GCSE Maths page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2017
  • Available in June and November (for those 16 or older on the 31st Aug that year)
  • Specification code: C300P

Subject Content

The subject content has been grouped into the following topic areas: 

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Assessment

100% exam based.

The Eduqas GCSE in Mathematics is a tiered qualification. There are two tiers: Foundation tier - grades 1 to 5 available or Higher tier grades – 4 to 9 available.

  • Component 1 - Non Calculator - 2hrs 15mins - 120 marks - 50%
    • The written paper for each tier will comprise a number of short and longer, both structured and unstructured questions which may be set on any part of the subject content of the specification.
    • A significant number of questions will assess learners' understanding of more than one topic from the subject content.
    • A calculator will not be allowed in this examination.
    • Tiered
  • Component 1 - Calculator - 2hrs 15mins - 120 marks - 50%
    • The written paper for each tier will comprise a number of short and longer, both structured and unstructured questions which may be set on any part of the subject content of the specification.
    • A significant number of questions will assess learners' understanding of more than one topic from the subject content.
    • A calculator will be allowed in this examination.
    • Tiered

Resources

There don't appear to be any published resources specific to this specification.

Generic CGP Maths textbook GCSE/IGCSE - Foundation version or Higher version

There are a lot of resources available on the Eduqas site.

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here.

As many sites cover multiple exam boards we have a generic Maths Resources page.

Wales GCSE Specifications

WJEC (unless under the Eduqas label) can only be sat in Wales. They are not regulated by Ofqual but by Qualifications Wales. The content and style of the exams can differ from English GCSEs, they are graded A*-G. If considering WJEC do make sure that you have an exam centre in place.

WJEC GCSE maths

  • 2 papers, length and marks vary by tier
  • 1 calculator paper, 1 non-calculator paper
  • 3 tiers - foundation, intermediate and higher
  • Assumes knowledge of the GCSE Numeracy content - specification breaks down what is on the Numeracy spec and what is just GCSE Maths
  • Exams available in summer and November
  • First exams were November 2016

WJEC GCSE maths - numeracy - Only available in Wales. "GCSE in Maths - Numeracy will assesses the mathematics that learners will need in their everyday lives, the world of work and other general curriculum areas"

  • 2 papers, length and marks vary by tier
  • 1 calculator paper, 1 non-calculator paper
  • 3 tiers - foundation, intermediate and higher
  • Exams available in summer and November
  • First exams were November 2016

General Maths Resources

We have a page full of maths resources - useful, mostly free, maths sites, YouTube channels, and some paid-for resources like online courses. Please see Maths Resources .   

What next after GCSE maths?

Additional Maths / Further Maths / FSMQ - see separate page on Further and Additional Maths, and other ways to make use of the time between GCSE and A-level maths.

Advertisement