Home > GCSE Science, Specification > 2011 GCSE Sciences will require more challenging Maths

2011 GCSE Sciences will require more challenging Maths

Ofqual has released new subject criteria for GCSE science subjects that increase the mathematical demand required.

It says that exam boards producing new specifications for GCSE Science will need “to ensure that new specifications attend to the views expressed by the science community about boosting the mathematical demands in new GCSE examinations in science subjects. To this end, QCDA has worked with members of the science education community to set out the mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills that candidates should be able to use in GCSE science subject courses…. the regulators will therefore need to be satisfied that awarding organisations are requiring candidates to demonstrate a greater degree of mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills than is typically used in current GCSE sciences examinations..”

Check out the announcement in full here, and download the criteria here.

View the current AQA Science specification here, You can view the Mathematical requirements from page 19 onwards, and see that the new requirements (Foundation and higher tier listed below) are indeed more extensive.

Foundation and higher tier maths skills for 2011 GCSE Sciences

Candidates should be able to:

  • appreciate number, size and scale and the relationship between units
  • make estimates of the results of simple calculations
  • evaluate expressions incorporating the four operations, +, -, x, , either singly or in conjunction with one another, quoting the answer to an appropriate number of significant figures
  • evaluate expressions involving decimals, positive whole number powers, fractions and percentages using an appropriate number of significant figures
  • understand and use simple direct proportion and simple ratios
  • find arithmetic means
  • understand and use common measures and simple compound measures such as speed
  • plot and draw graphs (line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, scatter graphs) from suitable data, selecting appropriate scales for the axes
  • understand that a measurement given to a whole number may be inaccurate by up to one half in either direction
  • change the subject of an equation
  • substitute numerical values into simple formulae and simple equations using appropriate units for physical quantities
  • translate information between graphical and numeric form
  • extract information from charts, graphs and tables – for example determine the slope and intercept of a straight line graph
  • simple correlations
  • understand and use estimates of probability
  • work out areas, perimeters and volumes of simple shapes
  • measure and use angles
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