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GCSE Mathematics

Why GCSE Mathematics is a valuable qualification  

GCSE Mathematics involves the study of mathematical methods, with some practical applications. It aims to develop students’ skills in problem-solving and analytical thinking.

It also aims to provide all students with a firm mathematical foundation that they will need for life, work and further study.

GCSE Mathematics grade 4 or higher is usually required for progression onto studying for an advanced (level 3) maths qualification, such as Core Maths or A level Mathematics. Most schools and colleges require at least a grade 6 for entry to an A level Mathematics course.

Is a pass (grade 4 or higher) in GCSE Mathematics valuable for a career in your business?

If so, we’d encourage you to refer to it in your job advertisements. If young people see that you value the knowledge and skills it develops, they will be encouraged to work towards achieving it.

What’s studied in GCSE Mathematics

Students can enter two different sets of examinations:

  1. The Foundation tier covers grades 1-5 (formerly G-C).
  2. The Higher tier covers grades 3-9 (formerly D-A*)

BBC Bitesize provides a helpful overview of the content of GCSE Mathematics, including which topics are included in the Foundation tier and which are included in the Higher tier.

The I-GCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is equivalent to taking a GCSE. It’s available internationally and is also used by some UK schools and colleges.

A more in-depth look at GCSE Mathematics qualifications, and other maths qualifications that are often taken alongside it, is provided within the section of our website for teachers.

Take a look

Confused by grades?

GCSEs are now graded 9 to 1. Grade 9 is the highest and grade 1 is the lowest

This government factsheet explains more about the changes and shows how the new grading scales relates to the previous A*-G grading scale