New Mathematics GCSE draft specification | Pearson qualifications

New draft specification for Edexcel Mathematics GCSE

Fri May 30 12:00:00 UTC 2014

We've just published the new, draft specification and sample assessment materials for Edexcel GCSE Mathematics, to be taught in schools from September 2015. 

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These have been developed following careful consultation with teachers and subject experts, according to the content and assessment objectives that the Department for Education published last year. The draft specification and sample assessment materials were submitted to Ofqual on Thursday 29 May for accreditation.

This is a linear qualification, with exams that must be taken at the end of the course and there will be no coursework or controlled assessment.

The grading scale will be from nine to one (nine representing the highest grade). There are still two tiers of entry available: Foundation (grades one to five) and Higher (grades four to nine).

The assessment for each tier of entry consists of three written exam papers. Each paper has an assessment time of one and a half hours and is worth 33.3% of the final grade. Paper one will be done without a calculator and papers two and three will be done with a calculator.

There will be a greater emphasis on mathematical reasoning, communication and problem solving skills.

The content is divided in to six main areas:

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

Mark Anderson, Managing Director of Pearson UK, said:

"We are enormously grateful to the many teachers, academics and stakeholders from the wider mathematics community who have helped us to put together this new qualification. The qualifications we offer must support a bright and successful future for the students that take them and the new GCSE mathematics qualification has been developed drawing on international benchmarking research to ensure it is comparable with the assessments of some of the world's highest performing jurisdictions.
"From our consultations, we know that many of these changes are welcome, but that change always poses new challenges. Our main priority is to provide schools with the most up to date information and support on the reforms, to ensure that they and their students are prepared for these changes next year."

For further information please contact:

+44 (0)207 190 4818

Notes to editors

About Pearson

Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

About the World Class Qualifications Programme

In 2012 Pearson launched the World Class Qualifications programme, bringing together international assessment and education experts to develop qualifications that will support young people globally to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Led by an expert panel, and Chaired by Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, a key role of this programme is to feed in to the development of the new GCSE and A Level qualifications.

Further information about the World Class Qualifications Programme


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This draft qualification has not yet been accredited by Ofqual. It is published to enable teachers to have early sight of our proposed approach to GCSE Mathematics. Further changes may be required and no assurance can be given at this time that the proposed qualification will be made available in its current form, or that it will be accredited in time for first teaching in September and first award in June 2017. 


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