A Level Entrance
(Year 11 Spring Assessment Test in Mathematics)
Why is there an entrance examination?
In order to access the A level Mathematics course that is taught at Maidstone Grammar School, students need strong algebra skills. It is possible to get an A grade at GCSE with little grasp of higher level algebra by doing well in some other strands of the curriculum. Students who do not have good algebra skills will struggle to make a success of the course.
When is the entrance exam?
For internal students, the entrance test will be taken during term three. For external students, the entrance test will be taken when you come for one of our transferees days. The test will last 55 minutes.
Is the entrance exam compulsory?
All students must take the entrance examination if they wish to study A level Mathematics at Maidstone Grammar School unless they already have an A* grade at GCSE Mathematics from having taken GCSE early.
What topics does the entrance examination test?
All questions contained in the entrance exam are based on material in the algebra section of the GCSE syllabus. Specifically, candidates should know and understand:
• Rules for working with negative numbers.
• The four rules of fractions.
• Constructing and using formulae and expressions.
• Expanding brackets in algebra and collecting like terms.
• Forming and solving linear equations and inequalities.
• Rules of indices, including applying them to simplifying algebraic expressions.
• Changing the subject of a formula.
• The equation of a straight line in the form y = mx + c.
• Solving linear simultaneous equations – both algebraic and graphical methods.
• Factorising by removing common factors of an expression.
• Factorising quadratics.
• Solving quadratic equations.
• Algebraic Fractions.
• Solving simultaneous equations where one is linear and the other quadratic.
How is the examination graded?
Candidates will be awarded grades 1, 2 or 3, and these three grades are interpreted as follows:
o Grade 1: Accepted for A Level Maths
o Grade 2: Borderline for A Level Maths
o Grade 3: Not accepted for A Level Maths
Can I resit the Entrance Examination?
No, there are no resit opportunities.
What happens if I get a grade 2 or a grade 3 in the examination?
Students obtaining these grades will be seen again by Mr. Smith regarding Sixth Form Admissions. Students with a grade 2 will be required to achieve an A* grade GCSE if they still wish to start the A level course. Students with a grade 3 will need to select an alternative course.
Are there any revision materials for the examination?
Although there are no past examination papers, the department will make available a revision resource comprising practice questions on the school website in due course.
Is there a separate test for Further Maths A level?
No, but potential Further Maths students will need to obtain a high score in this entrance examination for the department to endorse your course choice.