The Free-Standing Mathematics Qualifications are a group of separate qualifications, that are neither a GCSE nor an A-level. They are meant to bridge the gap between GCSE Mathematics and AS level Mathematics, and are typically taken by students who take their GCSE Mathematics a year early, and study the syllabus for the FSMQ in year 11.
There are currently only two boards for the FSMQ, which are OCR and AQA. Edexcel used to have the FSMQ however they withdrew, with the last exam held in June 2004.Boards
OCR offer two qualifications: 'Foundations of Advanced Mathematics' (which is jointly developed by OCR and MEI) and 'Additional Mathematics'.
AQA offer a much wider variety of qualifications:
- At foundation level, there are three qualifications: 'Managing Money,' 'Working in 2 and 3 Dimensions' and 'Making Sense of Data'.
- At intermediate level, there are again three qualifications: 'Calculation Finances,' 'Handling and Interpreting Data' and 'Using Algebra, Functions and Graphs'.
- At Advanced level, there are four different qualifications: 'Using and Applying Statistics,' 'Modeling with Calculus,' 'Using and Applying Decision Mathematics' and 'Working with Algebraic and Graphical Techniques'.
AQA Specifications may be found here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/pdf/AQA-6990-6991-6992-6994-W-SP-08.PDF
There are three levels, 1 to 3, which are foundation, intermediate and advanced. The intermediate qualification is roughly the equivalent to GCSE Mathematics, however the advanced qualification is a mixture of AS topics, and is about the same as one AS-module.
Some modules in both AQA and OCR FSMQ may be used towards the AS Use of Mathematics as well.
UCAS points are awarded on achievement in the FSMQ, with 20 points for an A, 17 points for a B, 13 for a C, 10 for a D and 7 for an E. Unlike GCSEs, it is impossible to gain the A* grade, with the highest grade being an A.
Unlike other examinations, for some FSMQs, formula sheets or booklets are not provided, and candidates are expected to recall all formulae in the syllabus.
Additional Maths - OCR - Some Key Formulae:
- General Integration:
- Indefinite Integration:
- Definite Integration:
- Binomial Expansion:
- Binomial Probability:
- Alternate Gradient Formula:
- Circle, with centre = (0,0) and radius = r:
- Circle, with centre = (a,b):
- This may be rewritten:
- Where and and
- Trigonometric Identities: and
- where s = displacement; u = initial velocity; v = final velocity; a = acceleration; t = time.
- Proof that two lines are perpendicular:
- Proof that two lines are parallel:
- Remainder Theorem: For integer polynomials , the remainder on division by is equal to
AS Use of Mathematics
FSMQ Integration Revision Wiki
Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018
It's important to be aware that not all qualifications attract a Ucas point score and, in the majority of cases, only the top level of achievement is counted.
It’s worth checking all qualifications you are completing on the new Ucas tariff calculator. Only level 3 qualifications are on the tariff, but this does include qualifications such as graded music qualifications from grades 6-8, as some will gain you extra tariff points.
Since the scope of qualifications that attract Ucas points is vast - think horse care, functional skills and hairdressing - it is worth cross checking with Ucas' comprehensive list to make sure you know exactly what your score is and if you could qualify for any additional points.
So what's new?
According to Margaret Farragher, Ucas’ head of policy and qualifications, for most people, the new points shouldn’t make any difference to their university applications:
- We changed the tariff to make it fairer and to include a wider range of qualifications taken by students applying to higher education. The new tariff comes into effect for higher education courses starting in September 2017
- The main thing about the new tariff is that all the numbers are much lower than the old tariff as a completely different scale has been used. For example, an A-level grade A* gets 56 points in comparison with 140 previously. But the ‘value’ of the most popular qualifications - including academic and vocational - is exactly the same.
- One key change is that the AS qualification has been repositioned to 40 per cent of an A Level, rather than 50 per cent. This is in line with statements made by the UK qualification regulators. While the decoupled AS no longer counts as a ‘stepping stone’ to a full A-level in England, it continues to be the first stage of an A level in Wales and Northern Ireland, contributing 40 per cent of the overall marks.
- Only level 3 regulated qualifications can come onto the new tariff as these are designed to ensure they support progression to higher education. However, not all universities accept all qualifications - it depends on whether a qualification is right for their course
- Just because a qualification is on the tariff, it doesn't mean a university or college will accept it for entry to their courses. Equally, if a qualification is not on the tariff, it may still be accepted by a university if it’s relevant. It's essential to check the course entry requirements and speak to university admissions staff, if necessary.
To quickly review your A-level point score online, check out the Ucas tariff calculator. Below is a basic outline for A-levels and the International Baccalaureate.
A-level and A/S exams
A* = 56
A = 48
B = 40
C = 32
D = 24
E = 16
A = 20
B = 16
C = 12
D = 10
E = 6
International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)
Tariff points for the IB are calculated by adding together the points for each of its separate parts.
Certificate in Higher Level
H7 = 56
H6 = 48
H5 = 32
H4 = 24
H3 = 12
H2 = 0
H1 = 0
Certificate in Standard Level
S7 = 28
S6 = 24
S5 = 16
S4 = 12
S3 = 6
S2 = 0
S1 = 0
A = 12
B = 10
C = 8
D = 6
E = 4
Theory of knowledge
A = 12
B = 10
C = 8
D = 6
E = 4