Mathematics - National Qualifications
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National 3 Lifeskills Mathematics

The course consists of three Units:
  • Manage Money & Data
  • Shape, Space & Measures
  • Numeracy (N3)
To pass the course, a candidate must pass all Units.  There is no external exam.


For much more information, see:
http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48597.html and go to Course and Unit Support Notes.
 

The Difference between N4 Maths Course and N4 Lifeskills Maths Course
 
Firstly, it is important to recognise that both courses are Mathematics courses at the same level of qualification (i.e. National 4).  However, they are designed for very different purposes.
 
The N4 Mathematics course contains some content which would not be used again by most people in their daily lives (e.g. algebra, trigonometry, scientific notation, and so on) unless they went on to study more advanced mathematics.  Consequently, the N4 Maths course is aimed at those who have a realistic prospect of attempting N5 Mathematics (not N5 Lifeskills Maths) the following year.
 
On the other hand, the N4 Lifeskills Mathematics course is designed to equip people with mathematical skills for life - the kinds of transferable skills that will regularly be used throughout life irrespective of whether the skills are used in future jobs or education.  For example, much of the initial content will be assessed via a series of tasks involving mobile phones.

 


National 4 Mathematics (as opposed to National 4 Lifeskills Mathematics)

Entry level
This course is intended for candidates who coped well with Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Level 3 work but did not make much progress with CfE Level 4 work or for those who passed National 3 Lifeskills Mathematics and found that course to be particularly straightforward. 
As stated above, the N4 Mathematics course contains some content which would not be used again by most people in their daily lives (e.g. algebra, trigonometry, scientific notation, and so on) unless they went on to study more advanced mathematics. Consequently, the N4 Maths course is aimed at those who have a realistic prospect of attempting N5 Mathematics (not N5 Lifeskills Maths) the following year.  However, S5/S6 candidates who failed last year are welcome to try again.  S5/S6 candidates who passed National 4 Lifeskills Mathematics could attempt this course too if they would rather not try a maths course at National 5 degree of difficulty.
 
Structure of the course
The course consists of three Units:
  • Relationships
  • Expressions & Formulae
  • Numeracy (N4)

plus the Added Value Unit (AVU). 

To pass the course, a candidate must pass all Units.  There is no external exam.

For much more information, see:

http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/47417.html and go to Course and Unit Support Notes.

 

 
National 4 Lifeskills Mathematics (as opposed to National 4 Mathematics)


Entry level
This course is intended for candidates who passed National 3 Lifeskills Mathematics previously.  However, S5/S6 candidates who failed last year are welcome to join this course too.
As stated above, the N4 Lifeskills Mathematics course is designed to equip people with mathematical skills for life - the kinds of transferable skills that will regularly be used throughout life irrespective of whether the skills are used in future jobs or education.
 
Structure of the course
The course consists of three Units:
  • Managing Finance & Statistics,
  • Numeracy (N4) 
  • Geometry & Measures
plus the Added Value Unit (AVU).
 
The first three units can be assessed in a variety of ways, but we have chosen to employ the “Combined Approach” for the first two units.  This allows us to cover the first two units using a thematic approach, thereby assessing skills and knowledge & understanding which are commonly used together in real-life situations.  It also reduces the number of the assessments.  The combined units will then be followed by the separate Geometry & Measures unit. 

To pass the course, a candidate must pass all Units including the AVU.  There is no external exam.

For much more information, see:

http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/47416.html and go to Course and Unit Support Notes.


 
National 5 Mathematics

Entry level
This course is intended for candidates who achieved CfE Level 4 or for those who passed National 4 Mathematics and found that course to be particularly straightforward.  However, S5/S6 candidates either who failed last year or who wish to upgrade their award are welcome to join this course too.
 
Structure of the course
The course recently consisted of three Units: Expressions & Formulae, Relationships, and Applications.  However, from session 2017-2018 onwards, these units are no longer part of the full course but can be done as stand-alone units if a candidate is unlikely to pass the N5 Maths externally-assessed examination in May. 
 
Format of the final external exam
The N5 Mathematics exam consists of two papers.
Paper 1 will consist of non-calculator questions worth a total of 50 marks (up from 40) and lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes (up from 1 hour).
Paper 2 will allow the use of calculators.  It runs for 1 hour and 50 minutes (up from 1 hour and 30 minutes) and contains 60 marks (up from 50).
 
For much more information, see:

http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/MathematicsCourseSpecN5.pdf and click on the tab that says "2017-18 session", then "Course Specification" and finally on "N5 Mathematics Course Specification 2017-18 session".