General administration

You can find information about all aspects of administration, as well as all the forms you need, at

Entries and codes

You only need to make one entry for each qualification – this will cover all the question papers and certification.

Every specification is given a national discount (classification) code by the Department for Education (DfE), which indicates its subject area.

If a student takes two specifications with the same discount code, Further and Higher Education providers are likely to take the view that they have only achieved one of the two qualifications. Please check this before your students start their course. Where two specifications have the same discount code, only one of them will be counted for the purpose of the School and College Performance tables – the DfE’s rules on ‘early entry’ will determine which one.

Students can only be entered for one tier in any exam series.

Qualification title Tier AQA entry code DfE discount code
AQA Level 1/2 GCSE in Mathematics Foundation 8300F RB1
Higher 8300H RB1

This specification complies with Ofqual’s:

  • General Conditions of Recognition that apply to all regulated qualifications
  • GCSE qualification conditions that apply to all GCSEs
  • GCSE Mathematics conditions that apply to all GCSEs in this subject.

The Ofqual qualification accreditation number (QAN) is 601/4608/4

Overlaps with other qualifications

There is some overlap betweeen this specification and AQA's GCSE Statistics and with AQA's Functional Skills qualifications in Mathematics at Level 1 and Level 2. Some overlap also exists with this specification and AQA's Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics.

Awarding grades and reporting results

The qualification will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

A student taking Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1 to 5. Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for grade 1 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

A student taking Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4 to 9. A student sitting the Higher tier who just fails to achieve grade 4 will be awarded an allowed grade 3. Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for the allowed grade 3 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

Re-sits and shelf life

Students can re-sit the qualification as many times as they wish, within the shelf life of the qualification. November entries will only be available to students who were at least 16 on the previous 31 August, as set out in Ofqual's GCSE subject level conditions and requirements for Mathematics, and we will make reasonable checks to ensure schools and colleges comply with this requirement.

Previous learning and prerequisites

Students are not required to have taken any particular qualifications before taking this course. Any requirements for entry to a course based on this specification are at the discretion of schools and colleges.

However, as mathematics is taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content that is typically taught at Key Stage 3. There is no expectation that teaching of such content should be repeated during the GCSE course where it has already been taught effectively at an earlier stage.

Access to assessment: diversity and inclusion

General qualifications are designed to prepare students for a wide range of occupations and further study. Therefore our qualifications must assess a wide range of competences.

The subject criteria have been assessed to see if any of the skills or knowledge required present any possible difficulty to any students, whatever their ethnic background, religion, sex, age, disability or sexuality. If any difficulties were encountered, the criteria were reviewed again to make sure that tests of specific competences were only included if they were important to the subject.

As members of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) we participate in the production of the JCQ document Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments: General and Vocational qualifications. We follow these guidelines when assessing the needs of individual students who may require an access arrangement or reasonable adjustment. This document is published on the JCQ website at

Students with disabilities and special needs

We can make arrangements for disabled students and students with special needs to help them access the assessments, as long as the competences being tested are not changed. Access arrangements must be agreed before the assessment. For example, a Braille paper would be a reasonable adjustment for a Braille reader but not for a student who does not read Braille.

We are required by the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to remove or lessen any disadvantage that affects a disabled student.

If you have students who need access arrangements or reasonable adjustments, you can apply using the Access arrangements online service at

Special consideration

We can give special consideration to students who have been disadvantaged at the time of the exam through no fault of their own – for example a temporary illness, injury or serious problem such as the death of a relative. We can only do this after the exam.

Your exams officer should apply online for special consideration at

For more information and advice about access arrangements, reasonable adjustments and special consideration please see or email

Working with AQA for the first time

If your school or college has not previously offered any AQA specification, you need to register as an AQA centre to offer our exams to your students. Find out how at

If your school or college is new to this specification, please let us know by completing an Intention to enter form. The easiest way to do this is via e-AQA at

Private candidates

A private candidate is someone who enters for exams through an AQA-approved school or college but is not enrolled as a student there.

If you are a private candidate you may be self-taught, home-schooled or have private tuition, either with a tutor or through a distance learning organisation. You must be based in the UK.

If you have any queries as a private candidate, you can:

Materials for use in the examination

For all question papers, students are expected to have mathematical instruments available for use in the exam. These instruments are defined as:

  • pencil (for use in diagrams only)
  • ruler
  • pair of compasses
  • protractor.

A calculator is required for use in paper 2 and paper 3 of this specification. Details of the requirements for calculators can be found in the Joint Council for General Qualifications document Instructions for conducting examinations. For GCSE Mathematics exams, calculators should have the following as a minimum requirement:

  • four rules and square
  • square root
  • reciprocal and power function
  • brackets
  • a memory facility
  • appropriate exponential, trigonometric and statistical functions.

For the purposes of this specification, a ‘calculator’ is any electronic or mechanical device which may be used for the performance of mathematical computations. However, only those permissible in the guidance in the Instructions for conducting examinations are allowed in GCSE mathematics examinations.