International GCSE Mathematics

International GCSE Mathematics


The Edexcel International GCSE in Mathematics is designed at a standard equivalent to the UK GCSE Mathematics. The fast-track GCSE Maths provides a solid basis for students wishing to progress to AS and Advanced GCE Level qualifications. It also enables students to move onto courses requiring GCSE Maths at grade C or above, such as teaching, nursing, or similar vocational courses.

The Edexcel International GCSE Maths course is an excellent qualification for distance learners as it is assessed purely using externally assessed exam papers.

You have the option to choose your level of assessment, Foundation Tier or Higher Tier. You will need to choose the appropriate level and arrange to sit the appropriate exam at a local examination centre.

Foundation Tier: The Foundation Tier Papers are targeted at grades in the range 5 – 1 (C-G). The highest grade awarded a Foundation Tier is grade 5 (C).

Higher Tier: The Higher Tier Papers are targeted at grades in the range 9 – 3 (A* – D). There is a safety net grade E for students who narrowly fail to achieve Grade D. Students who fail to achieve grade E will be awarded Ungraded.

International GCSE Mathematics Course Content

The foundation tier course is divided into the following 5 units:

International GCSE Mathematics Course – Unit 1 – Numbers and the Number System

Understanding the nature of numbers, including integers, fractions, decimals, standard form and percentages. Looking also at powers (squares, cubes, etc), roots, sets, ratio and proportion. Includes the use of calculators for various number calculations.

International GCSE Mathematics Course – Unit 2 – Equations, Formulae and Identities

Algebraic manipulation of expressions and formulae. Solving linear and quadratic equations, including a pair of simultaneous equations. Extension of algebra to inequalities and relationship between algebraic and graphical representations of solutions.

International GCSE Mathematics Course – Unit 3 – Sequences, Functions and Graphs

Looking at patterns in sequences and series of numbers. Understanding of graphical and algebraic representation of functions.  Plotting linear and non-linear graphs with evaluation of gradient and intercept for straight line graphs.

International GCSE Mathematics Course – Unit 4 – Geometry, Trigonometry, Vectors and Transformation Geometry

Acute, obtuse, reflective and right angles for triangles and intersecting lines. Terminology of triangles and polygons, including interior and exterior angles and their sums. Identification of lines of symmetry and rotational symmetry. Properties and terminology of circles. Measurement of angles, time, speed, distance and understanding of measurement units. Calculation of area, volume, perimeter and circumference for regular shapes. Use of Pythagoras theorem and trigonometry to solve problems in two dimensions. Geometric properties giving rise to shape similarity. Rotations, reflections and enlargements of shapes with algebraic description.

International GCSE Mathematics Course – Unit 5 – Statistics and Probability

Graphical representation of data and measures of average – mean, mode and median. Understanding the language of probability and calculation of probabilities. Construction of Venn diagrams with relationship to probability. Combining probabilities and understanding the term “expected frequency”.

The higher tier course includes all the foundation tier topics with the following additional elements:

Unit 1 – Numbers and the Number System

Understanding of irrational numbers (surds) and the use of index laws to simplify and evaluate numerical expressions. Algebraic set notation and subsets. Compound interest and understanding of degree of accuracy for calculations.

Unit 2 – Equations, Formulae and Identities

Further work on quadratic equations, including completing the square and the quadratic formula where a direct factorisation is not possible. Manipulation of algebraic fractions. Direct and inverse proportion, simultaneous equations with one quadratic and one linear equation. Solving quadratic inequalities, including graphical representation of solutions.

Unit 3 – Sequences, Functions and Graphs

Algebraic analysis of sequences and series. Composite and inverse functions. Graph representations and algebraic transformations of polynomial and trigonometric functions. Calculation of intersection points for one linear and one non-linear function. Calculation of straight-line equations parallel and perpendicular to a given line. Use of calculus to determine gradient and turning points, including solving practical problems.

Unit 4 – Geometry, Trigonometry, Vectors and Transformation Geometry

Use of circle theorems to determine unknown angles. Further development of Pythagoras theorem and trigonometry for all types of triangle including obtuse angles and simple three-dimensional problems. Further work on properties of three-dimensional shapes and similarity. Terminology and calculations involving vectors.

Unit 5 – Statistics and Probability

Use of histograms and cumulative frequency diagrams. Understanding of measures of spread in data and calculation of inter-quartile range. Further development of probability, including tree diagrams and conditional probability.


Paper 1 – 4MA1/1F for Foundation Tier or 4MA1/1H for Higher Tier

2-hour written examination

50% of the qualification

100 marks

Paper 2 – 4MA1/2F for Foundation Tier or 4MA1/2H for Higher Tier

2-hour written examination

50% of the qualification

100 marks

International GCSE Mathematics Entry Requirements

To enrol into our Mathematics course Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

Study Hours

Variable according to each student however Edexcel recommends 120 – 140 study hours.


Edexcel International GCSE Mathematics.

What’s Included

Online Learning Documentation, Online Resources and Tutor support for 1 year.

Further Information

Your course is delivered online 

In the student ‘On Campus’ area you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online, you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 7 working days.

Students are required to arrange and pay for their examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning College.

Awarding Body

Pearson Edexcel

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