This syllabus is intended for high ability learners who have achieved, or are likely to achieve, grade A*, A or B in the Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics examination. Cambridge IGCSE Additional Mathematics enables learners to extend the mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics course and use skills in the context of more advanced techniques. The syllabus has a Pure Mathematics only content which enables learners to acquire a suitable foundation in mathematics for further study in the subject. Knowledge of the content of the Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics syllabus (or an equivalent syllabus) is assumed
What do you enjoy about the subject?
Hui Yen: You get this really huge sense of achievement of being able to solve this really long question that you probably would not have been able to do previously.
Eryn: It’s interesting how you can apply what you learn in class to your day to day life.
What is the most challenging about the subject?
Hui Yen: Definitely understanding the concepts and applying them to different questions because most of the time when you are presented a topic and it’s a new topic, it’s really hard to understand it at first, but I find that practicing it a lot and asking the teacher questions [makes] it become easier. That would be the most challenging thing.
Eryn: For me it’s having to memorise all the different formulas for each topic because once you learn a new topic you tend to forget the previous stuff you’ve learnt.
Seo Young: I think it’s challenging to have a lot of practice, if that makes sense, because it’s really time consuming.
Hui Yen: Yeah, it is. You have to really make time to practice maths.
Why did you choose this subject?
Hui Yen: So basically I chose add-maths because I was told that it would really help me when I did A-Level Maths because there’s normally a really huge jump between IGCSE Maths and A-Level Maths. Because I knew that I wanted to do A-Level Maths, I knew that add-maths was the subject for me because add-maths is basically a stepping stone between maths and A-Level Maths, so if you learn add-maths, it’s going to really make your life so much easier when you learn A-Level Maths so that’s why I chose it. Also, the fact that I’m Asian.
Eryn: I didn’t really have a choice because it’s basically compulsory to take add-maths if you pass the early hurdles test.
Seo Young: I chose it because of the same [reason] as Hui Yen. I thought it would help for A-Levels.
Was there anything in the subject that was different from your initial expectations? What were the main changes from year 9?
Hui Yen: Not really for me because I was already told how hard and how much more effort I would have to invest in doing add-maths so for me there wasn’t really much difference. I already knew what I was getting in to.
Eryn: I think compared to year 9, the pace at which you learn new topics is a lot quicker and you have to finish the whole syllabus within one year which is a really short time so it’s difficult.
Seo Young: I got add-maths tuition before I started add-maths in school but still there is a difference because getting tested on it is different and yeah, it’s pretty hard.
Hui Yen: The main change from year 9 would definitely be the workload. You get much more work in IGCSE to help you prepare for the exams because maths is basically a ‘practicing subject’ so you get more work and it’s harder.
What do lessons look like in terms of writing, independent study, collaboration, assessment etc?
Hui Yen: Well definitely IGCSE lessons I find in general are more of a lecture-style, so there are less group activities and more of you having to take in the content, learn it and practice it.
Seo Young: The teacher will basically teach you the concepts and how to apply them to questions and for the whole lesson you just practice the questions.
Hui Yen: So there’s definitely more independent work.
Seo Young: There’s no collaboration. And assessments - they’re super hard.
How much homework or independent study will I be doing a week in this subject?
Hui Yen: You will definitely get homework almost every class. As for independent study, I would say about 4 hours a week minimum- that would be great. That sounds like a lot of work and very daunting but that’s because maths is a subject that you have to practice, like I’ve said, so you’re basically expressing it. You’re doing add-maths in one year so you really have to put in the time and effort and do a lot more independent study.
Seo Young: If you want to get A*’s then i guess you have to do a lot of independent study and get a lot of practice from past papers but you know, if you’re not ‘kiasu’ enough then I guess it’s fine to not do a lot of practice.
Hui Yen: So basically you have to be like the Asian stereotypical student where you have to study, study, study. It’ll pay-off at the end.
Any tips for the newly entering students?
Hui Yen: One tip that I really like and really encourage is to make good notes that you can refer to easily. So I’m really all about the colour and clear notes so if that’s not your style then you don’t need to do that but make sure you have a place where you can refer to when you’re studying for exams. One thing that I really like to do is write my equations in blue and box it up in red ink. That really makes the equation stand out amongst all the other black colours and apparently, according to an article that I read, blue ink is supposed to make you remember stuff better, so do that guys.
Eryn: I think that it’s really helpful if you ask the teachers every time you don’t understand something. Even though you feel scared or shy or embarrassed, it will be really helpful for you to understand everything if you ask the teachers when you don’t understand how to do it.
Seo Young: I think you should start early because like I said, I got tuition before I started add-maths in school and it really helped. If you’re not confident then just start early and you won’t have to do as much practice.
Hui Yen: Start paying attention and practising early. Don’t procrastinate and don’t goof-off from the start because even though it feels like you’re just starting out the subject and it feels like you still have time before the exams, you don’t want to do that because that means you’re going to have to learn content when it comes to exam season and that’s going to be really stressful.
How do you study for the subject?
Hui Yen: Past years. You really have to do loads of practice questions. When you do questions, you will find that memorising the equations become less tedious because you’re just so used to automatically using the equations when it comes to [doing] that particular question.
Eryn: It kind of helps if you memorise the formulas and go through them every once in a while and to also try some practice questions so that you don’t forget them.
Seo Young: I think you should start by doing questions from the textbook, and then if you completely, thoroughly understand the concept you should try past-year papers.
Will taking any other subject help me to be successful in this subject?
Hui Yen: Just make sure you do well in your normal maths, because that’s your foundation.
Overview by Ms. Gayathri
Additional maths will be interesting, fun and challenging. The top 3 skills [needed] would definitely be problem-solving skills, algebraic skills and [to have] patience. Additional maths will make you a better person and make you work hard. You won’t give up easily- that’s how additional maths will make a person more critical and at the same time more patient towards anything a person wants to do in life.
It will usually promote careers in engineering, actuarial science and biotech. A lot of industries really use additional maths; not directly but indirectly.
The best thing about additional maths: it’s challenging, it’s fun and you will find that you feel like you achieve something when you manage to solve a problem so it makes a better person.
Papers in IGCSE Additional Mathematics
50% of total mark
50% of total mark
Problem solving with application questions