Achieving an A* in A Level Maths is no small feat. As one of the toughest and most respected A Level subjects, Maths demands a blend of determination, strategic planning and unwavering commitment.

In this guide, we’ll explore what it takes to get an A* in A Level Maths. From exam board-specific revision tips to grade boundaries and how many students get an A*, we’ll unravel the secrets to success in A Level Maths.

So whether you’re a seasoned A Level mathematician or just beginning your studies, this guide will give you the knowledge, resources and confidence to secure that coveted A* grade.

## How hard is it to get an A* in A Level Maths?

**Let’s jump straight in. Yes, it’s hard to get an A* in ****A Level**** Maths. Only a select few students achieve this highest grade each year… and for good reason. Achieving an A* at A Level requires a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, strong problem-solving skills and consistent dedication to study – all year round. **

The level of difficulty will vary from student to student (depending on your aptitude and study habits), but Maths is generally regarded as one of the toughest A Level subjects due to its advanced content and demanding exams.

However, while securing an A* in A Level Maths isn’t easy, it’s 100% achievable with the right approach and preparation. With diligent study, effective revision strategies and plenty of practice, you’ll be well on your way to attaining that A* grade.

Here’s how to do it…

## How to get an A* in Maths A Level

From understanding the exam format to practising with past papers and online resources, there are certain things you *need* to do to get an A* in A Level Maths – no matter which exam board you’re studying with.

With this in mind, here are the key steps to follow, along with links to exam board-specific resources.

**Understand your syllabus and assessment objectives**: Before diving into your Maths studies, take the time to thoroughly understand what topics are covered in the syllabus and what skills are being assessed. This will help you prioritise your learning and focus on the most important areas.**Master key concepts**: Instead of simply memorising formulas and procedures, focus on understanding the underlying concepts behind them. For example, rather than just learning how to differentiate functions in calculus, understand*why*differentiation represents rates of change and how it applies to real-world scenarios.**Familiarise yourself with the exam format**: Each exam board has its own format for A Level Maths exams, so make sure you’re familiar with the structure, types of questions, and how marks are allocated. Practising with past papers is an excellent way to get comfortable with exam-style questions and time constraints. This also helps you identify areas of strength and weakness.**Create a structured study plan**: Break down your Maths syllabus into manageable chunks and create a study plan that covers each topic. Allocate more time to areas you find challenging, but don’t neglect topics you find easier – reinforcing your strengths is just as important as improving your weaknesses.**Seek support from teachers and tutors**: If you run into difficulties or have questions about certain topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to your teachers or academic tutors. They can provide clarification, offer alternative explanations and help you overcome obstacles in your learning.**Use online resources**: Take advantage of online resources such as Maths Genie and Corbett Maths. These platforms offer video tutorials, practice exercises, revision notes and other helpful materials that can supplement your learning.**Organise study sessions**: Studying with peers lets you exchange ideas, discuss concepts and gain fresh perspectives. You may find your classmates have different approaches to solving problems or insights you hadn’t considered.**Regularly review your progress**: Periodically assess your Maths understanding by reviewing your notes, completing practice questions and taking mock exams. Identify areas where you’re making progress and areas where you need to focus more attention – and adjust your plan accordingly.**Start your preparation early**: Don’t leave revision until the last minute. Starting early gives you more time to absorb the material, practice problem-solving techniques and build confidence in your abilities. Plus, it reduces the stress and pressure of cramming right before the exam. A win all round!

### How to get an A* in Maths A Level: Edexcel

Here are quick links to the resources you need…

- Edexcel Maths A Level Specification
- Edexcel Maths A Level Past Papers and Examiner Reports
- Edexcel Maths A Level Exemplar Material

### How to get an A* in Maths A Level: AQA

- AQA Maths A Level Specification
- AQA Maths A Level Past Papers and Examiner Reports
- AQA Maths A Level Answers and Commentaries

### How to get an A* in Maths A Level: OCR

- OCR Maths A Level Specification
- OCR Maths A Level Assessment Materials
- OCR Maths A Level Endorsed Resources

## How many people got an A* in Maths A Level?

Across the board, about 41% of students achieve an A in Maths A Level. For an A* grade, this falls to just **17%**.

The number of students achieving an A* in A Level Maths varies each year, influenced by factors such as exam difficulty, the exam board and student performance.

But for 2023, here’s the percentage of students achieving Maths A*s for the three main exam boards.

While statistics fluctuate, one thing that stays the same is the accomplishment this represents. Attaining an A* in Maths A Level is a massive achievement that reflects the utmost dedication, proficiency and understanding of your subject.

## What percentage do you need to get an A* in A Level Maths?

The percentage needed for an A* in A Level Maths varies depending on the exam board and their grade boundaries, which change from year to year.

Generally speaking though, you’ll need a very high score, often above 80%, to secure an A* grade in Maths A Level.

Here are the grade boundaries for 2023, to achieve an A*.

- AQA: 248 out of 300 marks (82.6%)
- Edexcel: 244 out of 300 marks (81.3%)
- OCR (Maths A): 209 out of 300 marks (69.6%)
- OCR (Maths B): 224 out of 275 marks (81.4%)

## What is the hardest A Level to get an A* in?

This is an interesting question. Because on the one hand, subjects like Maths and Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology are widely regarded as challenging A Levels. But on the other hand, these “difficult” subjects often boast the highest pass rates and numbers of A* grades.

In terms of students achieving top grades, the subjects with the lowest percentages of A*s are:

- AQA: Accounting (1.8% A* grades)
- Edexcel: Statistics (1.2% A* grades)
- OCR: Film Studies (1.17% A* grades)

So technically speaking, these are some are the hardest A Levels to achieve an A*.

Despite this, you might argue that students actively seeking out tougher A Levels are more likely to dedicate time to work and revision – explaining the higher grades in subjects like Further Maths (with 25-35% A* grades).

## Is A Level Maths the hardest subject?

A Level Maths is considered one of the toughest subjects due to its challenging content, complex problem-solving requirements and high level of “abstract thought”.

That said, it’s not generally labelled as the hardest subject. This accolade usually goes to Further Maths.

Whether you’re taking Maths or Further Maths A Level, this subject offers a massive amount of valuable skills that are highly respected by universities and employers. So yes, it may be hard – but it’s also well worth the effort.

## Do universities like Maths A Level?

Yes, Maths A Level is one of the most well-respected and sought-after qualifications by universities and employers alike. As one of the most rigorous A Levels, universities recognise Maths for helping develop critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

While mathematical knowledge will stand students in good stead for any STEMB degree (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Business), it’s also highly regarded across a whole range of disciplines. The skills encouraged in Maths A Level are particularly useful for Philosophy degrees (for instance in formal logic), Economics (particularly with an econometrics element) and subjects like Geography and Psychology.

Given how difficult it is, success in A Level Maths demonstrates not just proficiency in the subject, but clear hard work and dedication – a strong foundation for further study or professional endeavours, no matter which path you follow.

## Is Maths A Level really useful?

Maths A Level can be incredibly useful. It offers a versatile skill set you can put to good use in academic, professional and everyday life.

In university courses (particularly in STEMB fields), a strong mathematical foundation is essential. Concepts such as calculus, linear algebra and statistics form the bedrock of these disciplines, enabling students to tackle complex problems and advance their understanding.

In the jobs market, mathematical proficiency also opens doors to diverse career opportunities. Industries such as finance, technology and engineering heavily rely on mathematical skills. For instance, financial analysts use mathematical modelling and statistical analysis to make informed decisions, while software engineers use mathematical concepts in coding and algorithm development. These skills are not only valuable in specialised roles but also increasingly sought after in today’s data-driven world.

Beyond academia and the professional sphere, maths also plays a crucial role in everyday life. From managing personal finances to embarking on DIY projects, maths is everywhere. Whether calculating interest rates for loans, adjusting baking recipes, or measuring for home renovations, these skills help you navigate daily life with confidence and precision.

## Are you preparing for A Level Maths exams?

If you’re preparing for A Level exams, get in touch with our expert team of academic coaches today. From study skills and exam techniques to academic life coaching and assistance with personal statements and university applications, we’ll help you achieve your academic goals with confidence.