Calculators must be compliant with the JCQ Instructions for conducting examinations (ICE)*.* In addition, calculators should have:

- an iterative function
- the ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from the normal and binomial distribution (and Poisson distribution for the statistics strand of Further Maths)
- the ability to compute the determinant of a 3 x 3 matrix (For Further Maths only)

There are scientific calculators currently on the market that can perform all of the above so candidates are not expected to have a graphical calculator. However, there is no restriction on candidates using a graphical calculator in the exam, but they must not include Computer Algebra Software (CAS) and must comply with the JCQ (ICE). Candidates entered for Y436 Further Pure with Technology of Further Maths B (H645) will require either a sophisticated graphical calculator or a PC.

There are no non-calculator papers; however both of our specs have some questions in which students are expected to provide a clear analytical solution in order to be awarded marks, beyond simply stating the numerical result obtained from a calculator. These questions are clearly signposted using defined assessment ‘command words’. Further details can be found in the specifications and our summary guides:

Exploring our question papers - AS and A Level Mathematics A

Exploring our question papers - AS and A Level Mathematics B

Examples can also be seen in our question papers and the mark schemes. A classroom poster summarising the command words can be downloaded to use at your centre:

A Level Maths command words poster A2 size

The command words define the level of detail needed to justify the answer, but individual steps may be obtained or checked by calculator. Calculators can be used for any function they can perform and it is expected that students will use their calculator, where appropriate, for tasks such as solving quadratics, solving simultaneous equations, evaluating definite integrals, evaluating the gradient at a point and so on.

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