IGCSE Additional Mathematics – Syllabus & Assessment


IGCSE or the International General Certification of Secondary Education, as the name suggests is one component of the Cambridge Course way and covers:

  • Cambridge Lower Secondary – targeting students between the ages of 11 and 14 years
  • Cambridge Higher Secondary – targeting students between the ages of 14 and 16 years

This can be compared to the IB MYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme), the main difference being that IB provides just the framework allowing the teachers and schools to follow:

  • Their own curriculum is creative, whereas the IGCSE follows a specific curriculum.
  • The students need to sit for the exams conducted by Pearson Edexcel International or CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) to be able to opt for the “AS” or the “A” levels. IB


Diploma Programme can be considered as an option too. After the completion of IGCSE examination. In the 10 th grade, a student gets either a CIE certification or an IGCSE certification.

IGCSE offers up to 70 subjects to its students, including more than 30 languages. Students can take them in any combination. The groups under which the subjects are ordered as follows:

  • Group 1 – Languages
  • Group 2 – Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Group 3 – Sciences
  • Group 4 – Mathematics and Business
  • Group 5 – Creative and Professional and Vocational

Students are required to opt for 2 languages, one subject from each of the groups 2-5 as given above. And the 7th subject can be chosen from any group 2 to 5.
The high scores on the IGCSE not only give the student an international education certificate but also give other benefits too:

  • High job opportunities and expertise.
  • Higher education in countries abroad.
  • Work skills to adapt to social life.


Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics Syllabus

  1. Helps build the students’ ability, confidence, and ease in using their use of techniques without the use of a calculator, thus increasing their mathematical understanding.
  2. Encourages the students’ reasoning and analytical skills.
  3. Emphasizes problem-solving in mathematics and real-life contexts.
  4. Enables better communication and reasoning mathematically.
  5. Helps students of all abilities to achieve and progress in mathematical studies.

Cambridge IGCSE Additional Mathematics enables the students to further develop their mathematical skills in problem-solving and offers a strong foundation for advanced study of mathematics in their future studies.


The Additional Mathematics Syllabus

  • Helps and prepares the more able students to transition smoothly to the Cambridge AS and A-level Mathematics.
  • Reinforces the students’ ability, confidence, and ease in using their use of techniques, without the use of a calculator.
  • Refines the students’ reasoning and analytical skills by enriching their understanding of connections within the subject.
  • Helps the students to sharpen their abilities to solve problems in abstract mathematics.
  • Enhances the students’ abilities to communicate mathematically and justify their reasoning using structured arguments.
  • Develops the ability to apply mathematics in other subjects – science and technology.
  • Helps to acquire a strong foundation for further study of mathematics or other streams too.
  • Helps appreciate and recognize quantity, pattern, and relationships and make generalizations.

The Content of the Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics is considered to be the prerequisite for this Additional Mathematics course. And all the students study the following topics:

  • Functions
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Equations, Inequalities, and Graphs
  • Indices and Surds
  • Factors of Polynomials
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Logarithmic and Exponential Functions
  • Straight Line Graphs
  • Circular Measure
  • Trigonometry
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Series
  • Vectors in Two Dimensions
  • Differentiation and Integration



As with the other subjects, this subject is available for sitting in March (only for India), June, and November dates. Private students are allowed to take up this subject.

All the students take two papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Below are the features of both the Papers:

  • Duration 2 hours each
  • Contribute to 50% of the total marks – 80 marks each
  • Students answers all the questions
  • Scientific calculators required
  • Papers are externally assessed and marked by Cambridge International
  • Each paper includes the formulae list


Assessment Objectives (AO)

The assessment objectives are differentiated into two components

  • AO1 – Demonstrate and Understand the Knowledge of Mathematical techniques
  • AO2 – Apply the Mathematical Techniques

The AO1 Component Would Require The Students to:

  • Interpreting, organizing, and processing the given information accurately in any mode –
  • Written, tabular or graphical, or diagrammatic representation. Using the mathematical notation appropriately.
  • Performing calculations and simplification using suitable methods, with or without the usage of a calculator.
  • Making use of the systems of measurements in the daily context.
  • Rounding off and estimating to degrees of accuracy relative to the context and conversion into the equivalent numerical forms.
  • Using geometrical tools to measure and draw, keeping in mind the acceptable measure of accuracy.
  • Understanding and using appropriate spatial relationships in two or three dimensions.

The AO2 Component Would Require The Students to:

  • Make inferences or deductions and draw conclusions from the given mathematical data.
  • Appreciate and recognize quantity, pattern, and relationships and make generalizations.
  • Use a logical and structured way to present arguments and the following reasoning.
  • Recognize an appropriate mathematical procedure for a given situation.
  • Formulate problems into mathematical terms and choose and apply the right techniques.
  • Structure an unstructured problem. So, as to solve it using a series of processes.
  • Interpret results in the context of a given problem. So, as to evaluate the methods used and solutions obtained.


Reaching Out For Help

  • Opting for the IGCSE Additional Mathematics does not directly guarantee the student university admission, but it has positive indirect results. Taking the subject will open up new opportunities, and choices and help with other subjects like Physics or Chemistry.
  • IGCSE Additional Mathematics is highly systematic and thus rewards the students who have understood a topic and practiced its steps repeatedly. And truly in spite of the classroom sessions, revision classes with the teachers, and other resources available, extra help is surely required considering the class strength and the teacher-student ratio.
  • Some students may feel that having an extra tutor increases their workload but having a tutor can bridge the knowledge gaps and thus is without any doubt useful and beneficial.


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What is the term meant by Geometrical Instruments in IGCSE Mathematics?

A ruler, protractor, and two compasses are the geometric tools needed for Cambridge. In IGCSE Mathematics (0580 and 0980) exams. Thus, this is a term meant by Geometrical Instrument in IGCSE mathematics.

Do students need to memorize this knowledge, or will they be given a formula sheet during the exam?

Exams in mathematics don’t come with a formula sheet. While basic equations like the area of a circle or the volume of a cube may need to be remembered, complex formulae are not demanded of students.

Can students use tracing paper to respond to transformation test questions?

In all of the IGCSE Mathematics exams, students may employ tracing paper. On the front of the test paper, you’ll see that it is an optional item.

Can students bring additional paper to the exam for rough writing?

Yes, students can bring additional paper to the exam for rough writing.

Can Students use pencils in IGCSE math?

Please refer to the Cambridge Handbook’s section 5.1.6, “Stationery, Materials, and Other Equipment.” It reads:

Candidates are permitted to use pencils for mathematical structures and graphs, but they must clearly write their responses in permanent, non-erasable black or dark blue ink. Otherwise, use blue or black ink since (a) it cannot be changed after the test, and (b) the examiner can see how the student developed the question, even if the answer is ultimately incorrect.

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