Mathematics - National Qualifications

Contact Details

St. Andrew's & St. Bride's High School
Platthorn Drive
East Kilbride
G74 1NL

The course consists of three Units:

- Manage Money & Data
- Shape, Space & Measures
- Numeracy (N3)

For much more information, see:

Firstly, it is important to recognise that both courses are Mathematics courses at the same level of qualification (i.e. National 4). However, they are designed for very different purposes.

The N4 Mathematics course contains some content which would not be used again by most people in their daily lives (e.g. algebra, trigonometry, scientific notation, and so on) unless they went on to study more advanced mathematics. Consequently, the N4 Maths course is aimed at those who have a realistic prospect of attempting N5 Mathematics the following year.

On the other hand, the N4 Applications of Mathematics course is designed to equip people with mathematical skills for life - the kinds of transferable skills that will regularly be used throughout life irrespective of whether the skills are used in future jobs or education. For example, much of the initial content will be assessed via a series of tasks involving mobile phones.

This course is intended for candidates who coped well with Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Level 3 work but did not make much progress with CfE Level 4 work or for those who passed National 3 Applications of Mathematics and found that course to be particularly straightforward.

As stated above, the N4 Mathematics course contains some content which would not be used again by most people in their daily lives (e.g. algebra, trigonometry, scientific notation, and so on) unless they went on to study more advanced mathematics. Consequently, the N4 Maths course is aimed at those who have a realistic prospect of attempting N5 Mathematics the following year. However, S5/S6 candidates who failed last year are welcome to try again. S5/S6 candidates who passed National 4 Applications of Mathematics could attempt this course too if they would rather not try a maths course at National 5 degree of difficulty, or to prepare for attempting the N5 Maths course the following year (in S6).

The course consists of three Units:

- Relationships
- Expressions & Formulae
- Numeracy (N4)

plus the Added Value Unit (AVU).

To pass the course, a candidate must pass all Units. There is no external exam.

This course is intended for candidates who passed National 3 Applications of Mathematics previously. However, S5/S6 candidates who failed last year are welcome to join this course too.

As stated above, the N4 Applications of Mathematics course is designed to equip people with mathematical skills for life - the kinds of transferable skills that will regularly be used throughout life irrespective of whether the skills are used in future jobs or education.

The course consists of three Units:

- Managing Finance & Statistics,
- Numeracy (N4)
- Geometry & Measures

The first three units can be assessed in a variety of ways, but we have chosen to employ the “Combined Approach” for the first two units. This allows us to cover the first two units using a thematic approach, thereby assessing skills and knowledge & understanding which are commonly used together in real-life situations. It also reduces the number of the assessments. The combined units will then be followed by the separate Geometry & Measures unit.

To pass the course, a candidate must pass all Units including the AVU. There is no external exam.

This course is intended for candidates who achieved CfE Level 4 or for those who passed National 4 Mathematics and found that course to be particularly straightforward. However, S5/S6 candidates either who failed last year or who wish to upgrade their award are welcome to join this course too.

The course recently consisted of three Units: Expressions & Formulae, Relationships, and Applications. However, from session 2017-2018 onwards, these units are no longer part of the full course but could possibly be done as stand-alone units if a candidate is unlikely to pass the N5 Maths externally-assessed examination in May.

The N5 Mathematics exam consists of two papers.

Paper 1 will consist of non-calculator questions worth a total of 50 marks (up from 40) and lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes (up from 1 hour).

Paper 2 will allow the use of calculators. It runs for 1 hour and 50 minutes (up from 1 hour and 30 minutes) and contains 60 marks (up from 50).