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Advance information for 2022 Maths exams

Last week the exam boards published their advance information for this summer’s GCSE and A-level exams in England. They tell us what will be in the exams, but what’s harder to identify is the omissions: what won’t, and what we therefore don’t need to spend time preparing for. In this article I try to identify the omitted topics for Edexcel GCSE and for Edexcel and AQA A-level.

Disclaimer:

The comments in this article are based only on my own interpretation of the advance information and do not offer any guarantee that specific topics will be omitted. In fact the information from Edexcel for both GCSE and A-level states:

For specifications with synoptic assessments, topics not explicitly given in the advance information may appear, e.g. where students are asked to bring together knowledge, skills and understanding from across the specification.

AQA has a similar statement:

Due to the synoptic nature of some questions, not all relevant topics are listed. Synoptic questions are those that bring together knowledge, skills and understanding from across the specification.

… both of which mean that you may need to call on your knowledge of topics not listed in the advance information in order to answer some questions that involve pulling multiple topics together.

For example, a Higher Tier question on circle theorems might need you to use your knowledge of angle rules with parallel lines, although that topic isn’t listed in the Higher section.

Where to download the advance information

Here are the links for you to download the advance information for the main exam boards. Each one opens in a new tab.
AQA
Edexcel
OCR
Eduqas (GCSE only)

Use the advance information for 2022 to help you succeed in the exam

What are the omissions?

Edexcel GCSE Maths

The Edexcel GCSE advance information for 2022 is a 25-page document and gives a breakdown of topics in each paper and a combined list for each Tier. The topics are given not in question order, but in – roughly – the order they appear in the specification, and are quite broadly defined.

I’ve gone through the advance information and compared it with the specification, and identified the following topics that aren’t mentioned as being on this year’s papers:

Edexcel Foundation GCSE

Number Algebra Ratio & proportion
Highest common factor
Systematic listing strategies







Identities and proof (showing that two expressions are equivalent)
Graphs: Cubic and reciprocal (y = 1/x)
Sequences: triangular/square/cube numbers, Fibonacci, quadratic, geometric
Inverse proportion
Compound units: rates of pay, unit pricing, pressure
Simple and compound interest (but depreciation is included)



Geometry & measure Probability Statistics
Constructions, loci
Congruence
Similar shapes
SOHCAHTOA (but exact trig values are in)
Volume / surface area of pyramid, cone, sphere, composite solid
Vectors (except maybe in describing a translation)
Venn diagrams








Sampling
Pie charts
Time series graphs
Scatter graphs and correlation





Edexcel Higher GCSE

NumberAlgebraRatio & proportion
HCF and LCM
Surds: rationalise the denominator (may come under “simplify surds”, which is included)



Identities and proof (showing that two expressions are equivalent)
Graphs: Cubic, reciprocal (y = 1/x), exponential
Sequences (not mentioned at all)
Scale diagrams, plans & elevations
Compound units: rates of pay, unit pricing
Simple and compound interest (but depreciation is included)
Geometry & measureProbabilityStatistics
Constructions, loci
Congruence
Areas/volumes of similar shapes (but similar triangles are in)
Volume / surface area of cylinder, pyramid, cone, sphere
Conditional probability







Sampling
Bar charts, pie charts, pictograms
Time series graphs
Median, mode
Scatter graphs and correlation

Edexcel Foundation GCSE

Number
Highest common factor
Systematic listing strategies
Algebra
Identities and proof (showing that two expressions are equivalent)
Graphs: Cubic and reciprocal (y = 1/x)
Sequences: triangular/square/cube numbers, Fibonacci, quadratic, geometric
Ratio & proportion
Inverse proportion
Compound units: rates of pay, unit pricing, pressure
Simple and compound interest (but depreciation is included)
Geometry & measure
Constructions, loci
Congruence
Similar shapes
SOHCAHTOA (but exact trig values are in)
Volume / surface area of pyramid, cone, sphere, composite solid
Vectors (except maybe in describing a translation)
Probability
Venn diagrams
Statistics
Sampling
Pie charts
Time series graphs
Scatter graphs and correlation

Edexcel Higher GCSE

Number
HCF and LCM
Surds: rationalise the denominator (may come under “simplify surds”, which is included)
Algebra
Identities and proof (showing that two expressions are equivalent)
Graphs: Cubic, reciprocal (y = 1/x), exponential
Sequences (not mentioned at all)
Ratio & proportion
Scale diagrams, plans & elevations
Compound units: rates of pay, unit pricing
Simple and compound interest (but depreciation is included)
Geometry & measure
Constructions, loci
Congruence
Areas/volumes of similar shapes (but similar triangles are in)
Volume / surface area of cylinder, pyramid, cone, sphere
Probability
Conditional probability
Statistics
Sampling
Bar charts, pie charts, pictograms
Time series graphs
Median, mode
Scatter graphs and correlation

You might be interested to know that Third Space Learning has produced a nice set of summary sheets, showing what’s on which paper for both Tiers for AQA, Edexcel and OCR, that you can download if you sign up to their mailing list. (I have no affiliation with them, I just think this looks like a handy resource.)

Edexcel A-level Maths

The advance information for this specification lists the topics in each section of each of the three papers. The topics that are conspicuous in their absence are:

Pure MathsStatisticsMechanics
Implicit differentiation
Convex/concave functions
Parametric integration
Linearisation using log graphs
Histograms
Cumulative freq, box plots
Linear interpolation
Coding
None



Pure Maths
Implicit differentiation
Convex/concave functions
Parametric integration
Linearisation using log graphs
Statistics
Histograms
Cumulative freq, box plots
Linear interpolation
Coding
Mechanics
None

There’s no mention of logarithms, but solving exponential equations is listed, and that usually requires the use of logarithms.

AQA A-level Maths

The AQA advance information is quite detailed; it looks as if it might be a concise description of each question, albeit without actually giving the question numbers.

There don’t seem to be many topic areas omitted though; the only ones I’ve managed to identify are:

Pure MathsStatisticsMechanics
Parametric integration


Hypothesis testing for pmcc
Normal approximation to Binomial
None


Pure Maths
Parametric integration
Statistics
Hypothesis testing for pmcc
Normal approximation to Binomial
Mechanics
None

Have you compared the advance information with the specifications? Have you spotted any omissions that I’ve missed? If you have then please let me know! You can either post a comment below, or use the contact form to email me.

But remember those comments about synoptic assessment: just because a topic isn’t mentioned explicitly in the advance information, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t need it at all!


For more advice and resources on preparing for your exams, take a look at my blog posts on how to revise GCSE Maths and exam skills for GCSE Maths. Although the focus is on GCSE, a lot of the content is relevant for exams at any level.

To find out more about how B28 Maths Tutor can help you to achieve your goals, take a look at my Maths Help page.

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