Progression Pathways through Mathematics

The link below shows the possible progression pathways through mathematics levels.

Progression Pathways Through Mathematics_revised Feb 2020

Pathways through Maths

  1. Pupils completing 4th level outcomes by the end of S2 will move on to National 5 Mathematics in S3 and into S4.
    Progress will be assessed via Extended Unit Tests. Where pupils find the level of work too challenging (extended test marks below 50%), they will be required to sit the actual Unit Assessments.
    A decision will be made in conjunction with pupils and their parents after the prelim in S4 regarding whether to present borderline pupils (those scoring sub 30% in the prelim) for the N5 Exam or whether to focus on Unit passes and resit the course the following year with the intention of sitting the full course exam.
  2. Pupils working within 3rd level at the end of S2 will continue with the BGE and in tandem pick up National 4 Maths moving on to National 5 Applications of Maths over S3 and S4. 
    A pupil passing N5 Applications of Maths could select N5 Maths in S5.
    Pupils failing would be encouraged to re-sit N5 Applications of Maths.
  3. Pupils working within 2nd level and below at the end of S2 will continue the BGE and in tandem pick up National 3 Applications of Maths and work towards as much of National 4 Maths as possible over the course of S3 and S4.
    Pupils passing National 4 Maths would be encouraged to select National 5 Applications of Maths in S5.


  • Our aim in the maths team is to have almost all pupils achieving the Core Skill of Numeracy at SCQF level 5.
  • It is important to note that the extensive content of National 5, means that in depth coverage of the full course in a single year is challenging.  Our one year National 5 Course in S5 and S6 is most suitable for those young people repeating National 5.  It should therefore be noted that if picking up National 5 Maths in S5, it is likely that pupils may have to also select National 5 Maths in S6 to have every chance of success in the final exam.
  • National 5 Applications of Maths focuses on the mathematics and numeracy skills required in everyday life.  Key differences between Maths and Applications is the absence of Algebra, Surds & Indices, Quadratics, Trigonometry and Vectors topics in the Applications course.  In place of these topics, Applications of Maths contains a significant amount of Finance and Statistics.  The Applications course is considered more accessible, particularly for pupils who find the more abstract content of the Maths course challenging.
  • More and more universities are accepting National 5 Applications of Maths for entry, however, individuals should always check the particular entry requirements of their desired courses prior to making course choice decisions.


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