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Course Description

Statistics is about making decisions when there is uncertainty. Perhaps one of the most versatile areas of maths, it gives students the skills to collect, analyse, interpret and present data.

It complements subjects such as GCSE Biology and BTEC Enterprise, and opens the door to a variety of careers – from weather forecasting to the biological sciences.

Student Quotes

How will I be assessed?

You will be entered for either foundation or higher tier and assessed on the basis of two exams, taken at the end of year 11. Regardless of the tier, the two equally weighted papers carry the same format, are both 105 minutes long and 80 marks.

All exam papers will contain multiple choice, short answers and a Statistical Enquiry Cycle (SEC) question.

All content can be assessed on any of the three question papers. As such, some questions will draw together elements of maths from different topic areas.

What will I learn?

GCSE Statistics is made up of the following sections:

  • Section A – Understand the importance of the careful planning of a clear strategy for collecting, recording and processing data in order to address an identified question or hypothesis.
  • Section B – Recognise the opportunities, constraints and implications for subsequent mathematical analysis involved in obtaining appropriate data through careful design of primary data collection techniques or through the use of reference sources for secondary data to ensure unbiased research.
  • Section C – Generate data visualisation and understand the mathematics required to derive these visualisations.
  • Section D – Calculate statistical measures to compare data.
  • Section E – Use visualisation and calculation to interpret results with reference to the context of the problem, and to evaluate the validity and reliability of statistical findings.

The Statistical Enquiry Cycle (SEC) underpins the study of Statistics. Students need to be able to apply the knowledge and techniques outlined in this section within the framework of the SEC. The cycle covers five stages:

  • initial planning
  • data collection
  • data processing and presentation
  • interpretation of results
  • evaluation and review.

What could I do next?

GCSE Statistics is useful regardless of the job, career or further study you pursue. Careers that specifically value a background in statistics range from civil engineering and financial planning, to accounting and research science.

Post-16 courses that require a lot of statistical knowledge include business, economics, all the sciences and psychology.