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Helpful textbooks for A-level Maths preparation

Updated: Jul 15

The importance of Maths for a lot of students who want to go to university cannot be overestimated. Taking A-level Maths can raise your chances of being accepted into many degree programmes, even if a top grade hasn’t been achieved, because this particular subject is either essential or at least useful for entering a variety of courses including Computer Science, Engineering as well as many science and economics degrees.

Although there is no definitive list of books needed for successful preparation, it can be particularly helpful to use textbooks approved by the UK examination boards (also known as awarding bodies) that set and award A levels. They include AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance), Edexcel, and OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA), with Cambridge International A Levels being aligned with OCR. All exam boards follow strict guidelines from Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation).

Here are some Maths textbooks that are well-suited for A-level preparation:

Cambridge International AS & A Level Mathematics: Pure Mathematics 1 Coursebook + Cambridge International AS & A Level Mathematics: Pure Mathematics 1 Practice Book

This series has been developed specifically for the Cambridge International AS & A Level Mathematics syllabus. It includes clear, detailed and easy-to-understand explanations of various topics (from quadratics and coordinate geometry to differentiation and integration) alongside recap sections, examples, review exercises and answers.

AQA A Level Mathematics Year 1 (AS) & AQA A Level Mathematics Year 2 by Sophie Goldie

These two AQA-approved textbooks are well-structured, cover a lot of ground (from quadratic functions to Statistics and Mechanics) and contain plenty of practice questions, real-world examples, and skill-focused exercises.

Bridging GCSE and A-level Maths Student Book by Mark Rowland

The transition from GCSE/IGCSE to A-Level can be difficult. This book, written by an experienced A-level author, helps to revise and expand on what has been learnt before and embark on one's A-level Maths journey with more confidence. It introduces core pure maths topics and includes examples with extra guidance in the form of hints and common errors.

Mathematics - The Core Course for A Level & Further Pure Mathematics by L. Bostock and S. Chandler

These two textbooks cover a full two-year course in Pure Mathematics for A-Level. Originally published in 1981 and 1982 respectively, they have withstood the test of time, giving a great overview of the key topics with a lot of useful examples and practice questions.

Want to know more about A-level exams preparation and British education in general? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for entry to universities in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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