What Is Mathematics?

This subject offers students all the satisfaction associated with mastering a complex skill. It is a language in itself, in which symbols and notations are used for describing numerical, geometric, and graphical relationships.

As a human activity, Mathematics involves observing, representing, and investigating patterns and qualitative relationships, in physical and social phenomena, and between mathematical objects themselves. It develops decision-making in students, as it calls for logical and critical thinking, accuracy, and an ordered approach to problem solving.

Mathematical problem solving enables us to understand the physical, social, and economic world around us, and most of all, it teaches us to think creatively. It is a prerequisite for entry to a number of courses at tertiary level, particularly in the scientific field.

In the words of renowned mathematician James Sylvester, ‘Mathematics is the music of reason.’

Specific Skills

To develop essential mathematical skills the learner should:

  • Develop the correct use of the language of Mathematics
  • Collect, analyse, and organise quantitative data to evaluate and critique conclusions
  • Use mathematical process skills to identify, investigate, and solve problems, creatively and critically
  • Use spatial skills and properties of shapes and objects to identify, pose, and solve problems, creatively and critically
  • Participate as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national, and global communities
  • Communicate appropriately by using descriptions in words, graphs, symbols, tables, and diagrams

Weighting Of Content Areas

The table shows the average allocation of marks for various aspects of the subject.

Pass Mark

The pass mark for Mathematics is 30%.

Codes And Percentages For Recording And Reporting

Weighting Of Cognitive Levels

Mathematics Papers 1 and 2 will include questions across 4 cognitive levels. The distribution of cognitive levels in the papers is shown on the table. View PDF.

The table shows the average allocation of marks for various aspects of the subject.

Assessments And Term Marks

If a learner misses any type of formal assessment, a doctor’s certificate will earn him, or her, an assessed mark. Otherwise a mark of 0 will be awarded. Details pertaining to each grade are given on the tables.

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12


Each learner must have a Mathematics set and a non-graphical, non-programmable calculator. In respect of the latter, our preferred choice is a CASIO FX 82ZA Plus Scientific Calculator.

Advice To Learners

There is no substitute for steady and methodical work.

  • Learn your notes and theory.
  • Practise the examples and exercises you have done in class.
  • Then, work through past examinations papers.

If you apply yourself in this way, you will greatly increase your chance of doing well!

I’ve failed over and over and over again. And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan