Tomkins’ Tips: Edexcel Higher Papers 2 and 3 topic list

Maths teacher Ian Tomkins has emailed me with a list of topics that he has put together for students who will be sitting Edexcel Higher Papers 2 and 3 based on the content of Paper 1. The list is below. Thank you to Ian, and I hope you all find it useful:



  • Make sure your calculator is set to degrees and you know how to round to significant figures or decimal places.



  • Use of calculator, (write down all the numbers on your calculator)
  • Product of prime factors, find highest common factor, find lowest common multiple
  • Percentages, compound interest/depreciation, repeated years for a bank or reverse percentages
  • Best buy, best value
  • Standard form
  • Lower and upper bounds, deciding on the largest/smallest possible value
  • Convert a recurring decimal to a fraction
  • Rationalise the denominator



  • Nth term of a sequence, possibly a decreasing sequence, maybe a quadratic sequence
  • Complete the square
  • Using the quadratic formula
  • Equation of a circle
  • Simultaneous equations, linear cancelling method or substitution method
  • Iterations
  • Change the subject of a formula
  • Function notation (composite/inverse)
  • Sketch or recognise cubic and reciprocal graphs,
  • Find the area under the curve (trapezium rule)
  • Find the turning point
  • Inequalities, shade the region that meets all the criteria



  • Scale drawings and bearings. Start from North, go clockwise, 007.
  • Construct a bisector.
  • Area or circumference of circle/sector/segment (revolutions of a tyre)
  • Volume of sphere/pyramid
  • Translations and enlargements (maybe with negative scale factor)
  • Estimate the mean from grouped frequency table, mode and median
  • Trigonometry, remember SOHCAHTOA, sine rule, cosine rule, 0.5absinC for area
  • Symmetry
  • 3D coordinates
  • 3D Pythagoras
  • Circle theorems. Lots more to revise here, maybe proof of a circle theorem
  • Angles in a polygon,
  • Angles in parallel lines (corresponding,alternate,complementary,supplementary)
  • Congruency proof SSS, SAS, ASA, RHS.
  • Similar shapes, maybe overlapping triangles, find the scale factor. SF with areas and volumes.
  • Convert metric units, litres, cm,
  • Force mass pressure and density mass volume triangles.
  • Vectors, finding mid-points, capture/recapture



  • Stratified sampling and random sampling methods (#Ran on your calculator)
  • Scatter graphs and drawing and using the line of best fit
  • Pie chart
  • Cumulative frequency
  • Stem and leaf (with a key)
  • Histogram (frequency density)
  • Frequency polygon (mid point)
  • Venn diagrams, set notation
  • Probability tree diagrams, mutually exclusive.


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