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A Level Maths Vocabulary
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Gravity
Terms in this set (151)
Acute angle
An angle less than 90°.
Adjacent
Adjacent sides are next to each other and are joined by a common vertex.
Algebra
Algebra is the branch of mathematics where symbols or letters are used to represent numbers.
Angle
An angle is formed when two straight lines cross or meet each other at a point. The size of an angle is measured by the amount one line has been turned in relation to the other.
Approximate
An approximate value is a value that is close to the actual value of a number.
Arc
Part of a circumference of a circle.
Area
The amount of space a shape takes up. E.g. the area of the lawn is 35 square metres.
Asymmetrical
A shape which has no lines of symmetry.
Average
A value to best represent a set of data. There are three types of average - the mean, the median and the mode.
Axis
An axis is one of the lines used to locate a point in a coordinate system.
Bearing
A three digit angle measured from north in a clockwise direction.
BIDMAS
A way of remembering the order in which operations are carried out. It stands for Brackets - Indices - Division - Multiplication - Addition - Subtraction.
Bisect
To divide an angle or shape exactly in half.
Brackets
Used to determine the order in which operations are carried out. For example, 3 + 4 x 2 = 11 but (3 + 4) x 2 = 14.
Calculate
To work out the value of something. This does not have to mean you need a calculator!
Centilitre (cl)
A measure of volume. 100 centilitres = 1 litre (100 cl = 1 l). 1 centilitre = 10 millilitres (1 cl = 10 ml).
Centimetre (cm)
A measure of distance. 1 centimetre = 10 millimetres. (1 cm = 10 mm). 100 centimetres = 1 metre. (100 cm = 1 m).
Chord
A straight line drawn from one point on the edge of a circle to another.
Circumference
The perimeter of a circle.
Coefficient
The number in front of an algebraic symbol. For example the coefficient of 5x is 5.
Congruent
If you can place a shape exactly on top of another then they are said to be congruent. You may rotate, reflex or translate the shape.
Constant
A letter or symbol whose value always stays the same. The constant Π is a common example.
Credit
To add money to a bank account. For example, I had £500 credited to my bank account.
Cross section
The end section created when you slice a 3D shape along it's length.
Cube number
The product when an integer is multiplied by itself twice. For example 5 cubed = 5 x 5 x 5 = 125.
Cuboid
A 3D shape with all sides made from rectangles.
Cumulative frequency
A running total of the frequencies, added up as you go along.
Day
A time period of 24 hours. There are 7 days in a week.
Debit
To take out money from a bank account. For example, £400 was debited from my account.
Decagon
A ten sided polygon.
Decimal
Not a whole number or integer. For example, 3.6 or 0.235.
Decrease
To make an amount smaller.
Denominator
The bottom part of a fraction.
Diameter
The distance across a circle which passes through the centre.
Difference
Subtract the smaller value from the larger value to find the difference between two numbers.
Distance
How far away an object is. For example, it is a distance of 3 miles to the city centre.
Distribution
How data is shared or spread out.
Equal
Used to show two quantities have the same value.
Equation
Two expressions which have the same value, separated by an '=' sign. E.g. 3y = 9 + y
Equilateral triangle
A triangle with all sides and angles the same size.
Estimate
To find an approximate answer to a more difficult problem. E.g. 31.2 x 5.94 is roughly equal to 30 x 6 = 180.
Even number
Any number which is a multiple of 2. Even numbers always end in 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0.
Expand
To multiply out brackets in an expression. For example, 2(3x + 7) = 6x + 14.
Expression
A collection of terms which can contain variables (letters) and numbers. E.g. 4pq - q + 7
Factor
A number that divides another number exactly. E.g. 4 is a factor of 12.
Factorise
To put an expression into brackets by taking out a common factor. For example, 20x + 15y = 5(4x + 3y).
Figures
Another name for numbers. For example one thousand and fifty in figures is 1050.
Formula
An equation used to describe a relationship between two or more variables.
Frequency
How many times something happens. Another word for 'total'.
Frequency density
The frequency divided by the class width.
Gradient
How steep a line is. Found by dividing the distance up by the distance across.
Gram (g)
A measure of mass. 1 gram = 1000 milligrams. (1 g = 1000 mg)
HCF
Stands for 'highest common factor'. It is the largest factor common to a set of numbers. E.g. The HCF of 16 and 24 is 8.
Heptagon
A seven sided polygon.
Hexagon
A six sided polygon.
Histogram
A diagram drawn with rectangles where the area is proportional to the frequency and the width is equal to the class interval.
Hypotenuse
The longest side on a right angled triangle.
Increase
To make an amount larger.
Indices
Another name for powers such as ² or ³.
Integer
A whole number.
Inter-quartile range (IQR)
The difference between the upper and lower quartile.
Irrational
A decimal which is never ending. It must also not be a recurring decimal.
Justify
Another word for 'explain'. Often crops up on your maths exam. E.g. 'Calculate the mean and range for each player. Who is the better player Justify your answer.'
Kilogram (Kg)
A measure of mass. 1 kilogram = 1000 grams. (1 kg = 1000 g)
Kilometre (Km)
A measure of distance. 1 kilometre = 1000 metres. (1 km = 1000 m)
LCM
Stands for 'lowest common multiple'. It is the smallest multiple common to a set of numbers. E.g. The LCM of 3 and 4 is 12.
Litre (l)
A measure of volume. 1 litre = 100 centilitres (1 l = 100 cl). 1 litre = 1000 millilitres (1l = 1000 ml).
Loci
The plural of locus.
Locus
A collection of points which are the same distance from another point or line.
Lower range
The smallest value in a set of data.
Mean
A type of average found by adding up a list of numbers and dividing by how many numbers are in the list.
Median
The middle value when a list of numbers is put in order from smallest to largest. A type of average.
Metre (m)
A measure of distance. 1 metre = 100 centimetres. (1 m = 1000 cm).
Millilitre (ml)
A measure of volume. 10 millimetres = 1 centilitre (10 ml = 1 cl). 1000 millilitres = 1 litre (1000 ml = 1 l).
Millimetre (mm)
A measure of distance. 10 millimetres = 1 centimetre. (10 mm = 1 cm).
Modal
Another term for mode
Mode
The most common value in a list of numbers. If two values are tied then there is two modes. If more than two values are tied then there is no mode. A type ofaverage.
Month
A time period of either 28, 29, 30 or 31 days. There are 12 months in a year.
Multiple
A number which is part of another number's times table. E.g. 35 is a multiple of 5.
Natural number
A positive integer
Negative
A value less than zero
Nonagon
A nine sided polygon.
Numerator
The top part of a fraction.
Obtuse angle
An angle between 90°�and 180°.
Octagon
An eight sided polygon.
Odd number
A number that is not a multiple of 2. Odd numbers always end in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9.
Operation
An action which when applied to one or more values gives an output value. The four most common operations are addition. subtraction, multiplication and division.
Parallel
Two or more lines which are always the same distance apart.
Parallelogram
A quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides.
Pentagon
A five sided polygon.
Perimeter
The distance around a shape.
Perpendicular
Two or more lines which meet at right angles.
Pi (Π)
An irrational constant used when calculating the area and circumference of circles. It is approximately equal to 3.14.
Polygon
A shape made from straight lines.
Positive number
A number greater than zero.
Prime
A number which has exactly two factors. The number one and itself.
Prism
A 3D shape with the same cross section all along its length.
Probability
A measure of how likely an event is to occur.
Product
The answer when two values are multiplied together.
Quadratic equation
An equation where the highest power is two. For example x² + 4x + 6 = 0 is a quadratic equation.
Quadrilateral
A four sided polygon.
Radius
The distance from the centre of a circle to its circumference. The plural of radius is radii.
Random sampling
A method of choosing people at random for a survey.
Range
The largest number take away the smallest value in a set of data.
Rational
A decimal number which ends or is recurring.
Reciprocal
The reciprocal of any number is 1 divided by the number. E.g. the reciprocal of 3 is 1/3., the reciprocal of 3/4 is 4/3.
Recurring
A decimal which never ends but repeats all or parts of the sequence of numbers after the decimal point. E.g 0.333333 or 0.141414.
Reflex angle
An angle greater than 180°.
Regular
A shape with all sides and angles the same size.
Remainder
The amount left over when a number cannot be divided exactly. For example, 21 divided by 4 is 5 remainder 1.
Right angle
An angle of 90°.
Rotation
To turn a shape using an angle, direction and centre of rotation.
Round
To reduce the amount of significant figures or decimal places a number has. For example £178 rounded to the nearest £10 is £180.
Scale factor
How many times larger or smaller an enlarged shape will be.
Segment
An area of a circle enclosed by a chord.
Sequence
A list of numbers which follows a pattern. For example 6, 11, 16, 21, ...
Simplify
To write a sum, expression or ratio in its lowest terms. For example 4:10:6 can be simplified to 2:5:3.
Solid
A 3D shape.
Solve
To find the missing value in an equation.
Speed
How fast an object is moving. Average speed = Total distance divided by time taken.
Square number
The product when an integer is multiplied by itself. For example, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100.
Sum
The answer when two or more values are added together.
Surface area
To total area of all sides on a 3D shape.
Symmetrical
A shape which has at least one line of symmetry.
T
...
Tally
A system of counting where every group of four vertical lines is followed by a horizontal line to easily count in steps of five.
Tangent
A straight line that just touches a point on a curve. A tangent to a circle is perpendicular to the radius which meets the tangent.
Term
A number, variable or combination of both which forms part of an expression.
Transformation
The collective name for reflections, rotations, translations and enlargements.
Translation
To move a shape from one position to another by sliding in the x-axis followed by the y-axis.
Trapezium
A quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides.
Tree diagram
A method of solving probability questions by listing all the outcomes of an event. Probabilities are calculated by multiplying down the branches.
Triangle
A three sided polygon.
Triangular number
A sequence of numbers generated by adding one more than was added to find the previous term. For example, 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, ...
Units
A quantity used to describe a measurement. Examples are kilograms, metres and centilitres.
Upper range
The largest value in a set of data.
Value
A numerical amount or quantity.
Variable
A letter which we don't know the value of.
Volume
The amount an object can hold. E.g. a bottle of cola has a volume of 2 litres.
Week
A time period of 7 days.
Wide
Used to describe the width of something
Width
The distance from side to side. E.g. 'The swimming pool is 10 metres wide.'
X-Axis
The horizontal axis on a graph. The line going across the page.
Y-Axis
The vertical axis on a graph. The line going from top to bottom.
Y-Intercept
The value of the y-coordinate when a graph crosses the y-axis.
Year
A time period of 12 months or 365 days. (366 in a leap year.)
Z-Axis
Represents the depth of an object when working with 3D coordinates.
Practical or 'in context' interpretation
Where a question asks for a practical interpretation, it specifically indicates that the answer should be phrased in context ie referring to the scenario given in the question rather than in general terms.
Hence
Use results found or given earlier in the question.
Hence, or otherwise
Any correct method is acceptable, but results found or given earlier in the question could be useful.
Exact value
The answer should be simplified as far as possible but should not be rounded. Answers should be written in terms of π, e, g, etc and irrational terms such as √2.
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