A vector is something which has scale and magnitude, which in English means they are something which have a size and a direction. So for instance, speed is a scaler quantity as it only has size whereas velocity is a vector because it has size and a direction. Speed only has a size e.g. 30mph whereas velocity could be 30mph or say -30mph, the minus sign gives the direction. Vectors in maths are the same, the direction is given as a plus or a minus sign but like many things in GCSE Maths we use algebra to represent the size. The image below demonstrates how typical vectors look at GCSE. You can see that it doesn’t matter where the vector a is positioned, as long as it points in the same direction and is the same length then the value of the vector must be the same.
GCSE Maths Vectors
At GCSE level vectors are certainly one of the more challenging questions types that appear in the exam papers. Vectors is a higher tier topic and is only really applicable to those students looking to achieve a minimum of a level 6 or above. If you are looking to revise vectors at GCSE level then the following links will help.
A Level Maths Vectors
At A Level, vectors become a much more challenging topic. As with everything in maths, practice is essential and vectors is one of those topics that you just need to practice and see all of the different question types that regularly come up in the A Level maths past papers. The following links will help you find vector revision materials and resources.
As we keep saying, vectors is a tricky topics so getting plenty of practice is essential. Whether you are studying GCSE maths vectors or revising A Level maths vectors, Maths Made Easy is here to help.