Is National 5 maths necessary?

By Alan Rowan
Updated on 10 Jan 2023 Published on 10 Jan 2023
29 Feb 2024

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Your child isn't alone if they're worried about National 5 maths.

Many students in Scotland find maths a difficult subject. It is not surprising then that our team is often asked how far really their kids need to take it. We are often told that maths is a key way in which young people develop problem solving and logic skills, and that most jobs today require a qualification in it, but is that really the case? If so, what qualification is sufficient?


Leaving school without National 5 maths is by no means the end of the world. Students around the country are able to forge a path where it is not required. Jobs and careers where National 5 maths (or the equivalent) are not needed for entry have always existed and likely will always exist. However, with a science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) industry that is creating tens of thousands of jobs every year in Scotland (see government statistics posted in link 1), there is a growing sector of the population that needs the skills taught in maths courses.


“What if my child is really struggling with maths?”


If National 5 maths seems like a daunting prospect for your child, they are definitely not alone. One strategy that many students pursue is to focus on subjects they are stronger at during secondary school, and once they leave they then spend some time gaining a qualification in National 5 maths (and perhaps some other subjects) at college. The combination of being older and having more time to dedicate to a smaller set of subjects means that they are more likely to be successful. They will also often work, gaining other skills and experience that will help them once they attain their college certificate or diploma.


For some, it is preferable to just get it out of the way. In these circumstances the greatest danger is that this may come as a detriment to performance in other subjects. If you have concerns regarding how your child may find balancing their workload while having to dedicate extra time to National 5 maths, then our suggestion would be to consider arranging tuition. Having a National 5 maths tutor means that the time your child dedicates to studying maths is more productive and effective. Any points of particular difficulty can be worked through quicker than they would likely be able to do on their own, letting them spend adequate study time on all their subjects!


If you are unsure about the best course of action for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out to novatutors by email or by arranging a call with us from our homepage. We really are here to help, even if that’s just to assist you with finding the right direction.