When a candidate taking GCSE Maths, you are bombarded with the worries of the test date, syllabus and limited time to cover all of it.
Studying for any test does not just require studying the course material. Planning, strategizing and creatively studying your coursework scheme can double your chances of success. Don't just rely on passing with the lessons that your Maths teacher sets - you need to go out of your way if you want to be awarded with a good grade when you are assessed!
Plan Your Maths GCSE Revision
Before you start your preparation, make an extensive plan of how you are going to utilise the time you have.
Decide how you will be dividing your daily time and what mathematical topics, from your maths curriculum, you will be covering on a daily basis. Highlight those topics which need more attention and prepare those first.
Practicing areas you find most difficult, at the very start, can save you a lot of time and effort later on. Just like Mark Twain quoted:
"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
Cover the most difficult topics first. This is vital because if you get stuck somewhere, you will be able to take out time to ask someone for maths help. On the contrary, if you leave the most difficult topics at the very end, you might have to prepare in a hurry and you might not get a chance to seek help and clear up every part of the topic.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can maximize your preparation for GCSE Maths. There are several paid as well as free online maths revision GCSE resources provided here too, for you to utilise during your preparation!
GCSE Maths Revision Tips
Here are the top 5 factors that would make a huge difference in your revision if you adopt them during your preparation.
If you find yourself struggling with solving certain questions, this is a sign that you need more practice. Maths is that subject which depends solely on understanding. Memorising won’t work. The only key to pass GCSE Maths is to practice as much as you can. Solve numerous math problems from math textbooks, play online math games to clarify your concepts, solve math worksheets, take mock math tests, take GCSE math classes or math tutoring, if you need to. Learn key concepts as much as you can. The common core topics of maths will only be clear in your brain if you have practiced them enough.
There are some topics in GCSE Maths such as circle theorems and other theorems involving formulas, which you might need to learn by heart. Certain topics like these, require you to learn answers by heart and for that, you need to get creative because you cannot remember them by merely studying these topics or practicing them once or twice. Make flashcards or revision cards for each individual theorem. Stay informed about the curricular of your exam board as some formulas and equations may vary from one exam board to another. You might find many questions during the exams which would be solved simply by inserting values in the formulas. So, make sure all the formulas are at your fingertips. Put them around your bedroom and read them daily till your exam day. You won’t forget them this way.
- Getting familiar:
Try to get familiar with the pattern of the exam. It will give you more confidence during the exam along with training you for it. Solve past papers for this purpose. If you have signed up for the foundation tier exam with non-calculator paper, you will start the paper will easier questions usually involving shapes but this will then slowly progress towards more complex questions related to statistics, probability and some graph related questions. If you are allowed to use a calculator in your GCSE Maths exam, this means that your exam is going to be a bit harder than the non-calculator one. It is going to have more time-consuming questions related to topics like trial and improvement and having more extensive calculations. The calculator paper might require you to get adept in the concepts of trigonometry and problems related to areas/shapes etc. Once you are done with your paper, do not forget to recheck your answers with a calculator.
- Constructive use of online resources:
In this information age, you can find details on pretty much anything online. Same goes for the concepts, topics and problems you might have to study for GCSE Maths. There are several math learning websites online. You can find online math teachers, online maths games, free online maths lectures, worksheets, maths programs, even free maths textbooks, quizzes, maths practice questions and maths courses depending on the tier of GCSE Maths you are taking. YouTube is one of the best platforms for you to find online math tutorials. There are top channels like HegartyMaths and jayates , as well as the Khan Academy which provides a plethora of step by step tutorials on all kinds of maths concepts, problems, and topics.
The core thing that will ensure your success is your belief in yourself and your confidence in your skills. But in order to be confident you have to be prepared. Aim for a higher grade and work hard enough to ensure that you achieve it. Do not panic during the exam and if you encounter an intimidating question, handle it calmly and try to keep your brain clear of any fears and doubts. Trust your instincts and stay relaxed to ace the exam with outstanding result.
Where to Find Online Maths GCSE Resources?
The internet is the best and easiest resource you have. You just need to learn how to search Google. You can find all sorts of study material for your test if you know what to Google.
The internet is full of all kind of study materials both paid and free. Make the best out of them and do not be afraid of spending a little money if you need to.
Below are some of the Maths revision resource materials for you to seek online:
TES is a website that is designed for the world of academia and is, therefore, a resourceful and trustworthy place to visit as a teacher and a pupil. Teachers can find lesson plans, ideas for classes and many more resources meanwhile students can benefit from a range of revision tools, with checklists being just one of them.
Using the checklists provided by users on the website helps you to set out on your revision planning, giving you the breakdown of revision topics that you will need to cover over the academic year or months leading up to your exam.
If you scroll down the list and see a topic that makes you shudder, don't be tempted to leave that until last! For one, you may run out of time in the busy period before your final exams and, secondly, you are much better off tackling those tricky subjects first! Once you overcome the hardest parts of the course, you can then use your sense of achievement to power through the rest and to enter the exam feeling really confident.
Revision Maths, once named Maths Revision, is a part of the Revision World group and is specifically designed to help students of Maths, like yourselves. It covers a range of GCSE subjects like Science, including Biology, Physics, and Chemistry (some of which are related to Maths in many ways) but it also offers many levels to choose from for each topic.
Its main offerings are revision resources and Math exam advice, but you'll see it also gives you the opportunity to set up your own individual study planner and timetable to help you get on with revision, it has revision videos to help you with tricky topics, it has information for students about universities and which establishments are best for the subject and, finally, it tells you what career or apprenticeship you might be suited to.
GCSE Maths Revision Books
Of course, it's not always ideal to do your revision online. Some people work better with a book in front of them, on which they can doodle and make notes or simply because they respond better to the printed images as opposed to having something up on a screen.
The biggest difference you'll find between online and printed materials is that the latter are more likely to be chargeable, so you may have to spend a little to get the physical book in your hands. As we've said though, don't be scared of paying a little bit of money towards your revision, it's an investment for the future! Plus, there's always the option to sell your books on after your course on eBay or Amazon.
CGP books are written and designed around the national curriculum or education system so as to help GCSE students improve, if not excel, in Maths.
The huge range covers courses led by exam boards Edexcel, AQA, OCR and more and the educational publisher is listed as number 1 for Maths resources. In addition to the revision guides that you have probably seen before in your school library, other resources on offer are exam practice workbooks, workbooks, textbooks, video tutorials, practice papers, and a new MathsBuster Digital Study Kit which is an interactive resource offering free questions.
CGP, therefore, isn't just restricted to teaching you via paperback books, if you go to their website you can find a range of online materials to go through that could be really beneficial to your revision timetable. Remember, CGP has been doing what it does for more than twenty years and is the most popular academic publisher in the whole of the UK! Those curriculum experts know their stuff and they want to pass that knowledge onto you to give you the best opportunities in life.
Collins Maths books for AQA (as well as versions for all other exam boards) can be found at a number of bookstores in Britain, two of which being Waterstones and W H Smith.
The book acts as a revision guide, workbook and practice paper all in one and includes quick tests as you go, end-of-topic practice questions, topic review questions later in the book, mixed practice questions at the end of the book, audio download to practice listening, more topic-by-topic practice in the workbook, a complete exam-style paper, free Q&A flashcards to download online, and an ebook version of the revision guide.
GCSE Foundation Maths Revision
Homework really does serve a purpose and, believe it or not, your teacher has most likely spent a great deal of their own time finding useful notes and challenging exercises for you to attempt outside of the classroom, each designed to revise the content learned throughout the academic year or last two years.
As a foundation level student who may struggle to get to grips with the work covered in class, let alone then having to do homework on the subject in the evening, it can feel quite tedious forever playing catch up and feeling like you're getting nowhere fast.
Instead of looking at the tasks set by your Math instructor and feeling overwhelmed by it, make sure you do give it a try as Maths is as much about working things out for yourself as it is having your teacher standing over your shoulder helping you to find answers. In fact, when you first manage to solve a problem on your own, that's when you know you've truly understood it. If you have been trying for a long time with no success, you might like to ask your parents for some help or one of your friends on the course.
GCSE Higher Tier Maths Revision
If, however, you find that you are able to answer prep assignments promptly and correctly most of the time (that is not to say that all of those in the higher tier find Maths easy peasy, though!), then you should be prepared to then go on the hunt for extra revision resources yourself too to make sure you are always challenging yourself and having to use your problem-solving skills.
There are no excuses not to go on and find your own revision material. With our guide, you will now have access to loads of materials designed for mathematicians of your level and ability.
Finally, take a look at some of the tips below which explain that getting a top grade to be proud of isn't as hard as you might think.
Getting a 9 in GCSE Maths is Not as Hard as you Think!
Test your basic math skills of addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, inequalities, integers, counting, basic arithmetic, algebraic and quadratic expressions, square roots etc. before you start the actual GCSE preparation.
Strengthen the basics first and then move on to studying more extensive topics such as calculus, decimal places, triangles, angles, linear equations, reasoning problems, whole numbers, the accuracy of digits, surface area etc.
Chances are that the basics will be used throughout the more advanced topics and if your basics are weak, you are going to have a hard time preparing for GCSE maths.
The best action you can take to maximize your learning is to start your revision with scrutinizing the curriculum. Create a checklist for revision along with a timetable that suits your daily routine.
Keep a list of the topics you are good at and the topics which you are still weak in. This way you will be able to allocate your time more efficiently. Also, figure out your very own learning style and stick to it as you are more likely to stay motivated by studying the way you like.
Securing a good grade in GCSE Maths can be possible for you if you are determined and have been paying attention to the common core skills used in maths. Learn to make the best out of maths resources, math videos, maths tutors, maths programs as well as free online mathematical courses.
The maths you were taught in primary, along with secondary school math, will be your gateway to success in GCSE Maths. Test your fluency in mathematical concepts, by taking math quizzes, playing online math games and solving free math worksheets. Make maths fun and monitor your readiness by solving tricky questions.
Be resourceful! Your course book is your Holy Grail. Utilize it for maximum revision. It provides all the formulas and concepts which you need to achieve an A. The information in course textbooks is way more detailed than in any revision book you might buy online. So try to make your course textbook your first priority then move onto studying from revision books.
Exam Timetables And Opportunities To Re-Sit
While we hope that you don’t wind up feeling disappointed with your end result, we understand that re-sits are inevitable within this area of study because of the significance of Maths to many.
Maths is hugely important to students and adults alike because it helps you to get into college, secure a place at university and get accepted for a good job in the future.
Not only is it a basic requirement for your life admin, it is also a very important skill to have to help you get through the things that life throws at you. For instance, being able to budget is vital at every point of your life (even when referring to pocket money and how far you can stretch it) and having reasonable numerical skills can help you to succeed in many areas of your life - i.e. planning, dieting, exercising, etc...
Don't think, however, that because the opportunity to resit your exam (and usually free because the government recognises the significance of Maths as a required subject in any profession) presents itself so easily that you can just sit back and get a second chance if you fail. The last thing you will want when you are focusing on your A Levels is to have an additional subject to study on the side!
Furthermore, if you leave your re-sit until much later then you might then find that the course has changed quite a bit and you will be almost back to square one, learning brand new lessons, mastering fresh new methodologies and revising a whole new set of content. This is not an ideal situation for someone who is out of the habit of doing schoolwork and who may not be as focused as they would have been whilst in compulsory education.
The existing conditions for re-sitting exams are that you have the opportunity to re-sit an exam as many times as you feel necessary, in line with the exam’s shelf life. This means that, if the syllabus was to undergo further changes that led to an adapted course and assessment, then you may no longer be liable for a re-sit.
The main reasons for students re-taking exams are that they didn’t revise enough the first time around, they struggled to keep up with the course content, they didn’t quite achieve the grade they needed to progress in their education or they were affected by circumstances out of their control such as sickness or family problems.
Should your greatest worry be the first instance - not revising enough, you should take a look at these top revision resources.