7 Steps to an A* at A-Level Maths

iStock_000005784707SmallAdmit it, if you are reading this you want the A* Grade at A-Level Mathematics.  You want to go to the best university and get a degree with a bright future ahead.  Below are the 7 steps to an A* in A-Level Maths.


1)  Know C1 well!

The first 5 topics on Core 1 are EVERYWHERE in the course.  If you struggle with

  • Surds & Indicies
  • Quadratics
  • Inequalities
  • Sketching Curves
  • Coordinate Geometry

then go through them again.  They are used in the most difficult problems.  Also, make sure you are good at simultaneous equations and algebraic fractions.  When writing a challenging exam question, the examiner will select a use of one of the above as (despite having covering this first) students struggle to apply these in examinations.


2)  Review after each lesson!

Sounds simple.  It is.  After each lesson, the following day or even the following week, flick through the notes of the lesson and try some of the questions.  The trick is to remind yourself of how to do the problem.

This probably seems to be the minor practise to get the A*.  WRONG!

Do this and see yourself excel.  Do this not, and take your re-sits with us.


3)  Exam Style Questions

Best Maths Tutor in LondonDon’t do past papers until you finished the module completely!!

What was that?  Don’t do them?  But I’m sure teachers have said look at exam style questions.  Yes, please do that!  But not from past papers.  There are literately countless places where you can get exam style questions without resorting to papers.

Papers are precious. They are your true and only way to understand how the marks are distributed and how the topics link together. Looking at them early may seem innocent but you will NOT get an A* Grade.


4)  Review again!

Why is this mentioned twice?  Why this mentioned twice?  Because it’s that important.  Because it’s that important.

Set questions to review in two months time.  Only need to set a few minutes of questions but make sure you write them out and look at them in the future.  Give them to a parent or a friend to bring out.  This type of review pushing learning in the medium term memory and will keep it fresh for the exam.  It will also help you link the topic to other topics and style of questions.


5)  Past Papers are mocks – don’t forget that!

When practising past papers, remember you are looking at a mock exam. This was actually used before and unless your syllabus has changed (it hasn’t), these questions are completely relevant to what you will be sitting. Practise the papers under exam conditions and get used to the time management.

When marking papers, use the mark scheme and mark harshly.  If you think you haven’t written enough to get the mark, then you probably haven’t.

If in doubt, ask your teacher.


6)  Strive for every single mark!

Aiming for an A* is pointless.  The grade boundaries are relative (dependent on how everybody else performs) and you can try and convince yourself that you are on course for it when in truth, you are enabling bad habits.

It is simply better to aim for every single mark in the exam. Get into the mind set now. Aim for every single mark in the homework and all school tests. Aim for every single mark in the past papers. If there is a mark you did not get, find out why and make sure you’d get it in future.

It is psychologically easier to visualise getting every single mark than it is to visualise an A* and get the former will ensure the latter.


7)  Join ELITE Tuition

With 100% of our A-Level students achieving an A or A* Grade, and with over 80% of those grades being A* Grades, can you afford not to find out how we can help you?

Our tutorials are taught one to one and they are completely tailored for your needs.  You will receive a learning assessment to find out how best to teach you Mathematics, and we will give you a trial lesson to prove it works.

Click here to contact us.


for more articles and advice.


November 24th, 2014 Author: Sati

Contact Us

for a student assessment trial lesson by an experienced teacher

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone (required)

Your Location (required)

Best time to contact you (required)


Your Message

captcha >


"I joined ELITE Tuition after my AS year and was shocked at how rapidly I improved. The coaching I got helped my other subjects too."

E Jackson – Started with a Grade B, achieved A*. Studies Maths at Oxford.
Read more››