How to pass GCSE Maths

Ten Top Tips to Guarantee you Ace GCSE Maths

Student preparing for exams

GCSE Maths is compulsory and is needed to get into University and for many jobs.  Sadly, one in three students fail GCSE Maths and those who pass may not get a good enough grade.  Below are the Ten Top Tips guaranteed to get you a good passing grade in GCSE Maths.

Tip 1 – The Value of Homework

Think homework is just to keep the teacher happy?  Think again.  Education experts know that the human mind is very similar to a muscle.  The more it practises maths, the more it remembers, learns and can recognise patterns.  Doing homework on time is a sure way to consolidate what you have learnt in class, identify what you don’t know, and give your brain the consistency needed to push for the top grade.  Take a look at the 24 Hour Homework Rule for more details.

Tip 2 – Write to your future self

The single biggest secret to the 100% A* Grade success rate of ELITE Tuition is that we tell our students that you must assume you WILL FORGET EVERYTHING you learnt by the time you sit the exam.  85% of students assume that just because they understand something now, they will still remember it at the time of the exam.  That is not true.  Write details in your notes to your future self.  Nobody is a better teacher to you than yourself.  Do this religiously and you will never ever fail.

Tip 3 – Ask your teacher, ask your teacher and ask again if necessary

Your teacher is there to help.  According to the General Teaching Council, if you don’t understand something, it’s your teacher’s fault.  You didn’t pay attention, that is your teacher’s fault too.  But if you fail, that is YOUR fault.  That is your problem.  You will not get the opportunities.  You will not get into university.  You will not get that job.

Tip 4 – The internet is your friend

We live in a wonderful time where you can YouTube practically anything.  For GCSE Maths, there are even more sites dedicated to help you succeed.  Wonderful websites such as Khan Academy have excellent videos, worksheets and resources.  Best of all, they are FREE!!  Watch these videos after you have learnt a topic.  The effect on your memory is outstanding.

Tip 5 – Get used to exam style questions early

Your GCSE will be an exam.  Not a lesson.  Not a teacher asking you a question.  Not the questions in your text book.  Learn exam technique.  Find out HOW the exam asks questions.  Find out how an exam will link topics together.  Find out how the marks are allocated.  You can get exam style questions without having to look at past papers by going to websites such as MathsNetGCSE and BBC Bitsize (links below) and downloading exam style questions by topic.  Do this after your homework and ask your teacher about questions you don’t know how to do.  Surprisingly, your teacher will be happy that you did this.

StuckinmathsTip 6 – Get stuck in Maths

What was that??  Get stuck?  Why would that lead to success?  The GCSE Maths exam will definitely ask you questions you have no idea how to answer.  You need to problem solve.  You need to write down what you know and see what you can find out.  So do the harder questions.  Don’t skip them.  You need to practise being stuck and figuring out the answer.  If you master this, you will conquer GCSE Maths.  Your school teachers are excellent at doing this.  Many of the times when you ask them a question, they are doing this and it looks effortless.

Tip 7 – Rewind and Review

Every now and then, look at your Maths notes and try and do some of the questions you were set back then.  You can look at work you were set a month ago, or even six months ago.  See if you can still answer the questions.  If you can, great.  If not, look at your notes and see if you can figure it out.  Usually, it all comes back but sometimes you need to ask your teacher just to explain something. If you review your work like this, you will remember it at the time of the exam.  Very clever learners will ensure that everything gets reviewed.  They are the ones who become successful.

Tip 8 – Know your exam board

Visit your exam board’s website.  Look at the resources they have posted online.  You will be shocked at how easy it is to get past papers, mark schemes, worksheets and other great things.  Also, if there are any changes to the style of the questions in the exam, they’ll tell you on their website.  Click on your exam board to be forwarded to their website: EdExcel, OCR, AQA, WJEC.  You should visit their website from time to time and look our for notices about your course.  They will tell you where you can get fantastic resources.

Tip 9 – Past papers, past papers, past papers and past papersiStock_000016853747XSmall

There is literately no better way to master exam technique than to actually do past papers.  These should be done when revising and done under exam conditions.  Do all of them.  Do them twice.  Write Q cards explaining how to do the tricky questions and write model answers.  If you do enough past papers, you will see patterns.  You will begin to see what the examiner is looking for.  It’s the next best thing than having the actual answers to your exam.  The value of this simply cannot be understated.  You can get past papers from the exam board websites and other sites such as Maths Made Easy.

Tip 10 – Find your natural learning style

The single biggest hurdle to learning GCSE Maths in school is not being taught in the way that you naturally learn.  Your preferred learning style is as unique as you are.  Some are visual learners while others are kinaesthetic.  Some learn by examples and others need to be taught logically from first principles.  ELITE Tuition offer free learning assessments to any student regardless of whether you are looking to take tuition with us or not.  Our assessments are performed by learning specialists and educational psychologists.


December 19th, 2013 Author: Sati

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“I really loved going to ELITE Tuition for my GCSE Maths.  I thought their booklets were really amazing and easy to follow.  I wished they taught the subjects I’m taking for A-Level.”

E – Chare – Started with a grade B, achieved A*. Did not need Maths at A-Level.
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