Preparing for GCSE maths can feel overwhelming. With the pressure to succeed, finding a starting point, how much time to dedicate to each topic, and covering all your grounds can feel challenging. But revising GCSE maths doesn’t have to be this way. By following a few tips, you can maximise your revision tips, cover more ground and above all, get some valuable tips that could help you in the exam room and keep you from panicking.
Here are a few tips to help you create a successful GCSE maths revision plan to ensure you’re well prepared for your GCSE exams.
Determine what you need to study
The GCSE maths syllabus spans over two years. You need to refresh yourself on all the areas of learning. The best place to start is by organising your notes. The coursework should be well organised and have relevant handouts to make it easier to outline what you need to revise.
Start by writing a list of all the topics you’ve covered throughout the course. This ensures you cover all the material in preparation for the exam. The topics in GCSE maths include:
- Ratio, rates of change and proportion
- Geometry and measures
GCSE covers all six topics. You will sit for two test papers. The first paper will ask questions in topics 1-3, and the second paper will cover 4-6.
Plan out your revision
After collecting your learning material, the next step is to come up with a structured plan that will make your revision more effective.
If possible, have a wall chart mapping out the topics you will study. Having a visual on the wall will keep you focused and keep your goals clear. You will also be able to track how your revision is progressing.
When planning your revision schedule, go for a little and often approach. Plan for short bursts of studying with regular breaks. Working in short bursts keeps you motivated and also prevents exhaustion which can impact retention and affect the quality of your revision sessions.
Practice non-Calculator Questions
The first GCSE exam paper is taken without a calculator. Most students struggle to achieve full marks on this paper because even if they end up with correct answers, the key is to show your work and present your answer in the most logical way.
Examiners are always looking to see the steps you’ve taken to arrive at your final answer. With such questions, the first step is to identify the type of question you’re being asked to give you an idea of how it should be represented.
Practising non-calculator questions should feature in your revision schedule to prepare you for the questions to expect in the paper.
Practising will make it easier for you to identify the type of questions and the steps you should take to solve the question. If there’s a step missing somewhere, you’ll know.
Don’t forget your calculator
Don’t get too fixated on working on non-calculator problems that you forget using your calculator. The second GCSE maths paper requires using your calculator to arrive at your answers. It’s a good idea to use the same calculator you revise within the exam. Scientific calculators are slightly different. Using a different calculator means you have to re-learn the functions, which can put you at a disadvantage.
Use practice tests
Using practice tests is one of the most effective ways of revising for GCSE maths exams. Using these revision techniques will help you cover more ground and identify topics you’re struggling with more easily. There are tonnes of practice tests that you can use that will help you put your theory into practice and help you improve your confidence as the test draws nearer.
Practice tests will help you build the key skills required to do well in GCSE exams. Some practice tests also have detailed, step-by-step answers and mark schemes for the questions. You can correct yourself and troubleshoot areas you’re having problems with.
Hire a tutor
Tutors are an invaluable resource when revising and preparing for GCSE maths exams. A tutor can help you come up with a revision schedule, help you revise and even help you with practice questions. Private tutors will keep you focused and hold you accountable. They will ensure you keep up with revision and help you improve in your weak areas.
Most maths tutors have sat for the same exams and excelled. They can provide you with tips and tricks that can help set you up for success.
Hiring a tutor could be one of the best decisions you make when preparing for the GCSE maths exams.
It is never too late to get started on your GCSE revision as long as you start now. But the earlier you get started, the better. You will have more time to revise and go through most of the topics you have covered in school.