Updated: Mar 28
How to revise GCSE maths
Revision is a skill and it takes some practice to understand what revision techniques work for you. However, when you are also under pressure to revise for a topic that is a crucial part of daily life, there is really nowhere to run.
Maths is one of the core GCSE exams that in a few weeks every student up and down the country will have to take and its important to realise that A- you are not alone in the pre-exam nerves and B- this article will be a valuable resource for you to understand how to prep and revise and feel in the best place for sitting your exams.
GCSE maths past papers
First step, before you even start to revise, is to know what exam board you will be using. Each exam board structures their papers differently and may even contain different topics. It is so important that you know which exam board you will be using to make sure that you understand the layout of the paper and the topics you need to revise. If you are unsure which board your centre will be using, talk to your teachers.
Revising using past papers is one of the most effective ways to prepare for your exam. It gives you ample opportunity to get familiar with exam layout and timing. You can also find the specifications for each of the exam boards below. Use this as a checklist to make sure you are answering the questions correctly and highlight the topics or exam style questions you need to work a little more on. The great thing about doing past papers is that the answers are also available so you can go back once you've completed your paper and mark it yourself. Often past papers will provide examples of working out too so you can see how to attain a specific answer if you've not quite got there yet OR how many ticks you get and grade yourself after.
GCSE maths questions
Every year GCSE maths papers, although never the same, contain a variation or similarity in the topics.
Core maths topics that are included in GCSEs are:
Structure and calculation
Fractions, decimals and percentages
Measures and accuracy
Ratio, proportion and rates of changes
Geometry and measures
Its important to feel like you are revising in a well rounded way. We touched on this in a previous post on how to revise efficiently. By using past papers, the choice is taken away from you. It is almost too easy to revise the topics you feel comfortable with and avoid topics that make your head hurt, but in reality, this is what you'll need to focus on to achieve the best grade possible. Using past papers gives you a well-rounded variation of topics. Afterwards, you can figure out which areas need more work and then you can schedule a time in your revision timetable dedicated to that topic.
GCSE parctice maths papers
Ask your teacher to share some past papers with you, or find some past papers from your school’s exam board online
When using a past paper as a revision tool, try and create an exam like environment. Turn off your phone, turn off all distractions, set yourself a timer and if needs be tell your family and friends not to interrupt you for the next 45 minutes- 1 hour and a half. Try to complete the exam without referring to your revision notes. If there is a question you get stumped on, circle it and come back to it at the end. Even if this happens in the exam it's important to not spend more time than necessary staring at the question and jeopardising the time you can spend on the rest of the paper. (It's much better to lose a few marks on one question than forfeit half of the paper).
This is also great for highlighting the areas you need to revise more or ask a teacher for help if there is a topic you don't understand.
When it comes to revision, little and often is the golden rule.
Allow yourself regular breaks to digest the information and topics you have studied, commit this to memory by repetition. Past paper will be your best friend and if there are areas that you need a little extra help with, check out our website GCSE online for extra tuition help and study tips or check out some more useful links below.