How to prepare for the new style maths GCSE exam

In just a few months students up and down the country will be sitting the new style GCSE maths for just the second year. If you’re one of the students, it can be a daunting prospect. But don’t panic there are some steps that you can take to give you the best possible chance of obtaining or exceeding your projected mark.

Despite the concerns that grades would slip after the new exams were implemented, over seven in ten pupils achieved a grade four or higher in maths – the equivalent of gaining a mark between an A* and a C under the old grading system – a slight increase in 2016. The results from last year’s exam sitters proves that it is still possible to get the grade you want with a bit of preparation.

If you’re planning your revision schedule for your GCSEs now, we’ve got four steps to take to ensure that you ace your maths exam.

  1. Spend time looking at the marking system – As with all exams, understanding the marking system gives you an opportunity to scoop as many points as possible. Take the time to have a look through the marking system and really get to grips with how it’s done, applying this information to each question that you answer. If applying it is something you struggle with, our resources demonstrate where each and every mark is awarded.
  2. Spend your time wisely – Nobody wants to spend hours on end revising every part of the curriculum. Spend your time wisely by focussing on the areas that your really need to work on. Whether you know where you’re struggling straight away or you speak to your maths teacher, it can make your revision more effective.
  3. Get used to exam conditions and manage pressure – Under the new GCSE model, you can’t rely on coursework to help you get that final mark. With so much now focused on the exam, it’s important to be comfortable in an exam environment and cope with the pressure well, ensuring you perform to the best of your ability.

Do a trial run through papers – Practice makes perfect. And if you use practice exam papers right, for example identifying where to focus your revision, they can have a big impact on your overall mark, as well as getting your prepared for exam conditions – giving you support across two essential areas.

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