It seems that although there is more pressure than ever on students to achieve good grades in exams, pass rates have dropped this year. Figures indicate that passes for grades C/4 and above have dropped by 0.6% to 66.3%. One subject that has seen a drop in results has been maths, with pass rates falling from 71.4% to 70.7%.

So, why is it that exam grades are falling and how can you help yourself to get the grade that you want?

Firstly, it’s important to take note of the fact that exams are now getting tougher. As well as more challenging questions and subject matters for pupils, there is also a new grading system to contend with.

In all the new O-level style GCSE subjects – English, English literature, and maths, a new grade 9 has been created, which has been met by some fierce opposition from parents, admissions tutors, and employers, who think that this new grading system may overcomplicate the exam process.

Under the new grading scheme, an A is equivalent to a number 7, while a C is anchored at the bottom of a grade 4. These new grading bands have been introduced to give more detail about the candidates who are achieving higher grades.

So, amid tougher questions and a more complicated, numerical grading system, what can you do to ensure that you still get the grade that you want in your maths GCSE?

Ask your teacher about your problem areas

No one will be better qualified to tell you about where you need to improve than your teacher, so it’s worthwhile taking some time to ask them if they think there are any areas or parts of the subject that you need to improve on. Arrange a meeting with them where they can look through your work and notes and give you some tips on where you should be focusing your time. This will mean you avoid going over things you already know and will be better equipped when it comes to sitting the exam.

Start up a revision group

They say there’s strength in numbers, so why not round up a group of your friends and tackle some of the harder topics together? You can test each other, explain things you don’t understand and act as a support system when the exam pressure begins to take its toll.

Use past papers

There’s no better way to get exam ready than by using past papers, and luckily, we have loads of GCSE past papers on our website. Doing these gives you a real taste of what exams are like, so you’ll feel less nervous when it comes around to sitting the real thing.