GCSE Maths Articles


How to go from a D to an A in GCSE Maths 
Ok you may be thinking that the subject title is a little ‘far fetched’ or even totally bizarre, but it is possible to do. As a home tutor in Mathematics I have taught many students the secrets to success in GCSE Maths in over a seven year period, with over 85% of all students that I have taught gaining at least a GCSE grade C. Without meaning to sound arrogant I have even brought some students up from a C/D to an A. In this article I hope to give some advice that will help boost your grades significantly!

Ok so let’s get down to brass tacks, the fundamental secret is confidence. Like most things in life the more confident you are in something that you undertake the less it bothers you and the less painful it becomes. So how exactly do you become more confident in Mathematics? Well it comes as a result of a combination of organisation and fundamentally a lot of practice.

Organisation and study skills are essential for success in GCSE Maths as they are for any subject that you undertake at any level. Remember to plan effectively, allocate time to your studies. Some students find it useful to devise a study timetable. I don’t advocate all work and no play, but neither do I advocate leaving everything to the last minute! I can’t stress enough that planning is essential! Remember that only you can take responsibility for your own learning, nobody else can, nobody else can do learn on your behalf only you can!

It is essential that before you practice that you understand the concepts of the topic that you are trying to improve upon. If you don’t get things first time in class and let’s face it who does? Then there are ways to obtain the information. The internet is an excellent resource with many video tutorials available on video sharing sites such as YouTube, Daily Motion and Blip TV to name but a few. Revision guides are ok but they usually summarise the concepts and don’t fully go through the step by step processes needed to solve a problem. Now this is the key, you need step by step instructions to explain how the methodology behind each topic, be it Algebra or Trigonometry. Course textbooks are excellent for this as they often go into a lot more detail, do a search on amazon.co.uk for the best books on the market, usually the average rating is a good indicator of this. Make sure the star rating is at least 4 out of 5.

When you have obtained your book it is important that you maintain self discipline to learn the concepts in the book and to practice as many questions as you can. You can get questions from not only the book itself but also from many GCSE Maths revision websites. Also get as many past exam papers as you can get hold of. Make sure that they are the correct type that is to say make sure you know which exam board you are under. So if you are taking GCSE Maths that is being examined by AQA , get AQA past exam papers. If you are unsure speak to your Maths teacher, they will usually know which exam board you are under.

Now my final bit of advice is probably the best bit of advice. If you really do struggle with Maths and you have tried lots of books, video tutorials and after school clubs and nothing seems to work then get yourself a maths tutor. I know you probably hate the thought of somebody coming round to help you, as you may see this as a weakness, but remember even a short term amount of tutoring for as little as three months can really make a difference! There are many national tuition agencies out there and you can often stipulate what kind of tutor that you want, for example a young or older tutor, male / female etc.
