Maths. Love it or hate it, it’s something we all have to learn during our time in school. While studying can be a bit of a daunting task in itself, nobody really prepares you for the potential stress that comes with preparing for your big exam.
For some, the art of maths may come naturally. Others may seriously struggle with the subject and need an extra helping hand to get them through. Pair those existing maths struggles with exam unpreparedness and you could have a disaster on your hands!
That’s why we’re here today: To help you fully prepare for your GCSE maths exam, so nothing comes as a surprise on your big day. Let’s dive in.
Tips for Maths revision
Preparing for your maths revision is extremely important in setting yourself up for success during your final exams.
While it doesn’t have to be all work and no play, setting time aside and staying focused is key. Let’s explore our top tips for preparing for your revision time.
Set time to revise
Ranking first on our list of your maths exam preparation is setting time to revise. With smartphones and technological distractions easily available in a blink of an eye (we’re looking at you, TikTok), it can be tempting to avoid revising in the lead-up to your exam.
We get it, setting time to revise requires ultimate discipline but we have some tips to make this a little easier:
- Determine just how much time you will need per day: This simply boils down to your overall confidence and knowledge. We recommend blocking out 1-2 hours in the evening and sticking to it.
- Prioritise the topic you struggle most with: Not feeling confident about your algebra knowledge? Spend some extra time on this.
- Create a schedule: By doing so, you eliminate the risk of wasting time during your study hours. Have an outline of what subjects/topics you need to study each day.
- Be realistic: Don’t overexert yourself! By ensuring your schedule is realistic and flexible, you will set yourself up for ultimate success. Don’t try to overdo it either and be sure to take a day or two off.
Revise topics you struggle with
If you struggle with certain maths topics, don’t fret. We’re not robots, we’re human. And that means that we can’t be geniuses at absolutely everything!
If you find yourself struggling with a certain maths subject, we recommend that you continue to focus on building your knowledge and confidence in this area during your study time. There are plenty of tools and resources readily available to help you succeed including tons of information on the internet such as videos and helpful guides and one-to-one sessions with a maths tutor or your teacher.
Ask for help or get a tutor
Asking for help or hiring a maths tutor is something to be highly encouraged if you find yourself at a loss with your maths studies.
There is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help and in fact, doing so will improve your overall confidence and preparation for your exams.
Alternatively, your teachers are there to help you. We recommend you approach your teacher and let them know about your concerns. Your teacher will then be able to put something in place to help you through either one-to-one sessions or a personalised schedule for you to follow during study time.
Depending on their skillset, it might also be worth approaching your parents or friends!
Whatever route you choose, it’s important to reach out for help if you feel you need it. By doing so, you’re improving your chances of success during your exams.
Tips for maths exam
Now that you know how to prepare for your revision, let’s dive into our handy tips for your GCSE maths exam.
Read the question
We get it. Being timed is never fun. But this is ultimately inevitable during your exams!
While it may be tempting to quickly skim over the questions at hand, we recommend that you absolutely do not do this. Taking your time to read and fully understand the questions should be your main priority for achieving the best possible outcome.
If there is a question that you don’t quite understand, it’s a good idea to leave it out for now and come back to it at the end. If you stay stuck on a question for too long, you risk missing out on the questions that you do know and may even run out of time.
More often than not, maths exam questions are cleverly written to contain words which, if you don’t spot them, can send you down the wrong path. Therefore, fully reading and digesting the questions is extremely important.
Watch the time
Being timed during your GCSE maths exam can put immense pressure on you to finish your exam in jig time. However, while it’s important to watch your timing, we recommend you try to stay as calm as possible and take your time to read the questions. On the other hand, don’t try and rush through everything too quickly as you may miss valuable marks with unthoughtful answers!
Top tip: Every maths paper tells you the number of marks available on the exam on the front of the paper. Some basic maths can help guide you on how long you are supposed to spend on each question. Simply take the total available marks and divide this by the total length of time for the exam.
Complete the questions you know first
For the ultimate success of your maths exam result, we recommend that you answer all the questions that you do know first.
Quickly identify the questions that are unsure of and leave those until you have finished answering the ones that you do know.
By doing this, you free up valuable time to thoroughly answer the questions you know and in turn, increase your overall result. Any remaining time left should be spent trying to work out the harder questions.
While it’s totally natural for you to want to leave as soon as the paper is complete, you should aim to fully go back through the exam paper once you are finished. By doing so, you can double-check your answers, re-read the questions for anything missed, and ensure your working is clearly outlined.
Studying and preparing for your GCSE maths exam doesn’t need to be a gruelling task. By prioritising your time with a well-thought-out study schedule and through sheer determination, you can and will succeed! After all, practice makes perfect and setting yourself up for success should be your ultimate goal.