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Top ten revision tips for a GCSE maths exam

Date Added: December 01, 2011 04:19:24 PM

The following tips can be used by anyone studying mathematics at GCSE level, and in particular revising for a maths exam. 

1. Schedule your revision time; use a calendar to mark off which days you will be revising maths and allow yourself enough time to revise. Work out how many hours you can spend each day on revision, and set yourself targets for total hours of maths study. Mark off milestones in your revision as you complete them. 

2.  Break the maths into main topics you need to revise. For example, algebra might be one topic, trigonometry might be another topic, and statistics and probability might be another topic. Check the GCSE maths syllabus and also with your teacher to categorise the main topics you need to revise. 

3. Make sure you have a studying and revision environment – a study room with no distractions, no TV, no music, no noise from family or friends. This can be difficult if you’re revising in the house but if you let others know that you’re revising for your maths exam, and that you need to be left alone, this should be easier. Of course an even better option is to use the library to study since you’re guaranteed peace and quiet. 

4.  Start revising early in the day. Maths revision is very difficult if you are stressed or find yourself rushing to complete targets. It’s also a great idea to start your maths revision ahead of schedule if possible. This gives you some extra slack should you need it later on. 

5. Start small then build up. Tackle the basics first. Some parts of the GCSE maths curriculum will come easier to you than others. It’s a good idea to revise these first, give yourself confidence before tackling the more difficult topics. Break the difficult topics into smaller sections and tackle these one by one rather than trying to learn everything at once. Trust your memory. Once you’ve revised a topic thoroughly, move on to the next. Don’t keep testing your memory on the same subject. 

6. Make use of maths revision guides and GCSE maths revision books. Check the syllabus to make sure you use the right books. There’s also lots of great information available online in the form of maths revision websites or videos. Highlight essential points to learn, underline key facts and formulas. 

7.  Use GCSE maths past papers. Ask your maths teacher if you’re unable to get hold of them. These can really help focus your mind on the kinds of questions you might have to tackle in an exam. Near the end of your revision schedule, try to complete one or two of these past papers in the allowed time frame. This will give you an idea of how you’ll handle the exam on the actual day and give you more confidence going into it. 

8. Take regular breaks and reward yourself. Nobody can concentrate on any one subject let alone GCSE maths for too long before they burn out. Give yourself time limits and then take a break. Get up and have a snack, do something else, and leave the area of study. It’s better to have a few small breaks than to have one long break (this can make it difficult to start revising again, and refocus on study). 

9. Make sure you look after yourself while you’re studying for GCSE maths exams. Get plenty of sleep, this is crucial. Do not attempt to cram hours of study into a day, doing an all-nighter will tire you out for the next day’s revision and won’t make you remember any better. Don’t deny yourself a healthy diet – get plenty to eat and drink during revision. Too much tea, coffee or caffeine drinks can increase your anxiety and are a recipe for insomnia.  

10. Revise with others. Organise a study or revision group. Sometimes it helps to bounce thoughts and ideas of your peers. Share your worries and concerns with your friends and practice some questions with them. If needed, you might also consider hiring a private maths tutor and this can really help give you more confidence before the exam.