As a professional tutoring agency we often get asked one crucial question: “How do I pass my GCSE Maths?” Now like most big questions there isn’t really a one-line answer. It’s not easy and takes hard work. Your strategy to pass GCSE Maths should also be tailored to you as an individual – that’s why our Maths tutors work hard to personalise their lessons. We do, however, have some “top tips” to ensure you’re learning and revision are focused, efficient and effective. This blog post runs through the main things you need to know to reach your potential when exam time comes around. With only a couple of months to go until the 2017 GCSE Maths exams there’s no time to lose, so what are you waiting for? Read on, get your revision plan sorted and get ready to smash your exams.


For the new GCSE Maths you will be awarded a grade from 9-1 (with 9 being the highest). Now the official “pass” that employers, colleges and universities will be looking for is a grade 5 (equivalent to the top of an old grade C or above). Most colleges are expected to accept a grade 4 for many courses for those taking their exams in 2017, but you should still be aiming for at least a grade 5.  

How best to learn

Each of us learn things in slightly different ways, but everyone needs to cover the subject material in detail (preferably with the help of a Maths expert). Go through the exam specification from the exam board your school is working with (the main ones are AQA, Edexcel and OCR). The specification will list all of the topics that could come up in your exam. Go through each topic and use your tutor, or the available resources you have, to make sure understand them.

Once you’ve been through a method you need to do lots of practice questions. Start with some simple questions to get you used to how the maths works, before moving on to more complicated, exam-style problems. We remember things best when we regularly go back over topics and test ourselves with questions. So if you revise solving equations this week then make sure you solve some equations each week from now on.

Another excellent learning technique when you’re revising is to try and teach a topic to someone else. When you try to explain something as clearly as possible it will help you to remember exactly what to do.

Understand the basics

It may sound obvious, but to get that grade 5 in GCSE Maths you need to have a very good understanding of the basic mathematical concepts, from fractions and percentages to algebra and statistics. You need to be able to apply all of these concepts to solve problems in the exams.

Practice as much as possible

Hard work is vital. Put the time in now, revise well (check out our separate post on how best to revise for help with this) and you’ll be confident going into the exam. Crucially, you need to practice as many exam style questions as possible.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Last, but not least, please don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find a teacher, tutor, family member or friend who know their maths and ask for help where you need it. Take a look at our maths tuition page for more information on the expert Maths tuition we offer. 

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