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GCSE Maths – Maximise your marks and your grade

Following these 10 simple tips will help to ensure that you get the most marks you can in your GCSE Maths exams, and therefore the highest grade you can.

o       Read the questions carefully. Make sure you read each question in full before you start answering it so you don’t miss any vital pieces of information.

o       Make sure you get the method marks by showing your workings. Most questions have some marks allocated for use of the correct method.

o       Show your workings as well as your final answer. Even if your final answer is not right, you may still get marks for using the correct method.

o       Some questions ask for the answer to be given to a specific degree of accuracy, for example to 2 decimal places or to 3 significant figures. Make sure your final answer is given in the form asked for.

o       Work through the questions at a steady pace. If you get stuck, leave that question and come back to it at the end. Don’t waste precious minutes puzzling over one question.

o        Most exam papers have a formula sheet inside the front cover. Don’t forget to look there. The information is there to help you.

o       If a question asks you to find an area or a volume, make sure you give your answer in the correct units, such as m2 or cm3.

o       If you are asked to describe a transformation in full, make sure you include all the information needed. For example, instead of just saying enlargement, you need to also give the scale factor and the centre of enlargement.

o       Make sure you at least try to do all the questions. Even if you don’t get the final answer, you may still get marks for showing workings.

o       If you have time left at the end, go back through the paper and try to finish any questions you left. If you have answered all of the questions, check through your work to make sure you haven’t made any silly mistakes or misread any questions.

Get into the habit of following the tips above when you are doing practice papers, preparing for your GCSE Maths exams. Once you’re in the habit, you’ll follow the advice without even thinking about it when you sit your GCSE Maths exams. Half of the tips above apply just as much to other exams, not just GCSE Maths.

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