GCSE MATHEMATICS HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR GRADE THE EASY WAY EQUIPMENT: Most students bring all the correct equipment (Pens, Pencils, Ruler, Angle measurer/protractor, Calculator) However there is a lot of evidence which shows they simply don’t use it! DIAGRAMS: Almost all diagrams are NOT drawn to scale. Many students ignore this fact. They simply measure angles and lines without calculating them and consequently get no marks. READ THE QUESTION: It is recommended that you read the question TWICE. There is plenty of time. You can underline the important parts of a question if you wish to CALCULATORS Make sure you can read a display that is in Standard Form. No credit is given for writing an answer as 1.6306. Make sure your calculator is set in the DEG mode FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH YOUR OWN CALCULATOR BRING IT TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY DON’T RELY ON THE SCHOOLS CALCULATOR WHICH MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT LOGIC SYSTEM TO YOURS. METHODS: Working out MUST be shown. There are a lot of method marks available and it is recommended that all relevant stages of working are shown. Incorrect answer and no working gains no marks If correct working is shown and a careless error results in an incorrect answer you could gain 4 out of 5 marks available MATHS SPECIFIC ERRORS PROBABILITY A very large number of answers are still given as 1 in 2 or 5 out of 1O. These are incorrect. Answers should be decimals, fractions or percentages. As a general rule if the question uses fractions then give your answer as a fraction. Reminder: A probability answer cannot be greater than 1! UNITS You will have to give your own units for at least one question. Units of length, volume and area are frequently mixed up by students. Learn them. Learn common Metric to Imperial conversions. e g 1 kg = 2.2 lbs, 1 mile = 1.6 Km. 1 Gallon = 4.55 Litres etc. Reminder: There are 52 weeks in a year.(Many students use 50) UNITS Even if not asked to always write down units at the end of a question If a question contains mm and cm it Is a good idea to convert all to the same ACCURACY Do not round answers off until the very last line of working. Use the calculator memory function and notation such as 16.534….. This is especially important in trigonometry questions. (There is a significant difference between 23x1 .66 and 23x1.66666666) If you are asked to measure a line and it measures 9.1cm use 9.1cm. Do not assume that the line is supposed to be 9cm long. TRIAL AND IMPROVEMENT Usually there will be a table for you to write your attempts in. You do not need to fill in all the rows . You must have at least one trial above and one trial below the correct answer. ANSWERS If the question asks you to give the answer to 1dp,2sf or in Standard form you will lose at least one mark every time you fail to do so. PERCENTAGE CHANGE When asked for a sale price many students work out the reduction correctly but then fail to take it away from the original price losing at least 1 mark FORMULA SHEETS Make sure you know what is going to be given you on a formula sheet. Intermediate: Only the area of a trapezium and volume of a prism are given.What formulae do you need to know? For borderline grade C students It is also usually best to avoid the very hardest grade B topics ( eg Trigonometry and Simultaneous Equations ) These can take up a lot of revision time. They actually aren't worth that many marks and there are quicker and easier topics to revise first. You need around 55% in the Intermediate GCSE Maths exam paper to get a Maths GCSE grade C. Don't just concentrate on the C grade questions. Just as important are the earlier (and easier) questions on the exam paper. Make sure you have revised thoroughly these easier grade D and grade E questions These are worth 50% of the Intermediate GCSE Maths marks. HIGHER PAPERS ONLY HOW TO GET GRADE A: Revise the easier questions You need around 60% in the Higher Maths GCSE exam to get a grade A. Cover thoroughly the easier grade C and grade B questions, as these cover the first 50% of the Higher Maths GCSE exam IT HAS BEEN ESTIMATED THAT BY FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES STUDENTS CAN IMPROVE THEIR MARKS BY UP TO 10°/o THE AVERAGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A gradeD AND A grade C IS ONLY 4%!!