Resources for GCSE Maths
Learning maths is simple – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!
Luckily, making big progress in maths is possible relatively quickly. Research into learning always comes back to the same conclusion – the key is to keep testing, answering a wide variety of questions. After all, this is how you’re assessed in the end. Don’t spend too much time making notes; learning Maths is quite different from learning science, which involves memorising lots of definitions and concepts as well as being able to express opinions and discuss issues.
Resources that I’ll talk about are:
~ Texbooks – your main learning aid
~ Revise guides – good for key facts and cramming
~ Revision websites – an alternative to your textbook
~ Videos – great to hear someone explaining stuff
~ Workbooks – for testing.
~ Exam papers
A good textbook plus exam papers with detailed answers is all that you’ll need; but it is nice, now and then, to look at a video of someone explaining a topic and going through the tougher types of question. And there are revision sites that are good for the basics. Try a variety of resources and see which works for you. The bottom line is that you spend most of your time trying questions and checking the answers.
A good textbook should be your main resource. You need to be able to look up a topic quickly, and a textbook is by far the most convenient.
Focus on the worked examples and see if you can repeat them. Then do all the questions and check the answers. Spend most of your time answering questions. As you get more confident with the basics, try harder questions, especially the longer problem-solving questions. An example of good, modern textbooks are those published by cgpbooks.co.uk. Essential!
These are collections of key facts with a few key questions. They are not a substitute for a proper textbook.
They are great for revising and cramming before the exams. As they are cheap and cheerful, they are worth getting. The cgpbooks.co.uk guides are the ones that schools recommend.
These are simply collections of graded questions with answers. Not expensive. Definitely worth getting and working through at the same time as covering a topic in school. The are workbooks that are aimed at the highest grades which are great for practicing your problem-solving skills.
Revision websites and videos
There are lots of excellent websites that explain topics either in textbook form or as videos.
Your school will certainly use, or at least recommend, certain websites, such as mathswatch or Hegarty maths – which you’ll use for homework. These can be used in the home, but they are not free.
Corbet Maths is popular – lots of good videos and worksheets. A bit disorganised though.
MathsGenie contains very good graded videos plus lots of exam and specimen papers. The site is also very well laid out, which helps a lot.
Seneca Learning includes a brilliant database of interactive questions and answers. Great for testing your knowledge and popular with students.
Mr Barton Maths Another popular site with lots of questions and interactivity.
Primrose Kitten has a devoted following on YouTube and is very supportive. One of the best.
GCSE Maths Tutor is a YouTube channel with very good videos – especially for the harder problem-solving questions
BBC Bitesize is a reliable and comprehensive revision site.
All the exam boards have collections of past and specimen papers. You can use them all, even those from other exam boards, because the content is the same.
Websites such as MathsGenie have large collections of papers.
www.Cgpbooks.co.uk sell low-cost bundles of their own papers which have very detailed answers – well worth buying.