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Your GCSE Maths AQA Exam Explained with Deb Friis

Exam preparation can be challenging with multiple GCSE subjects to revise for.  Deb Friis our expert author for Oxford Revise explains what you can expect from your Maths AQA GCSE Exam .

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Deb Friis and I’m a secondary maths teacher with over 20 years experience teaching both GCC and A level maths.

I’m going to talk to you about the AQA GCSE maths exam. The exam is made of three papers. Paper one is always the non calculated paper. The papers two and three, allowing the calculator to be used.

Each paper is worth 80 marks in total and on a AQA you can also get multiple choice questions on anywhere in the papers which are worth 1 mark each.

The papers begin easier and get harder as you go through, and any topic could appear anywhere on the paper. It’s really important that you try to get these easy questions right. Whatever tier you’re doing.

So there are two main things to focus on when revising for your GCSE exam. The first thing is learning your key facts. These are things like definitions of words such as factor, multiple and prime. Fraction, decimal percentage equivalents. And then formula for things like area and volume.

You can learn these by using the retrieval practice questions in your revision guides to test yourself, get your friends and family to help and test you as well. Also put these on flash cards and use these to help you to learn them.

Making sure that you know these facts thoroughly helps you to free up your working memory to concentrate on the more tricky exam questions.

So the second tip for your GCSE maths revision is to practice as many of these questions as possible. Start by using your revision guide to practice the topic specific questions, and once you’re happy with how to do all the techniques, move on to tackling the more difficult exam questions which could contain any topic or mixed together.

There are some techniques to help you to do these questions. Firstly, try to write down anything that you might know that relates to the question when you start it, this might help you to see what to do.

Secondly, make sure that you annotate on diagrams, and you write notes saying what you’re doing at each step.

Make sure that you’re always writing down the calculations that you keep key into your calculator and then always go back and check the question at the end to see that you have answered it fully. You’ve added it to the correct number of decimal places, and you fully simplified.

So my top five tips for GCSE maths revision are;

1. Revise little and often as much as possible, but only a little bit. At a time
2. Test yourself on key facts and make sure that you know these thoroughly.
3. Practice questions, mark them and then get help with anything you don’t understand.
4. Do as many questions as possible.
5. Start to do exam papers closer to your exam under exam conditions so that you get used to being an stressful situation and you don’t find it so stressful when you get to your final exam.

Good luck!

Revision books

AQA GCSE Mathematics: Foundation

Revise everything you need to know to do well in AQA GCSE Foundation Mathematics. You will build your confidence with practice that’s tailored to the Foundation paper.

AQA GCSE Mathematics: Higher

Revise and practice everything you need to do well in Edexcel GCSE Foundation Maths. You’ll get support that’s tailored to the Foundation paper, so that it’s at the right level to build your confidence.