Posted in exam technique, gcse.

I imagine, if one put one's mind to it, one could acquire copies of this year's paper online - however, many schools plan to use it as a mock for next year's candidates. In view of that, and at the request of my top-secret source, I'm not sharing the actual

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Posted in exam technique, gcse.

Reports are filtering in to Flying Colours Towers about the mock exams recently taken by year 11s. Words like 'bloodbath' and 'disaster' feature prominently (my students, I should add, have acquitted themselves well and are in line to be mentioned in dispatches for bravery.) There's a reason the new-style papers

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Posted in gcse, quadratics, trigonometry.

It's not often I have anything nice to say about EdExcel. I've usually found their exams to be the most predictable and least thought-provoking of all the boards (at least until they finally snapped in 2013 and let Kate the Photographer loose on an unsuspecting cohort). At GCSE, their advanced

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Posted in gcse, there's more than one way to do it.

A student asks: I don't get the Venn diagram method for highest common factor and least common multiple. Do you have any other suggestions? As it happens, I do. I'm assuming you're OK with finding the prime factorisation of a number using (for example) a factor tree. In this example,

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Posted in gcse, probability, ranting.

Gosh, who would have thought it? 15,000 students (at the time of writing) have signed a petition to get EdExcel to change the grade boundaries for Thursday's non-calculator GCSE paper. Good luck with that. The boundaries will have been set using magic statistics, and either have been or will be

Read More →On Twitter, @tessmaths asks: What's the thing you will do in the last lesson before GCSE maths exam this week? #mathsTLP — Tess Maths (@tessmaths) May 31, 2015 ... which is such a good question, it would be rude not to answer. Here's what I'll be doing with my GCSE

Read More →A reader asks: I need to solve $\frac ac \frac {NP}{N_0 + N} = mP$ for $N$, and I don't know where to start. Help! I had a maths teacher in the early 90s who loved nothing more than making the class groan with bad jokes. If she showed up

Read More →Don't get me wrong: I love tutoring. As long as a student is putting in a genuine effort, I'm happy to forgive the odd "I don't know" or "We haven't been taught that." And my students do put in the effort. I thank them for it. But there are some

Read More →Note: this post is only about arithmetic and quadratic sequences for GCSE. Geometric and other series, you're on your own. Quite how the Mathematical Ninja had set up his classroom so that a boulder would roll through it at precisely that moment, the student didn't have time to ponder. He

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Posted in gcse.

A student asks: Why do you multiply by 1.07 if you're adding 7%? I thought 7% was 0.07. You're quite right - 0.07 is exactly the same thing as 7% (and, if you like, $\frac{7}{100}$). However, if you're adding on 7%, you need to multiply by 1.07, and here's why.

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