In a recent Wrong But Useful podcast, @reflectivemaths (who is Dave Gale in real life) asked the audience to: Prove that the sum of five consecutive square numbers is never a square. This one's a bit easier than it looks: I chose to call the middle number of the five

Read More →Most of the students I help have a pretty good grasp of the three straightforward power laws: $(x^a)^b = x^{ab}$ $x^a \times x^b = x^{a+b}$ $x^a \div x^b = x^{a-b}$ So far, so dandy - and usually good enough if you're hoping for a B at GCSE. The trouble comes

Read More →Need help with problem-solving? Fill out the short blue form on the left and get free tips on how to approach maths questions - delivered direct to your inbox twice a week → If you ever study GCSE vectors questions, you'll spot a pattern: there's normally a (relatively) straightforward first

Read More →If you ever study GCSE vectors questions, you'll spot a pattern: there's normally a (relatively) straightforward first part which involves writing down a few vectors, and then something like "show that points $O$, $X$ and $Y$ lie on a straight line." Pretty much every student I've ever worked with on

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Posted in gcse, reader questions.

A student asks: I'm currently getting a G in maths and I need to get a C within 6 months - what am I going to do? Help! I wish I had a magic bullet for you, but I'm afraid the bad news is you'll need to work quite hard

Read More →Ever since I’ve been teaching GCSE maths, I’ve struggled to explain one topic more than any other: how to find a centre of rotation. There are several ways students approach this problem. There’s the “I dunno” way, sometimes disguised as “I dunno where to start.” This is the kind of

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Posted in algebra, factorising, gcse.

A quick, one-off masterclass in how to put things into brackets today - six methods of factorising you need to know to do well at GCSE maths. (1) Common number $3a + 6$ two terms (letter and number, no squares) you can divide them both by 3 $3 \times a

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Posted in gcse.

Adrian from Adrian Beckett Maths Tutors has kindly contributed a guest post. We LOOOOOVES guest posts at Flying Colours - if you have something about Maths you want to get off your chest, do drop me an email. For a lot of people, getting a C in GCSE Maths can

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Posted in gcse.

Adrian from Adrian Beckett Maths Tutors has kindly contributed a guest post. We LOOOOOVES guest posts at Flying Colours - if you have something about Maths you want to get off your chest, do drop me an email. For a lot of people, getting a C in GCSE Maths can

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Posted in exam technique, gcse, revision.

A reader, concerned for a friend sitting GCSE, asks: A friend of mine needs to pass GCSE maths for his uni course and is struggling -- any tips on books/sites? He's just failed the Foundation so he's now going for the Higher as the score needed for a C is

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