You might need a maths qualification to get onto a higher education course like engineering. Or maybe you want to pursue a career in accounting. Or you might be naturally talented at solving mathematical problems. Whatever your reasons for studying A-Level maths, you’ll want to ensure that you pass your exams the first time. Otherwise, all those hours of study will go to waste.
A-Level maths is notoriously more difficult than GCSE maths. As well as requiring you to work more independently, you’ll learn about topics in much more depth, and the questions you’ll be asked in the exams will be more complex.
While A-Level maths does have a pass rate of around 96 percent, the vast majority of students wouldn’t be able to pass without putting in the hard work and preparing thoroughly. With that in mind, we’ve written this list of study tips to help give you the best chance of passing A-Level maths.
Table of Contents
What are some top tips for passing A-Level maths?
You can increase your chances of passing A-Level maths by drawing up a study plan, finding a study technique that works for you, remembering to look over your classroom notes, and practicing answering past papers.
It can also help to join a study group, speak to previous students, and ask for help when needed. Make sure you look after yourself and answer exam questions as clearly as possible.
Continue reading to find out more about these top tips.
Nine top tips to pass A-Level maths
1. Draw up a study plan
The best way to ensure that you’re staying on track with your studies is to draw up a studying timetable. It will save you from cramming everything in at the last minute and help you focus on the areas that need the most attention.
Try not to be too rigid with when and how much you study maths each day, though, as this can add unnecessary stress if you feel you’ve not done quite enough. So, be flexible and remember that for some weeks, your main focus will be maths, while others will require you to spend more time on your other A-Level subjects.
2. Find a study technique that works for you.
Every student has their own preferred method of studying. So if you find one that works best for you, don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong because it’s different from everyone else’s. As long as you understand all the information and remember what you’ve learned, you’re on the right track to passing A-Level maths.
Some of the study techniques you might find helpful include:
- Color-coded sticky notes
- Highlighting important information
- Mind maps
3. Don’t forget your classroom notes
Remember to read the notes you took during your maths lessons and textbooks, online resources, and revision notes when revising for your exams. If you go back over what you learned in class, you’ll likely come across important nuggets of information you’d forgotten about—especially if you’re looking over your notes from the first year.
While we’re on the topic of classroom notes, reviewing them after each lesson is good to ensure you’ve understood everything you’ve been taught and help you remember it more easily.
4. Practice past papers
To increase your confidence and give you an idea of what to expect from the exams, it’s wise to practice doing some past papers. To get the most out of this exercise, treat each past paper as though it were your real exam. This means you should stick to all the instructions and time limits and take them as seriously as possible.
Doing A-Level papers from other exam boards can help you even further. It will enable you to understand the different ways questions can be framed.
5. Join a study group
As with any subject, studying with your peers can be extremely beneficial. Getting together with other people in your class will enable you to test each other and discuss anything you are unsure about, as well as being beneficial in terms of moral support.
6. Speak to previous students
As with the previous tip, speaking to past students can help you better understand a particular topic. This is because they may be able to answer a question you have in a way you haven’t heard before.
They will also be able to give you an insight into the dedication and mindset that’s needed to pass A-Level maths.
7. Ask for help
We’ve all heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” And this is never more true than when you’re studying for your A-Levels. It’s your teacher’s job to give you the best chance of passing A-Level maths, so if there’s anything you don’t understand, you should always feel as though you can go to them for help.
In addition to asking teachers, your parents, or other students for help, there are plenty of internet resources, for example, online calculators, that allow you to check your answers to tricky questions.
8. Look after yourself
While studying hard and putting the hours in is important, you also need to know when to call it for the day. After multiple hours of study, it’s natural for your concentration level to drop and information to stop going in, so take a break when you need to.
A healthy body equals a healthy mind, so remember to drink lots of water, eat regular meals, exercise gently, and get enough sleep—especially the night before the exam.
There’s no denying the importance of passing A-Level maths, but try not to be too hard on yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, don’t be afraid to seek help from a parent or teacher.
9. Give clear answers
When the time finally comes to sit your A-Level maths exam, remember to answer each question as clearly as possible so the examiner can award you the marks you deserve. As long as you write legibly and with clarity, don’t worry about writing too much, because if your working out is right, but your answer is wrong, you can still get marks.
Featured Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay