The First 5 Tips for Revising Mathematics

This summer nearly 85,000 UK students will sit examinations in Mathematics for A level. As the examination season approaches, Greene’s Mathematics Co-ordinator, Patrick Finch-Noyes, shares his top five tips for preparing for C1 and C2 Mathematics examinations.

1. Minutes = Marks

When sitting practice papers, and eventually in the real examination itself, this rule is handy for dividing up your time on each problem. Students should spend roughly as many minutes on an examination question as the question itself is worth; 1 minute per 1 mark. This will also leave you with some time at the end to check your answers and to retry the most difficult questions.

2. Move on when you are stuck

In every examination, there will be the easy marks to gain – and the less easy marks. If you find yourself stuck on a particular problem, move on to the next one. You can always come back to the tough questions once you have got the maximum marks on the questions that are easier.

3. Show your ideas in your working out

On Mathematics papers, the majority of marks are given for showing that you know the concepts behind the problems. This means you will earn most of your marks by demonstrating the formulae, methods and ideas behind your approach to an answer. Do this first and worry about arriving at the final answer later. Doing the algebra to get the final answer is less important than showing that you understand the concepts behind the question.

4. Remember +c!

The easiest marks to get, as well as the easiest marks to lose, are those that demand that you know this crucial rule for integration. Sometimes there will be one mark for just writing +c, sometimes you are given the co-ordinates of a point and you can find the value of c. Including +c when integrating means that those easy marks won’t escape you during examination time.

5. Radians v. degrees

When doing trigonometry problems, the most common error students make is forgetting to check if the problem measures angles in degrees or radians. Check this first and then adjust your calculator appropriately.

Follow these steps as you revise and approach C1 and C2 Maths with confidence!

Studying for C3and C4 instead? Stay tuned for our next set up revision tips, or find out more about revising for Maths at Greene’s!

Article last updated:April 16, 2021