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100 Days to go

February 15, 2018 Comments off

The aim of this post is to give some advice on the approach to your GCSE maths exam. With around 3 months left to prepare, big gains can still be made. If you have sat mock exams earlier in the year, those grades can still be brought up by 1 or even possibly 2 grades with determination and working strategically… but remember time is of the essence, so you must begin now.

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The Right Tools for the Job ∼ 1 or 2 days

As your time is so valuable right now, I would recommend trying to get these sorted out as quickly as possible… perhaps even ask a parent or sibling if they can help you out.

  • Equipment: black pens (lots), pencils (HB), 30cm ruler, Casio scientific calculator , a pair of compasses (compass), protractor, eraser and sharpener.
  • Past papers: ask your teacher which exam board you are sitting. Past papers can usually be found on their websites. Here are some useful links: Mr Barton Maths, Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC, CCEA, Corbettmaths (*sorry I currently only have Edexcel Higher, but will be adding lots more over the next few months)
  • Revision Cards  – as these have QR links to video tutorials, practice questions and answers, they will help you work efficiently through any topics requiring attention.
  • Video Tutorials and Practice Questions

First Steps ∼ 2 days

As time is limited and there are a lot of topics, the first thing I would recommend is that you identify your strengths and less confident topics.

Have you been given a list from your teacher? Quite often teachers give their students a list of topics they need to work on based on mock exams. They may be called PLCs or an exam analysis. They will give you an idea of some topics that require attention.

Use these checklists for Higher and Foundation to identify your strengths and areas needing attention. Your PLC/exam analysis may be helpful, alternatively browse the Practice Questions here to help you decide if you are confident or not for each topic.

Highlighted Revision Checklist

  •  Use the Corbettmaths Revision Cards and sort the cards into groups: (a) confident (b) need to revise and possibly (c) unfamiliar with. This is shown below by @Tessmaths. These can then be highlighted on the revision checklist.

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I strongly recommend that you double check with your teacher what topics she/he are yet to teach. With around 3 months left, there may be a few last remaining topics and it can be very useful to know what these are. It may even be worthwhile to give yourself a preview using the videos here

Get Stuck in ∼ 8 weeks

This list of topics needing attention will become a key component of your revision over the next 8 weeks. The revision checklist above has around 40 topics, so that would be around 5 topics per week – perhaps 3 on a weekend day and 2 during the week.

When focussing on a topic, I would recommend:

  1. Watch the video shown on the checklist, so for “Angles in Polygons,” that would be video 25 on www.corbettmaths.com/contents. I would recommend watching it twice, making some notes during the second viewing.
  2. Try the Practice Questions – these can be found next to video 25 on the contents page.
  3. Mark your work using the answers – links to these can be found on the contents page.
  4. Once confident, cross it off on the revision checklist. If you need a little bit more help, I’m sure your teacher would be more than happy to help you during a break/lunch if you ask nicely (I’m certain they would be impressed by how proactive you are!).

Repeat this process for all the topics needing attention.

You might find that you actually recap some of the topics on your list during your lessons… I know I would regularly ask my classes what they would like to recap in the weeks before the exam, once we had finished teaching new material.

During this 8 week spell, it is extremely important to continue practising all the topics on the list. To some extent, this will naturally happen during your lessons and via further mocks/practice tests within school, however I would definitely recommend you work on your 5-a-days. They are a great way to keep revisiting all the topics that will be on your GCSE exams. Alternatively, feel free to work on the odd past paper.

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Past Papers, Past Papers, Past Papers ∼ 6 weeks

By around the Easter holidays (or during it), you should have reduced your list of topics needing attention to a small handful. Hopefully by now everything will be coming together and you should be feeling a lot more confident overall. Now is the time to get stuck into past papers.

Try to vary how you attempt these:

  • individually in timed conditions
  • individually with notes
  • along with peers, discussing how you would attempt each question
  • I’m sure you will be completing lots within school also

Most importantly, make sure you mark your work and understand where you are making mistakes. You may find that you re-visit your checklists and recap some topics using the videos/questions.

Along with the past papers, try to mix up your revision, perhaps revisiting notes and using your revision cards

The Final Week ∼ 1 week

With around a week to go, personally I would ease off the past papers. The main reasons being:

(a) by this stage you probably have done every paper (twice!)

(b) sods law you will find the one and only question that you just cannot get your head around and that might rock your confidence… the chances of that one particular question coming up is slim. Considering a grade 9 was 190/240, there will be the odd question that will stump you, but you can still go on to get the top grades!

(c) By this stage you may have started sitting your GCSEs for other subjects.

At this stage I would recommend:

  • recapping notes/revision cards
  • watching videos and attempting questions on particular topics
  • asking your teacher to recap topics X & Y
  • working through 5-a-days or past papers with peers

The night before and day of the exam

See this dedicated blog post on the night before and day of the exam – COMING SOON

Also see these upcoming blog posts

  • How to tackle those “wordy questions” – COMING SOON
  • How to tackle those “curveball” questions – COMING SOON

I really hope this post has helped give you some ideas for your maths revision and GOOD LUCK

If you are looking for videos/questions on a particular topic or need help with a particular question, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form or Twitter

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel  for the latest videos added

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Categories: Blog

Video URLs for Whitelisting

October 3, 2017 Comments off

The link below contains all the Video URLs and also Embed links that can be found on Corbettmaths.

Corbettmaths Video URLs

If you have any questions, please just get in touch using the Contact Form.

Categories: Blog

Classroom Idea: LED Light Display

September 28, 2017 Comments off

LED Light Display

Over the past few weeks I have noticed lots of photos on Facebook from friends using LED Light Displays to announce birthdays etc. Instantly I wondered if they could be used to enhance my classroom and capture students’ attention – perhaps with key words, messages or even mathematical formulae or prompts (such as SOH CAH TOA)

So I picked up 2 displays for £10 and began thinking of how they could be used.

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Ideas:

  • Key words
  • Prompts such as SOH CAH TOA
  • Countdown activity for extension work – 1 display with target number, 1 with numbers to be used
  • Messages such as good luck
  • Homework, e.g. Page 75 Ex. 3A
  • Corbettmaths Video number for the lesson being taught, e.g. Video 257 could be the text when teaching a lesson on Pythagoras
  • Can be attached easily to a wall with two screws so can be displayed in prominent location such as beside the whiteboard.

Potential issues:

  • Ensuring you have enough letters (Mine had 3 of many letters and 2 of others and 2 of each number). It was useful buying two displays as I could display “Video 222” with the additional numbers from the second set.
  • Requires batteries
  • Letters could be rearranged by a creative student (or colleague)

I personally plan to use the displays to “highlight” the video that accompanies the lesson being taught as it will be very quick and easy to change the number beneath the word video.

Categories: Blog

Revision Card Displays

August 28, 2017 Comments off

Last summer I created a display for my classroom using the Corbettmaths Revision Cards. I have to say the display was one of the most useful classroom displays that I’ve ever had. From students quickly running up to check their knowledge of “exact trig values” to students jotting down key facts from topics they were less confident on.

One of the my favourite uses over the year was in the final approach to the actual exams. At this point student were confident in highlighting their strengths/weaknesses from extensive past papers and assessment, they would visit the display and use the card but also the QR code for the videos and questions to spend 20-30 minutes solidly working on the needed topics. The display became such a big part of revision that some students would bring their own sets of the revision cards into lessons.

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This display covers around 40 of the 90 cards, with another display at the back of the classroom. As the QR codes are an important part of the display, I actually used two sets to make the display, one showing the front the card and another beneath it showing the back. The display took around 30 minutes in total to make.

However over the past year, many teachers on Twitter have shared their own displays, which are even better than my own.

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I particularly like the displays that use the “hanging photo curtains,” as they can be easily reversed to find the QR codes.

Hopefully the Corbettmaths Revision Cards might be useful in helping you create a visually appealing learning environment but also that they will help your students with their GCSE studies.

There are big discounts for school bulk orders (potential savings of over 40%)

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AQA Paper 3 – Unseen Topics

June 9, 2017 Comments off

AQA Paper 3 – Unseen Topics

*These Checklists and Practice Papers are based on the topics that are “Unseen” or are usually more prominent. It is very important that students recap the entire GCSE course – as there are 3 Papers, it is almost certain that some topics from Papers 1 & 2 will appear on Paper 3.

The Practice Papers are collections of 60+ questions that have not appeared (or as much as usual) and therefore are not aimed to be predict the actual paper, but give practice on the topics that may a good chance of appearing.

These resources are aimed to supplement the usual revision that you would already be doing for Paper 3. Here are revision checklists for the entire GCSE (Higher) and (Foundation)

Higher Unseen Topics – Practice Paper

Higher Unseen Topics – Practice Paper answers

Foundation Unseen Topics – Practice Paper

Foundation Unseen Topics – Practice Paper answers

Unseen Topic List – Higher

Unseen Topic List – Foundation

 

 

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Categories: Blog, Predictions

Edexcel Paper 3 – Unseen Topics

June 9, 2017 Comments off

Edexcel Paper 3 – Unseen Topics

*These Checklists and Practice Papers are based on the topics that are “Unseen” or are usually more prominent. It is very important that students recap the entire GCSE course – as there are 3 Papers, it is almost certain that some topics from Papers 1 & 2 will appear on Paper 3.

The Practice Papers are collections of 60+ questions that have not appeared (or as much as usual) and therefore are not aimed to be predict the actual paper, but give practice on the topics that may a good chance of appearing.

These resources are aimed to supplement the usual revision that you would already be doing for Paper 3. Here are revision checklists for the entire GCSE (Higher) and (Foundation)

Higher Unseen Topics – Practice Paper

Higher Unseen Topics – Practice Paper answers

Foundation Unseen Topics – Practice Paper

Foundation Unseen Topics – Practice Paper answers

Unseen Topic List – Higher

Unseen Topic List – Foundation

 

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Categories: Blog, Predictions

Merry Christmas 2016

December 22, 2016 Comments off

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone for using Corbettmaths this year. 2016 has been the busiest year for the website, both in terms of resources added and also the number of people viewing the site.

The charity SHINE have really supported me with the creation of the textbook exercises, which will be put together as freely downloadable eBooks. They supported me through 28 days off work in June/July 2016 and plan to help with with a further 30 days in June/July 2017. If you have a project which can help raise attainment in disadvantaged students, keep an eye out for the Let Teachers Shine competition in 2017.

So I just want to say a big thank you for your messages and for recommending the website to others.

Resources added

2016 has been an exciting year for Corbettmaths. There has been much added to the website:

23 booklets of GCSE Practice Questions

1131 5-a-day sheets for the New GCSE

35 videos

181 textbook exercises

Also there has been the addition of the Corbettmaths GCSE Revision Cards

Record number of views

This year has been a special year for the website, with nearly 10,500,000 views. This is a big increase from 4,800,000 in 2015 and 750,000 in 2014. Again thank you! 

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The future

Over the past 5 years of working on the website, I have been teaching a full timetable as well as extra school responsibilities. Although I absolutely love teaching, it has been hard juggling work, the website and having a young family.

In 2017, I will begin teaching part-time and also will be relocating to Northern Ireland (don’t worry I will still focus on AQA/Edexcel/OCR/WJEC as well as CCEA). On that note, if there’s a maths teaching job coming up in September 2017 onwards in your school in Northern Ireland, I’d love to hear from you 😀

With the extra time to dedicate to the website, I will be focusing on:

  • Completing the GCSE eBooks (supported by SHINE)
  • Creating the primary 5-a-day (again supported by SHINE)
  • Adding lots of GCSE videos and practice questions
  • Creating a primary section with practice questions and videos
  • Then I will be focusing on A-level resources.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Categories: Blog