Gcse maths edexcel foundation tricks of the trade

Here are 5 big pointers to take into account when taking your GCSE Maths foundation exam:

1) Break the question up into parts: Sometimes a question will require several steps to solve it. That's why it's important to break the question up into parts (part 1, part 2 etc.). Generally, a good guide to break it up is to divide each new sentence or new piece of information. Then, work out each part in turn. When you've done this, see how each answer is related. How can you bring all of these answers together to shape your final answer?

2) Highlight key words/phrases: This follows on from my previous point. By doing so, you can only focus on the key words/phrases as opposed to the entire question. At first view, the question may appear to be quite 'wordy' or difficult but by highlighting key words/phrases you reduce the problem somewhat. Some bits of information may be uneccessary or irrelevant to the question.

3) The common-sense approach: The beauty of GCSE foundation maths is a large part of the paper is common sense. If you're strong at basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), you're home and dry. Towards the end of the paper (last few questions) is where it can get tricky. Try to get full marks on all those questions which are common-sense! If you do, you're not far off from achieving that all-important 'C' grade.

4) Formulas: There are a few formulas that you need to learn for your GCSE maths exam. At the start of the exam, jot down all the formulas you know on a separate piece of paper - formulas such as area, mean etc. This is for ease of reference. For instance, if you're on a data question, you can just refer to the formulas which involve the mean, median, mode and range. You won't need anything else.

5) Verification: This means double-check your answers! Once you've completed a question, read-over it again and check if you've indeed used the right method. If you don't do this after each question, skim through the entire paper at the end. You will be surprised by how many silly mistakes you make due to exam pressure. You can save up to a massive 10% of the total marks.

Make sure you keep a mental note of these pointers in the exam. It can potentially save you a handful of marks!