The Student Room Group

Retaking GCSE Maths at age 23

Hi all, so keep it short but back when i was in school i failed by GCSE maths and got a D, i never re-sat them, however now later in life i'm regretting that decision and I've applied to re-sit my GCSE maths at college. It's 1 night a week doing foundation M2-M6 papers. I want to get my life back on track and possibly university however a lot will only take GCSE Grade C. Basically what i'm asking is has anyone got any tips for me on revision and has anyone done this their self? i'm working and doing my last year in an HND but i'm willing to knuckle down and try get this done.
First off, you should be mega proud for getting back into this. I got a 7 at GCSE and was pretty chuffed with that (equivalent of an old A grade) and here's my advice:

1. Practice papers. The only decider of your grade is going to be an exam, so you need to get good at doing them.
2. Don't cheat yourself. If you find something boring or tedious don't avoid it. That's where you're going to lose your marks. Practice it more until you enjoy it. If you didn't know something in a practice paper you're going to spend the next week committing yourself to doing only that.
3. YouTube. Watch as many different videos of the same mathmatical concept that you can on things you don't undertsand. You'll get it eventually.
4. Flashcards. Use these for remembering formulas, equations, and definitions, and especially for the circle theorms.
5. CGP book. Buy the revision guides and as many practice books you can afford. You're going to do these before you get started with your practice papers.

The thing is about maths is if you practice anything enough times it all actually becomes really easy.

I wish you the best and good luck with everthing. Reply for any more questions!
Original post by amckibben
Hi all, so keep it short but back when i was in school i failed by GCSE maths and got a D, i never re-sat them, however now later in life i'm regretting that decision and I've applied to re-sit my GCSE maths at college. It's 1 night a week doing foundation M2-M6 papers. I want to get my life back on track and possibly university however a lot will only take GCSE Grade C. Basically what i'm asking is has anyone got any tips for me on revision and has anyone done this their self? i'm working and doing my last year in an HND but i'm willing to knuckle down and try get this done.


Hi
I haven't been in your exact position but I can give you some general revision tips :smile:

Firstly, find out about your board (sounds like CCEA from the paper names but I'm not sure). There might be a good revision guide you could get for fairly cheap and you also need to know your board so you can look at past papers. If it is CCEA then bitesize has a section on it I think and they generally explain things very concisely with lots of examples which is good if you don't have much time to spend.
If you're out of practise with maths I would definitely say focus on getting fast and reliable on the basics - rearranging equations, working with fractions, finding percentages, finding areas of shapes - that sort of thing. You can pick up a lot of marks by consistently getting those simpler questions right.
Once you're feeling reasonably confident with something off bitesize/whatever revision book try to find a past paper question (preferably from your board) on it and apply it in that context.
Do as many past papers as possible (available on the board's website) in the run up to the actual papers so that you're used to the layout and the way the questions are asked.
Well done for committing to a resit - I know a couple people that resat from 18 year olds to 40 year olds and none of them have regretted it. Good luck!
I feel you bro, I have just finished retaking maths at 18 during my a levels. I got a 5 in year 11 but needed a 6 for university. My advice is to use mathsgenie.com they have everything you need in order of grades, they also have past papers and exam questions.

I really wouldn't sweat it though, It isn't as bad as you might think!
good luck.
Reply 4
Original post by ziggy03
First off, you should be mega proud for getting back into this. I got a 7 at GCSE and was pretty chuffed with that (equivalent of an old A grade) and here's my advice:

1. Practice papers. The only decider of your grade is going to be an exam, so you need to get good at doing them.
2. Don't cheat yourself. If you find something boring or tedious don't avoid it. That's where you're going to lose your marks. Practice it more until you enjoy it. If you didn't know something in a practice paper you're going to spend the next week committing yourself to doing only that.
3. YouTube. Watch as many different videos of the same mathmatical concept that you can on things you don't undertsand. You'll get it eventually.
4. Flashcards. Use these for remembering formulas, equations, and definitions, and especially for the circle theorms.
5. CGP book. Buy the revision guides and as many practice books you can afford. You're going to do these before you get started with your practice papers.

The thing is about maths is if you practice anything enough times it all actually becomes really easy.

I wish you the best and good luck with everthing. Reply for any more questions!


Thank you so much! Confidence is what i'm needing right now, congrats on your grade 7, it's difficult for me after 6 odd years re-learning it all again.

Luckily i already purchased some old test papers so going to start them, you tube is great, when i done them there wasn't much on the subjects now there's loads. Thank you for all the advice i'm really going to take it into account and try keep my brain running 24/7 on maths so i don't lose focus.

Thank you and Cheers for the reply!

Original post by yesjess73
Hi
I haven't been in your exact position but I can give you some general revision tips :smile:

Firstly, find out about your board (sounds like CCEA from the paper names but I'm not sure). There might be a good revision guide you could get for fairly cheap and you also need to know your board so you can look at past papers. If it is CCEA then bitesize has a section on it I think and they generally explain things very concisely with lots of examples which is good if you don't have much time to spend.
If you're out of practise with maths I would definitely say focus on getting fast and reliable on the basics - rearranging equations, working with fractions, finding percentages, finding areas of shapes - that sort of thing. You can pick up a lot of marks by consistently getting those simpler questions right.
Once you're feeling reasonably confident with something off bitesize/whatever revision book try to find a past paper question (preferably from your board) on it and apply it in that context.
Do as many past papers as possible (available on the board's website) in the run up to the actual papers so that you're used to the layout and the way the questions are asked.
Well done for committing to a resit - I know a couple people that resat from 18 year olds to 40 year olds and none of them have regretted it. Good luck!


Hi

Yes you're spot on, my board is CCEA, after your comment i took a look on amazon and actually found a revision guide plus the m2 and m6 past papers!

I'm literally starting out with the basics to get the cogs in my brain moving, never had to use maths much since i left school so i'm almost re-learning it. In a few months i'm going to get started on the past papers as the exam probably won't be until next year, but still doing bits here and there but want to enjoy my summer before i get into the full swing of things.

Thank you for the boost of confidence, it feels so strange going back and re-sitting it but I've been reading up on adults re-doing it and passing and your comment about the people you've known has helped me greatly!.

Original post by Realganpatrao69
I feel you bro, I have just finished retaking maths at 18 during my a levels. I got a 5 in year 11 but needed a 6 for university. My advice is to use mathsgenie.com they have everything you need in order of grades, they also have past papers and exam questions.

I really wouldn't sweat it though, It isn't as bad as you might think!
good luck.


Hey!

Thanks for the reply man, hope you got the result you wanted and thanks, checked out that mathsgenie and my god there is a lot on it, seems like a lot of really helpful stuff!.

I'm trying not to sweat it too much, but i've a sick feeling in my stomach knowing next year i'll be re-sitting it, however over the summer i'm going to do a few bits to keep my mind focuses and once the course starts i'll get into the full swing of things.

Cheers for the reply and confidence boost! greatly appreciated!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by amckibben
Basically what i'm asking is has anyone got any tips for me on revision and has anyone done this their self? i'm working and doing my last year in an HND but i'm willing to knuckle down and try get this done.


My suggestion would not be think about revision at the start of the process. Revision is what you do to review content and prepare for tests. You need to focus on learning the content and getting comfortable with it first. Look for study tips, not revision tips.
i was naturally good at math, didnt revise and got a grade 7. with GCSE maths you can literally just do practice and watch videos and get a good grade, but i do A level maths now and its such a big step up
Reply 7
Original post by amckibben
Hi all, so keep it short but back when i was in school i failed by GCSE maths and got a D, i never re-sat them, however now later in life i'm regretting that decision and I've applied to re-sit my GCSE maths at college. It's 1 night a week doing foundation M2-M6 papers. I want to get my life back on track and possibly university however a lot will only take GCSE Grade C. Basically what i'm asking is has anyone got any tips for me on revision and has anyone done this their self? i'm working and doing my last year in an HND but i'm willing to knuckle down and try get this done.


Hi there, just wanted to say well done for being courageous enough to want to resit Maths after so many years of not doing it!

I’d 100% recommend a website called Corbett maths where they have videos on every topic and practise questions too!

Dr Frost also has great PowerPoints on topics and questions too!
Hey! I did this just last year as I needed a grade 6 for Computer Science - I hadn't practiced Maths for a good 7-8 years at that point and it was never really my strongest subject to begin with. But I basically went back to my old college as an external student, studied on my own time, and managed to get a grade 7! It's definitely possible.

I'd HIGHLY recommend GCSE Maths Tutor on YouTube, they have a topic for everything and teach things in such an easy to understand way > https://www.youtube.com/@TheGCSEMathsTutor

And above all practice past papers! I can also vouch for CGP books also, they were a great starting point coming back into Maths and relearning the fundamentals after so long.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 9
Original post by amckibben
Hi all, so keep it short but back when i was in school i failed by GCSE maths and got a D, i never re-sat them, however now later in life i'm regretting that decision and I've applied to re-sit my GCSE maths at college. It's 1 night a week doing foundation M2-M6 papers. I want to get my life back on track and possibly university however a lot will only take GCSE Grade C. Basically what i'm asking is has anyone got any tips for me on revision and has anyone done this their self? i'm working and doing my last year in an HND but i'm willing to knuckle down and try get this done.

hey man. congratulations. it takes a lot to get back into it and i can say you will probably be very chuffed in the future. my old scince teacher (phd) did his gcse english retake at 29 but he cam very far. as someone who is doing my gcses next year but still does a lot of revision, i find that past papers are the best rescource. also get your hands on some cgp books or flashcards.

Quick Reply