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Preparing for Maths GCSE

Top revision tips from a top teacher and strategy game inventor

Emerging from a two year long global pandemic there is an accepted consensus that the world of education has suffered enormously from the impact of Covid. Young people who have had sporadic levels of support at school and disrupted learning will now be feeling the pressure more than usual as we draw closer to the GCSE exams.


Christopher Curtis was the youngest Head Maths teacher in the UK ever after only 2 years as a teacher and in post from 1989 at Frome College in Somerset for 22 years. Alongside teaching Chris is now the inventor of Prometheus, the modern strategy game to rival chess and is helping young people overcome Maths anxiety. Chris has helped tens of thousands of young people prepare for Maths exams and overcome Maths anxiety over his 35 + years as a Maths teacher.

With the Easter holidays coming up here are Chris’ top ten revision tips to help young people prepare for the Maths GCSE exam:

  • Keep up to date with the Syllabi: Before you start your revision make sure you are completely up to date with any changes due to the disruption to your studies from the global pandemic such as formula sheets and what facts need to be remembered.

  • Invest in an A3 sketch pad: Promise yourself to create your very own posters on key topics in your own words and using your own diagrams. If you are seeking some ideas about layout, take a look at the revision cards on www.corbettmaths.co.uk.

  • Use visualisation/manifestation techniques: When you wake up each day, have a few moments to reflect on the day ahead and try to visualise how the day could unfold. Successful sports stars use visualisation techniques regularly and imagine themselves lifting a prized trophy.

  • Set doable targets each day: Make sure you have eaten and are hydrated before you start your revision. Give yourself doable revision tasks each day which work with your ultimate attention span– this can vary from 20-45 minutes per task. Give yourself a treat when you have completed your daily revision e.g. chocolate, meet up with friends, play a board game etc. Always go over what you have learnt the day before at the beginning each day.

  • Reduce screen time: Make sure that your phone is stored downstairs and away from your bedroom. Time saved by reducing computer games will be hugely beneficial in the long run.

  • Organise a revision buddy: Team up with a friend on a similar level to you to do revision with - you can share your knowledge and learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, plus keep each other motivated. Plus, it is more fun with a revision buddy!

  • Flash cards – the more colourful and the unique to you the better. Adding pictures to your cards can make them a lot more memorable, and a combination of pictures, words and numbers is fine too.

  • Learn formulas in stories – make the formulas come alive by creating a story behind what they mean. If you are an artist or like drawing sketch the story in a visual format to further root the formula in your mind. It is very successful and maximises method marks.

  • Use your family members as guinea pigs – tell the stories about the formulas to family members in a lively fun way, a bit like charades! This will further help you remember them in exams.

  • Play strategy board games – Chess, drafts and the latest modern strategy game Prometheus are examples of board games that can kill 2 birds with one stone – they are a way to relax and unwind with friends after revising but also help also develop good problem-solving skills necessary for the application of studying maths and the sciences.

One final note: Be kind to yourself and never forget how far you have come already. At the end of the day when you collect your results, just put your hand on your heart and say 'I have done my best'. No one can expect more than this from you. Good Luck!

For more info on Prometheus go to: https://www.prometheusconcept.com/

Please join our fun board game day @ the Cheese and Grain on 11th April!

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