IGCSE Maths Revision Tips To Help You Today

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IGCSE Maths revision can be tough. This makes finding the right approach for the upcoming exams extremely important.

So whether you are stuck, or just want to look for ideas to put a final polish on your revision, this post is exactly what you need. With our IGCSE Maths revision tips, the top grade can be within your reach. We give you ideas on how to get started, avoid procrastination and revise to give you the best chance to get the best grade possible.

Why Can Maths IGCSE Revision be so Hard?

IGCSE Maths features a relatively large syllabus loaded with equations, formulas, and quite difficult concepts. So don’t worry, you won’t be the only person to think this way.

You need to master their application in practice. To do so, it is vital to develop abstract thinking, critical analyses, and strong problem-solving skills.

Some students naturally have a talent for Maths and find it easy to understand conceptions and solve equations. Others have to put much more effort to get a top grade, or to just get through.

If you’re in the latter category, you need to be ready to invest time on your IGCSE Maths revision. Here, we have compiled a few tried-and-true tactics to help you.

Let’s dive in!

How Should You Prepare for the IGCSE Exams?

If Maths is your strength, you’re in luck. This doesn’t, however, mean that you should skip IGCSE Maths preparation whatsoever. Chances are, there are topics that still make you struggle or Maths skills that could have been better. Your best bet is to focus on these weak points during the revision.

If Maths isn’t really your thing, it can be frustrating as you have to work even harder during the revision period. It’s better to start as early as possible to go over all the topics in the syllabus carefully and consistently. Make sure to break these topics into three categories:

  1. The ones that you don’t know or don’t understand.
  2. The ones you are confident with.
  3. Everything in between.

Put the most difficult topics at the top of your study schedule and allocate the most time to work on them. You might want to start with the topics you like the most or find easiest, but don’t fall into this trap. The topics that you know well enough can go at the end, making sure you have time to cover them all.

IGCSE Maths Revision Tips to Boost Your Grades

Now that you know how to organise your time, let us share some practical tips for thorough revision.

1. Find the best type of studying for you

Some students learn best on their own. They work through problems, write flashcards, do mock tests, etc. This is a great revision tactic but it doesn’t work for everyone. Luckily, there are alternative ways you can go.

For example, you can prepare for your Maths assessment in a group. Your friends likely have a good understanding of certain topics, while your grasp of some concepts is better. Studying together can be really beneficial in terms of sharing information and improving your skills. Even trying to explain complex concepts to your classmates (and vice versa) is a very effective form of learning. It can also be a lot more fun. However, make sure you don’t get distracted!

Are you a visual learner, or do you learn better when listening to or talking through a concept? We all learn in different ways. The most important is to understand what learning style is best for you and apply it not only to Maths but also to all your subjects.

  • Visual learners can make use of diagrams, graphs, charts, color-coding, geometric models, etc.
  • Auditory learners can rely on explanations, lectures, discussions, podcasts, and so on.
  • Kinesthetic learners benefit from a hands-on approach. This could involve building models, simulations, or even acting out Maths problems.

Overall, you should use as many resources as possible and diversify your means of studying since different approaches stimulate different senses. Try to make the most of revision guides, Maths textbooks, YouTube videos, quizzes, puzzles, learning maps, and interactive resources. Many of these resources help you improve your Maths skills in a fun and entertaining way.

2. Practice is the key

The IGCSE Maths exam is more about solving problems rather than answering questions.

Therefore, the best way to revise Maths is to actually practice it. Solving equations within 30 minutes per day can be more beneficial than reading Maths books for 3 hours.

What kind of benefits does it bring?

First of all, working through problems strengthens your grasp of concepts and helps you identify areas that need improvement. 

Second, practice challenges you to approach problems from different angles and helps foster a strategic mindset. 

Last but certainly not least, it builds confidence in your abilities and may significantly reduce test anxiety.

3. Use past papers and times questions

Get used to sitting the whole exam in one go and planning your time effectively. You can do this by sitting past papers under exam conditions. Either at home or at school, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are getting the practice in and not cheating! Lock your phone away, set a timer, and do your best.

IGCSE Maths past papers are an excellent opportunity to improve your time planning. They can give you a clear idea of exam formats and questions to expect.

The more Maths questions you do in this way, the better you get at solving problems. ‘Get better’ is not only about finding a correct answer but also about seeing more ways to solve a problem and being efficient with your time.

After you’ve provided your answers, you need to check if they are correct. To do so, you need to use the mark scheme – it explains what you are asked for with each type of question on the paper. 

Try to understand where the BIG marks lie and make sure you do not skip these all-important questions. Your answer must be detailed enough to avoid leaving marks on the table unclaimed. So, remember to always show your workings. Even if you get the wrong answer you may pick up valuable points there.

4. Identify patterns and methods for solutions to “types” of exam questions

Besides helping practise time management, past papers can develop one more valuable skill – recognising patterns in the types of problems. If you learn to discover these, you’ll be able to find appropriate strategies for tackling similar problems on the actual exam.

Here’s how to identify patterns and methods:

  • As you work through past papers, categorise the questions based on the skills they test and themes (e.g., algebra, geometry, statistics, etc.);
  • Notice if specific formulas, techniques, or approaches are used repeatedly across different questions;
  • After finding the answer, think if there are alternative methods of solving the same problem. If you get to know these alternatives, you can get more flexible in your problem-solving approaches.

So, whenever you work with past papers, try to analyse both problems and their solutions. Not only will this get you prepared for the exam format, but also improve your approaches to tackling any Maths problem that comes your way.

5. Make the most of your mock exam

Once again, time is a very important resource. Unfortunately, you won’t have much of it in your exam. You are given just a couple of hours, depending on the exam board, to answer all the questions.

Therefore, when you sit down to do a whole IGSCE Maths paper, you should keep track of time. Setting limits on time will allow you to familiarise yourself with real-exam conditions. It also helps boost performance by getting you used to working under stress.

One of our IGCSE examiners at TutorsPlus recommended: “You should do a solid revision for your mocks as well as the final exams.  Preparing for the mocks as if they are the real thing will strengthen your understanding of all aspects of the course as well as give you a stronger foundation for your revision ahead of the final exams.”

6. Start taking notes

Many IGCSE Maths revision tips emphasise practice problems and past papers. But don’t forget another useful revision instrument – your notes. But to make sure they are actually effective, you need to do everything right.

Forget passive note-taking and copying texts from books and other resources. What you should do instead is translate complex concepts into your own words. By doing so, you can commit more information to memory and simultaneously identify areas needing further review.

Besides text and formulas, consider visuals like diagrams, graphs, and charts. These can significantly enhance your understanding and improve recall during revision.

When taking notes, focus only on the essentials such as key facts, formulas, methods, and examples. Be brief – you’re creating a personal study guide, not a novel!

While doing so, ensure to organise your notes logically by topic for easy referencing. You might even find mind maps helpful as they visually connect related concepts and help you see the bigger picture.

Most importantly, don’t just write your notes and forget about them! Regularly review them and, if needed, rewrite sections in your own words. This process of revisiting may help the information stick in your long-term memory.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Your teachers are there with you, too. Don’t have any doubt, they carry your best interest at heart. That’s why if you have questions or you’re stuck, they will be happy to come to your aid.

Have friends with an innate talent for Maths? You can take advantage of learning with them and from them. After all, getting help from your peers is less intimidating than turning to your teacher.

8. Book a tutor to help with revision


Last but not least on our list of IGCSE Maths revision tips is getting assistance from a Maths tutor. Guidance from someone knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive to your needs may pave the way for top grades in your exam. At TutorsPlus, we have a team of professional IGCSE Maths tutors available today.

Diligence is something you must find within yourself. But we can help with everything else.

All our IGCSE tutors are experienced teachers or examiners. They know the IGCSE Maths curriculum inside and out, including the specific material covered and the exam requirements for achieving the highest grades. They can help you master even the most difficult concepts and show you exactly what examiners are looking for in your answers.

TutorsPlus can guide you through your Maths quest without stress and anxiety. You can count on us to make clear the most complicated concepts, provide ample study materials, and even set mock exams. Whatever you struggle with, we have a solution. Our IGCSE maths tutors are looking forward to contributing to your success.

You can reach us at 022 731 8148 or info@tutorsplus.com.

By Sara Lloyd

Sara has been an education consultant for TutorsPlus for 15 years, and is an expert on international IB education.  She is also a parent of two lively children.

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