GCSE Maths Paper 2 covers a range of topics, including Number, Algebra, Ratio, Ratio and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Probability, Statistics and Proportion. It is important to ensure that students have a good understanding of the correct use of mathematical equipment, such as scale drawing work and bearings, as these topics often appear in the exam. The paper contains a mix of question styles, from short one-note questions to multi-step problems. At the Foundation level, a significant amount of algebra is evaluated procedurally and without context; this suggests that it is less valuable to spend a lot of vital exam preparation time on these topics.
Arithmetic skills and proportional reasoning are the backbone of the current GCSE Foundation curriculum, and a significant amount of this is assessed non-standardly or using “real-life” contexts. Therefore, it is important to implement GCSE intervention strategies from the beginning of the school year to pick up students who are already struggling. Although there is rich content on topics such as graphics, sequences and functions, it is less likely to be evaluated at the GCSE Foundation level. Therefore, it is advisable to spend more time on these topics than on others.
At the GCSE level, a school-wide approach may be needed to determine which skills are critical for successful post-16 studies; this will depend on the individual environment and demographics of the school. Although students traditionally struggle with probability and statistics, the questions asked in GCSE Mathematics are sometimes easier than in other subjects.