How to get a 9 in GCSE Maths – How to score top marks

Maths is a crucial subject that students must do well at GCSE level if they wish to pursue careers and subjects in any STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) beyond GCSE level. This means that those who wish to be mathematicians, science professors, accountants, doctors, engineers or other such careers will have to get good degrees in such subjects at reputable universities.

In order to get these in the first place, it helps to get good grades in maths in A level subjects. In order to get a place in a good school to study these subjects at A level, a high grade in the GCSEs for Maths is a very useful in setting up your academic career.

This might seem scary. After all, there is so much riding on this! Fear not however, we at InTuition have come up with this quick guide to help you attain a grade 9 in maths.  At InTuition PYP, we believe strongly in the principles of PYP;

  • Pursue
  • Your
  • Purpose

Here, we are a firm believer of helping you get your work DONE in ways that are conducive to your understanding of them. We will help you achieve the grade you are capable of achieving, and perhaps even pushing you a little further in maths. Hopefully this will push to a grade 9 in maths, setting you up for success in your future studies.


Top tips on how to get a 9 in GCSE Maths

students revising to achieve a 9 in gcse maths examsIn this article, we will go over how to maximise your chances of achieving a grade 9 in the maths exam.

The first important lesson to remember is the lesson we have learnt in the last few years. With the Covid 19 pandemic causing widespread closures due to lockdowns and exclusions of students on the bases of infection and isolation, students, schools and exam boards more generally have assessed on bases other than exam performance.

This lesson from this is clear. We should not be too dependent on one specific aspect of school to dictate your grades.

As a result, there is one huge piece of advice for students looking to get a grade 9 in maths. And that is the following:

Work your hardest through out the entirety of the school year

In recent years, due to the above-mentioned circumstances, course work has become an extremely important part in determining grades. Students must then remember that a key part of achieving a grade 9 in maths is working hard consistently throughout the year!

With that important message out of the way, lets talk about potential bumps on the way.

How hard is it to get a 9 in GCSE maths?

The simple answer to this is that getting that elusive grade 9 in maths is as hard as you make it. It will take work and dedication. But that is like all things! Olympians need to train extremely hard to get to the point where they are at, and your academic career is no different. It takes time, effort, and commitment to do well in these exams.


The process in training your mind to work well with maths does not have to be difficult. It will be a time investment. You might get frustrated. Things might go wrong. But its all part of the journey.

Even for those who do not consider themselves good at maths, the path is getting into a good routine. Regimenting yourself in your study is what will help you get that grade 9 in maths.

Now we have that out of the way, lets go over out top ten tips for doing well in this exam.


Regiment and plan

An underrated part of the GCSE maths and GCSE exams studying process is the planning that goes into it. When studying, you are not just trying to read or do activities. You need to internalise that information so that you can then go and perform well in your course work or exams. A crucial part in that is knowing what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.

Get a piece of paper or a diary and organise your work schedule by knowing what you accomplish on a certain day and when. For example, on a Monday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 you might be working on fractions. In that time, get that fraction work done! You’ll notice a huge increase in your productivity with a little bit of planning.


Word hard…

Nothing in life ever comes easy. A grade 9 in Maths, or any subject for that matter, is no different. This will require a lot of dedication on your part. Sometimes it will feel worthless and useless. Trust us, we know, we have all been there.

Sometimes things just feel fruitless and frustrating, and that we’ll never get the reward we deserve from them. But overcoming that mental state is key in success. To get a grade 9, you need to work hard and overcome mental obstacles. No one ever gained anything without some pain. This is the answer to GCSE maths and GCSE exams generally, at every level.


…But not too hard

On the opposite end of the spectrum is over working yourself. This results in exam burn out. This happens to many students, who are scared to ask for help. According to the BBC, this happens when:

“Feeling exhausted

feeling depleted of the motivation to perform to the standard that you were before

feelings of cynicism, such as feeling as though what you’re currently doing is pointless and won’t help you in the future

no longer enjoying a course or other activities that you once did

feeling isolated”

When any of these things happen, you need to double check your schedule to make sure you’re not working too hard. Take time out to keep your mind health, perhaps by meeting friends.


Have the right equipment

To score a grade 9 in Maths means mastering the tools of the trade. This can be as simple as ensuring that you turn up with the correct pens and pencils. But it may also mean learning how to use new pieces of equipment. Compasses are a vital component of many maths GCSE exams. Learning how to set them up and draw with them is a necessity to get a good grade.

In addition to this are scientific calculators. These are pieces of equipment you really need to master to do well in the calculator papers. Make sure you know how to use them.


Learn the formulae

Though you are given some formulae in a maths exam, the vast majority are ones you need to learn. This extends to methods more generally. You need to know the basic way in which you need to approach a question which unfortunately only comes with memorising the methods and paths that lead to answers, for example learning the formulae needed to solve quadratic equations.

A good way to do this could be utilising flash cards, using one side with the formula and having examples on the other side to help you understand how they fit into it.

Do past papers

students revision class with past topic questionsQuestions from past papers are the number one technique in exam revision and attaining high grades for a few reasons. First of all, they give you an actual taste of what the exam format is. You get to see how exams will be outlined and how they will be formatted and the way questions will be put forward.

If you manage to master past papers, then you’ll be on the way to attaining a grade 9 because not only will you understand the maths you are taught, but you will also master how to specifically apply it in ways that are needed to do well in these exams. As a result, past papers cannot be recommended enough. Do some past papers to get that grade 9! Get through these exam paper questrions and answers!


Look at examiner reports

Examiner reports are an understated gem in mastering exam technique. These reports are the examiners literally telling you, the students, what they expect to see in your answers. When you familiarise yourself with examiner expectation, you can start to revise more effectively and in specific ways so that you may achieve that grade 9 you need.

The examiner outlines exactly how they want to see answers written, how previous cohorts have failed and succeeded, and how they can improve. With all this information, you can do some extremely effective revision and get that grade 9 in maths by familiarising yourself with expectation.


Work as a group

Studying does not have to be a solitary, lonely experience. In fact, working as group can be more productive. Being sociable will alleviate the fear of burn out by making sure you have good social interactions with your friends and peers. Maybe have a little revision session in a café or over lunch? Maybe work hard for a few hours at a mate’s house before rewarding yourself to a nice session of football and pizza after?

Ask each other questions! You can also coordinate the creation of revision materials so that you an effectively spread out the making of these materials that you can all work on. For example, one person works on making resources for quadratic equations whilst another makes one for triangular theorems.


Utilise your teathers and tutors

Your teachers have a vested interest in you doing well, it is literally their job. Hence, they will try their best to support you through these hard times of exam preparation and help you try to get a grade 9 in Maths. Make use of this!

They are the professionals. Many teachers will happily mark for you extra exams you have done outside of class and take the time to explain how exactly to improve. Make the most of this, and you will be on your way to achieving a high grade in maths and even in other subjects. Ask for help and questions in your revision!


Be confident

This is the hardest step of all; believing in yourself. But it is the most necessary. In order to achieve, you need to believe. In addition to working hard, you need to be aware that your hard work will pay off. You need to be aware that you are working for your grade. You need to want a grade 9 in Maths to get one. So believe in yourself and your ability to excel.


What is a 9 in GCSE maths equivalent to?

A grade 9 in GCSE is equivalent to an exceptionally high A star in previous years. Roughly, grade/level equivalents are the following:

  • A Star is equivalent to a 9
  • A is equivalent to an 8, with a lower being a 7
  • B is equivalent to a 6
  • In between a C and B is equivalent to a 5, referred to as a strong pass
  • C is equivalent to 4, referred to as a standard pass
  • D is equivalent to a 3
  • E is equivalent to a 2
  • F and G is equivalent to 1
  • U is ungradable


What percentage is a 9 in GCSE maths?

Percentages are dependent on the performance of the cohort as a whole. As a result, there is no fixed percentage. Work consistently well through the year rather than aiming for a specific percentage.


How to get 9 in GCSE science (Topic questions)

A 9 in GCSE science follows a lot of the techniques we have discussed here. Namely, this means revising effectively, then applying that revision on to exam papers and examiners reports. For further information, check out our other guides on the topic.

How to get a 9 in GCSE maths summary

Out top 10 tips were:

  • Plan and regiment
  • Work hard
  • But not too hard
  • Have the right equipment
  • Learn the formulae
  • Do past papers
  • Use examiner reports
  • Work as a group
  • Utilise your teachers and GCSE tutors
  • Believe in yourself


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