Hamstead Hall Academy

Hamstead Hall Academy
Part of the Hamstead Hall Academy Trust Hamstead Hall Sixth Form

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"Success for All through Hard Work and Harmony"

Revise Mathematics

     To view the Academy Library's resources on Maths                            1. Right click this link and open our library page in a new tab.    2. Then click this link to browse our Maths resources.     

General Tips

Use the exam papers you have done in class to find out which topics you need to revise.

Always write down your answer to more significant figures than you intend to round to. This will prevent you losing accuracy marks for incorrect rounding.

If you make a mistake cross the work out but make sure the examiner can still read it. If you don’t, replace it with anything better you may still gain some marks for it and no marks will be taken away.

Once you’ve found the answer, have another read of the last line of the question. You need to check that you have completed what was asked for and given your answer in the correct form.

Have a look through the paper before you start answering questions. Answer the easiest questions first - this will help your nerves settle. Secondly go on to the questions you think you have a good chance of getting marks on. Save the really taxing ones to the end!

If you do not already have a scientific calculator - get one now. It is important that you are familiar with all the functions. This will save time and prevent errors in your exam.

Check your calculator is in degrees mode. You can tell because you will have a D or deg on the display. If your calculator has R or Rad / G or Grad you must change this to degrees. Make sure you know how to do this before you go into the exam.

Never write in the margins - your answers may be scanned onto a computer and the margins are not read. This means the examiner will not see your working. If you run out of space, ask for an additional sheet which you can attach to your script with a tag.

Never put method for one part of a question in
the space for a different part. Each part is marked by a different examiner and they will not see what you have done in different parts of the question. If you run out of space, ask for additional paper.


 If any question states “you must show your method” no marks will be awarded without it - even if you have the correct answer. Trial and improvement is one such question.

 If you finish early, spend the time checking your work. You can check that all answers have been given to the degree of accuracy required. If you have plenty of time you can redo questions on an additional sheet and make sure you get the same answer as before. If possible, use a different method to the first time. For example, if you solved a quadratic equation by completing the square, you could solve it again by using the formula or factorising.

 Write in BLACK pen.

 Don’t rush. If you allow yourself on average 1 minute per mark you will still have 10 minutes spare to look through the paper and check your work.

 If you are in the final minutes and have some questions left unanswered, have a guess. You might get lucky and you cannot lose marks for doing it.

 If a 1 mark question asks you for an answer and a reason for your answer or to explain that answer you will get no marks without both the answer and your justification. There are no half marks awarded.

 Don’t forget you are allowed to ask for tracing paper.

 Make sure you remember spare pens ruler, compasses c
ontaining a small sharp pencil, protractor, scientific calculator and highlight pen.

 Relax! You’ve done all the hard work - this is your chance to show what you can do.


Exactly- This means you should not use your calculator to obtain a decimal solution to a problem. For example when solving a quadratic equation exactly, you should either factorise or use the formula.

Hence- The next step must be based on what has gone before. Make sure that you use the formula or result found in the previous section of a question.

Hence or otherwise- This means that you can either use the formula or result found in the previous section of a question or use another method of solution. However, if you choose ‘hence’ i.e. based on what has gone before, you may find the answer easier to find.

You must show your working- it is essential that you put down all of your working in order to obtain the full marks allocated for the question.

Show that- starting from a given situation use algebra to obtain the given formula. Because you are given the answer, the explanation has to be detailed and cover every step.

State- the answer is probably straight forward - if you understand what is being asked - with little or no work required. These parts of questions usually get B marks and do not depend on a method M mark like A marks.

Integer- A whole number.

Estimate the value of- Do not work out the exact answer. Round numbers to 1 significant figure and use these to obtain an answer.

Explain, give a reason for your answer- Use words (or mathematical symbols) to explain an answer.

Explain your answer, you must show your working- You will be penalised if you do not show your answer.

Simplify- Collect terms together or cancel down a fraction.

Simplify fully- Collect terms together and factorise the answer or cancel terms. This means that an extra numerical or algebraic step is needed.

Show that- Use words, numbers or algebra to show an answer.

Measure- Use a ruler or protractor to measure a length or an angle.


Describe fully- In transformations: reflection - mirror line: translations - vector; rotations - centre, angle and direction; enlargement - scale factor and centre.

Factorise- Take out the common factor or factorise into two brackets if a quadratic.

Factorise fully- This is a clue that there is more than one factorisation to be done.

Use the graph- Do not calculate, read from the graph. It is a good idea to put lines on the graph to show where the answer came from.

Give answer to a sensible degree of accuracy- Usually, no more accurate than the values in the question, eg if the question has values to 2 s.f., then give answer to 2 s.f.

Give answer to (2 d.p)- Given answer to required accuracy. You will lose marks if you do not.

Not drawn accurately- Next to a diagram to mean don’t measure.

Use an algebraic method- Do not use trial and improvement. Working will be expected.

Do an accurate drawing- Use compasses to draw lengths, protractors to measure angles.

Expand and Simplify- Multiply out and then collect terms.

Make (x) the subject- Rearrange a formula.

Express, in terms of - Use given information to write an expression using only the letter/s given.

Write down -Answer is clear and does not need any working.