23 November 2016

GCSE 9 - 1 Revision Resources

I published a post in March 2015 about Higher GCSE revision resources. Although the GCSE specification has changed, the resources in that post are still helpful. Today's post contains additional resources which are specifically for GCSE 9 - 1.

Practice papers
All four awarding bodies have published sets of practice papers. My school is using AQA for GCSE - we plan to use Practice Set 3 for our December mock exams and Practice Set 4 (due out soon) for our March mock exams. That leaves us with Practice Sets 1 and 2 and the specimen papers. I've already issued a couple of these for homework over the last few weeks, so that doesn't leave many papers for revision lessons in May (particularly when compared to previous years, when students had access to hundreds of past exam papers).

So what else can we use? Given that the differences between exam board specifications are minimal, we can use 9 - 1 practice papers from other exam boards. Old GCSE papers are still helpful too. So things are not as bleak as they first seem.

Thanks to @Maths_Master for drawing my attention to the practice papers produced by Churchill Maths. Much like Solomon Press products, these papers are reliable and high quality. I will certainly be using their free sample papers which are available here. My school is thinking about purchasing Churchill Maths's practice papers (£180 + VAT provides 15 practice papers for each tier) - we will issue these to our students in a booklet before the Easter holidays.

For £6 students can buy a pack of 6 practice papers from CGP. Practice paper books are also available to buy.
Revision by topic
Topic tests provided by AQA and Edexcel (through All About Maths and the Emporium respectively) are really helpful.

Maths Genie continues to be a very user-friendly website (I recommend it to my A level students). It has been updated for GCSE 9 - 1 so you'll find exam style questions on new topics.

Corbett Maths also has exam style questions, including new GCSE topics.

Also, don't forget that Mel at justmaths.co.uk has pulled together GCSE 9 - 1 specimen questions by topic. I use these a lot in my teaching at the moment.

Resources to purchase 
There are loads of resources that your students can buy through Amazon. I imagine that schools might buy some of these resources for their Pupil Premium students. CGP have summarised the content of their extensive range herePearson has a range of revision products too, as does Collins. A new set of revison books are due out in February, from publisher Scholastic.

Revision cards
9 - 1 revision cards are available to buy from the following sources:

Flash cards can be downloaded for free from tannermaths.co.uk.

Aimed at Grade 9
Around 4% of the cohort will get a Grade 9. My school is fairly large (we have 240 students in Year 11), so that equates to nine or ten Grade 9s. I can't help but think of all the grammar schools, and all the top private schools - each of these schools is likely to get dozens of Grade 9s. That leaves less for us... I think one or two Grade 9s might be a more realistic outcome.

I totally agree that there should be a grade that identifies the country's best mathematicians, much like the A* at A level. To achieve a Grade 9 students will need to know every topic inside out. They will also need a high level of accuracy and brilliant problem solving skills - the ability to think laterally. They need to be better than 96% of students in the country, and that's a big ask. In my top set Year 11 I have a handful of particularly hardworking students who I'm trying to push towards Grade 9. I have absolutely no idea if they'll get it. Here are some resources I will be asking these students to look at:
  • There are revision workbooks for 'Grade 9 targeted exam practice' here
  • There are three 'Grade 9' booklets here at Bland.in.
  • Pixi Maths has a Grade 9 booklet here.
  • m4ths.com has Grade 9 resources here.

More resources
Here are some more general revision resources that I've collected:

Have I missed anything? Please share your resources in the comments below.


  1. As always Jo you are the Queen of bring resources together, thank you for help so much!

  2. Fabulous! Thanks very much for all your research.

  3. Hi Jo! Awesome info - thanks! Did your school get the Churchill papers for 9-1? How do you find them?

    1. Yes, we got them. They're excellent. We're putting some of them into a pack to issue to students before Easter. We'll use the rest in class. They're very high quality, definitely worth the money.

    2. Excellent - thanks for the info! Will definitely look into them!