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*NobleGiraffe* and other teachers - last minute confidence booster ideas?

(12 Posts)
TessaTeacake Wed 17-May-17 21:52:02


DD's convinced she's going to fail GCSE maths, her first exam is this time next week. She's been working at a 6 in class but is predicted a 5, due to her panicking when she sees a maths paper. She's done loads of past papers, but we've no idea how she's doing as there's no grade structure yet.

I think she would fare much better if she could go in feeling a bit positive, has anyone any suggestions for confidence boosters?


Mumteadumpty Wed 17-May-17 22:57:03

Not a teacher, but have a similar DD. I point out that she hasn't failed her mocks, or tests this year so why should this be different?

Also my DD doesn't need Maths for her future study so I am able to say that a Grade 4 is accepted as a pass, which gives plenty of leeway for your DD, but that depends on your DD's plans though, does she need a high grade?

TessaTeacake Wed 17-May-17 23:03:27

Thank you, no, she only needs a 4, but she's convinced herself she's not even going to get that, even though she did in her mocks. I wish I could get her to see that actually, she's ok.....

RedHelenB Thu 18-May-17 07:58:43

My dad always used to say you 've done the work and that the examiners credit what you know not penalise what you don't. Used to help me. My dd is of the opinion it will be easier than feared anyway.

Laniakea Thu 18-May-17 08:19:12

DD is working on problems from the 9-1 edexcel revision book now. She's done lots of the past papers but we've decided not to do anymore as a 'bad' paper destroys her confidence and she goes into I can't do it/there's no point mode.

I wonder if Noble has an opinion on which topics (for the non calculator paper) would be most usefully revised in the last few days? DD needs a 6. She's work really bloody hard on maths but is feeling totally overwhelmed by it now.

CrazedZombie Thu 18-May-17 09:40:34

Ds has done a lot of past papers but as they aren't 9-1 type, he's unusually nervous. He's also prone to not reading questions properly so missing out on easy marks.

I bought a compass set today just in case there's a construction question.

TheFrendo Thu 18-May-17 13:44:08

Get them to do the sample papers again. That will probably show up soem areas that could do with more work.

Download the free GCSE 1-9 topic guide by Steve Blades

It gives a point by pont breakdown of what needs to be known.

noblegiraffe Thu 18-May-17 21:41:11

If your DD is actually panicked by the exam then preparing for that can be useful - rescue remedy and breathing exercises can help here.

What will she do if she opens the paper and there's a question she doesn't know how to do? How many marks is it? If its a couple of marks, have a go with the most likely technique.

If it's a longer problem solving question then:
Read the question carefully, underlining key words like 'estimate' or 'isosceles' or 'density' which might give a clue about how to start.
Will forming an equation help? What about drawing a diagram? Is there a calculation she could do and then see if that answer helps in any way?
If there is a diagram, especially for angles questions, writing angles that she has worked out onto the diagram helps see how she can work out other angles.
If a triangle is right-angled anywhere, think about Pythagoras or trig
If 3 adult tickets and 2 child tickets cost £34 and 4 adult tickets and 5 child tickets cost £50 then it's simultaneous equations.

Even if she can't get all the marks for a question, she might get marks for starting it.

Make sure she has the basics totally nailed and fluent. The formula for the area and circumference of a circle. Trig. How to find factors, multiples and prime factors. The primes, squares and cube numbers. Area of a trapezium and parallelogram. Exterior and interior angles of polygons. Angles on parallel lines (she should be able to tell an allied from a corresponding or alternate angle instantly). How to plot a cumulative frequency graph and a frequency polygon. Edexcel say there will be a lot of ratio and proportion on the papers (if she's Edexcel) so practice lots of different types of those questions.

And the main thing to remember with these papers is that she will find them hard because they are hard. They are designed with a large proportion of the questions aimed at 7, 8 and 9 students. She needs to go in knowing that it will be hard, but that she will be able to do some of it, and that the grade boundaries will be low enough to account for students like her who are not aiming for the top grades, who find the paper difficult. The average mark in the November mocks on the higher paper was 30%, so there will be lots of other students in the same boat as her.

TessaTeacake Thu 18-May-17 21:48:50

Thank you flowers

School have entered her in for the foundation paper, so I'm hoping that the early questions will help build her confidence up. She's done some past papers but once she's done them, she puts them aside, I think she'd be better looking at the questions she got wrong to see if she can understand why?

I really don't know how you do this every year!

noblegiraffe Thu 18-May-17 21:55:47

Why have they entered her for foundation if she is working at a 6? Is it because of the panicking? Such a bloody mess these new GCSEs, it makes me cross. If she's doing Foundation then scratch what I said about cumulative frequency graphs because they're not on foundation but everything else is the same.

If it's foundation, then she should be mostly ok up to the staples, then it will start to get trickier and she should expect to get stuck on some of them. She won't need 100% to get a 5, or even close, so getting some questions wrong or leaving some out will be fine.

noblegiraffe Thu 18-May-17 21:56:55

And yes, doing a past paper but not then reviewing questions she got wrong is a classic student mistake. She can only improve if she works on her tricky topics.

TessaTeacake Thu 18-May-17 23:11:55

Thank you, yes, although she was working at a 6 in class, the highest she has had in a test is a 4, as she just goes into a panic, and so school thought foundation would be better. Will do some more work with her this weekend then, thank you.

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