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Maths Gcse as a mature student

(18 Posts)
DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 10:50:04

I am in a position where I need to take a maths GCSE this year and I have to chose an exam board. Is one better (easier) than another? How would you advise I pick one?

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 10:58:02

No one knows because no one has sat the new GCSEs yet. The papers do differ in style between exam boards so have a look at some specimen papers online to see which seem friendlier.

forecast123 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:13:25

If you are over 16 you probably still qualify to sit the old A*-G GCSE. The final sitting is this summer and it should be easier than the new 9-1 GCSE exam. Lots of colleges are still offering it for adult students.

DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 15:23:03

Are they forecast?
I am 43 and need to take it this year. Do I just call the college?

forecast123 Fri 03-Feb-17 16:01:22

Yeah, I would try a local college. You can normally ask to be put in as a private candidate, just make sure you clarify it is the old GCSE you want to sit. I think it costs about £30.

I would ask what exam board they are offering and go with that, there is no real difference in content just in the style of questioning.

donkir Fri 03-Feb-17 16:06:12

I'd definitely see if you can take the old gcse's. The new system is a bloody nightmare and the papers are also harder for e.g., the intermediate paper is the old higher paper and the higher paper is a level standard.

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 16:25:20

Oh yes if it's this year and the old GCSE, then OCR foundation is probably your best bet - we've had the most success on it with our resit kids. There's not much time to study though, how is your maths?

DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 16:37:06

Maths is 'shaky'. I last sat it in 1990!

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 16:43:09

What did you get in 1990?

DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 19:16:57

I got an E. At 16 I was more interested in spending my time dancing in fields taking recreational drugs. In fact I am amazed that I turned up to the exam blush. I have since gained two good degrees though.

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 19:22:21

Ok, so you know how to study, that's good. Still quite a lot of content to get through in just over 100 days though! Have you got a plan? A tutor?

DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 19:24:59

No plan currently and no tutor- that is my job for the weekend.
It's all a bit daunting to be honest

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Feb-17 19:46:42

Ok your first job would be to sit a GCSE paper to find out exactly what you do and don't know. There are a few old-style ones on here under practice papers: This website also has videos to teach topics, worksheets, revision exercises and so on, with answers - make sure that you only do foundation topics from the A*-G specification as the new GCSE has extra topics that you won't be tested on.

There are also loads of legacy resit resources here:

If you want to buy books to work through, CGP are pretty good:

Don't worry about choosing an exam board before getting started as the syllabus is the same across exam boards, however the deadline for exam entries is 21st Feb so you need to get that sorted ASAP.

DumbledoreBumbledore Fri 03-Feb-17 20:13:57

Thank you so much for all your help, you are all fantastic! smile

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Feb-17 13:23:55

Good luck!

TableforEight Sun 05-Feb-17 13:56:23

I recently sat and passed my iGCSE Maths with Edexcel (33 years after taking and failing my 'O' level maths) as an external/private candidate. I also took my iGCSE English last summer. I contacted my local college/sixth form provider, who entered me for the exams as a private candidate; think it cost about £190 for each exam. The iGCSE Maths exams take place on two separate days and are two hours long. I think that the closing date for registration for May/June 2017 exams is soon (14th Feb?).

The benefit of iGCSE is that there are only two papers (two hours each) whereas there are three new GCSE papers (one and a half hours each). I would recommend Edexcel as it was easy to understand.

My preparation involved doing lots of past papers and then working on the things I found difficult. I sat the higher paper for English, but only sat the foundation paper for Maths, as I just needed a 'C' and didn't want to have to spend time revising the really difficult stuff (I sat my iGCSEs alongside other undergrad studies). I didn't use a tutor but looked on Youtube for help when I needed it, as there are lots of useful tutorials on there. The 'qualifications.pearson' website was good for past papers and all info on timetables, spec etc.

The Maths exam dates for all boards in 2017 are 25th May, 8th June and 13th June for GCSE. Same for iGCSE (except there isn't one on the 13th).

Good luck!!

pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 10:24:18

Op I may be in same position can you let me know how you get on please!

pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 10:38:07

Op sorry to barge in, can you or anyone else tell me, if I go to college for private maths - they will teach me for the exam? Or do I just take the exam there and need to sort out my own learning.

2) if I dont get in this year, I will have to take a harder new test next year?

3) I only get once chance to take the test every year? I cant pay privately and do it when I want?

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