Many Ways to get a C at GCSE Maths

It’s been a while since my last blog post and given that it’s GCSE results day, this is perfect time for an article about the number of ways you can now get a C grade at GCSE Maths. Why the C Grade? This will become clearer in a bit.

As a tutor one of the questions I get asked the most about GCSEs and A Levels is if they are getting easier through the years? The answer to this is a simple yes.

But not as easy as you might think however, firstly the amount of content is defintely being reduced but not at the pace you might think. On the other hand students now have to do more GCSE subjects and with the A* grade the target for the best grade is now a lot tighter. So students are probably working just as hard as you when you did the subjects. Doing 4 or 5 AS Levels is almost the norm now. Teaching facilities have also improved a lot in the last decade, and with more and more multimedia about, we are moving more to an age of multi sensory learning.

So what about that C Grade in Maths? My head goes nuts when I have to deal with the number of GCSE boards I have to look at when I tutor students. There are many boards in England, each having a subtle but important difference in syllabus. And then there is the public school backlash to GCSEs becoming easier. The iGCSEs or International GCSEs. iGCSEs are as hard as ‘O’ Levels. Leaving the different boards aside there are now 3 different syllabuses and routes you can choose to get a C grade at GCSE with the same board.

So in the order of the hardest to easiest way to get a GCSE C Grade, Edexcel board give you these routes

  • iGCSE Maths
  • Higher Paper – GCSE
  • Foundation Paper – GCSE

I’ve tutored all 3 options of this paper for the Edexcel board. The foundation paper is for students who struggle with Maths. The best grade you can get at this level is a C. I think this is a good system because some children who have Dyslexia, Dyspraxia etc., can actually get quite confident at the more basic foundation paper. And a C is a pass for all intents and purposes for future job options. The Maths in the foundation paper is not only good enough for daily use as an adult, but actually goes a lot further. I’ve tutored some professional adults in the Financial and Accounting world who know less than foundation GCSE students!

The iGCSE paper is a lot harder than the GCSE paper for sure. In fact it is somewhere between AS Maths and normal GCSE Maths. The Algebra at iGCSE is more challenging, they even start differential calculus at iGCSE.

So there you go. There are many ways to crack an egg and there are also many ways to do Maths GCSE. Even a subject as black and white turns out to be not so black and white. Who would’ve thought it eh?

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5 Responses to “Many Ways to get a C at GCSE Maths”


  1. 1 julie January 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Hi i am a mature student with a degree but to do my masters i need a c in gcse i am struggling badly any ideas exam is in a month…

    • 2 Atul Rana February 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Hi Julie, it is worth getting a private tutor who could fix some of the gaps you may have in Maths. You can also use the Khan Academy website which has video lessons that are pretty cool. Good luck with your exams!

  2. 3 Troubled May 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I heard that the IGCSE was quite easier than GCE. But now what I hav read abt how hard Maths is, I’m nt sure if my sister would want to join the IGCSE. What do u suggest?


  1. 1 Thank Goodness for the GCSE Overhaul « Atul's Blog Trackback on September 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm

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