Maths is the most challenging component of the GCSE qualification. It consists of three papers, each assessing any of the National Curriculum specifications. However, in one of these papers, the participants are not allowed to use a calculator. The non-calculator paper questions cover different categories, i**ncluding algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and statistics**.

In this article, I am going to give you some **tips on revising the non-calculator paper** for the GCSE maths exam.

**Start early.**

**Design a realistic and personalised study plan.**

**Keep track of your progress.**

**Budget your time.**

**Practise mental arithmetic.**

**Learn key formulas.**

**Practise past papers.**

**Get help from a GCSE maths tutor.**

## Understanding the Non-Calculator Paper

The non-calculator paper consists of** 20 to 30** **questions**, and the test-takers have **75 to 90 minutes** to answer them. The non-calculator paper questions cover different categories, i**ncluding algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and statistics**. Students can get up to **80 marks **by answering the question on this paper, which is 33.3% of the total GCSE maths score.

There are various question types in the paper with different marks. You can find short questions with a single mark and long questions with more marks. **The marks of a question usually indicate how many steps there are to follow in order to answer a question**. For example, a question with three marks means that you should take three steps to solve the problem. Overall, the question type, number of questions, and complexity depend on the exam board that holds the exam.

**Exam Papers: What to Expect**

The content of the exam papers varies among exam boards and even within an exam board’s different sittings. **The first questions in the exam are usually easy, and as the applicants proceed, the questions become more complex**. Moreover, the non-calculator paper covers a wide range of mathematical topics, as shown in the graph below.

Click here to see the

exhaustive checklist of GCSE maths topics.

## Revision strategies for non-calculator GCSE maths papers

Acing the GCSE maths exam does not have to be so difficult. By observing some points, you can maximise your productivity in the GCSE maths exam sitting. Let us review some of these tips here.

**1. Start early**

Hasty preparation for the GCSE maths exam is not very effective. Applicants must start preparing for the exam **six months** before the exam date, which is in May or June. An early start takes the pressure off you and promotes concentration.

**2. Design a study plan**

You are the master of your time, and no one knows better how much time you can find in your daily life and dedicate to studying. Find out whether you are a lark or a night owl and do the bulk of your studies accordingly. The important thing here is to be **realistic **when planning your GCSE exam preparation. You are aware of your resources and capabilities. With some discipline, you will unleash your potential.

It is worth mentioning that research suggests** smartphones are a major source of distraction**. Therefore, you should come up with a self-regulatory plan to limit the use of your smartphone.

**Writer’s notes**

*When I am preparing for a deadline and I need to stay focused, I remove distracting apps from my smartphone. I disable notifications or turn off the internet connection to get rid of unwelcome and unforeseen messages or notifications. Sometimes, I even put it out of reach. With these precautions, I can stay focused and meet my deadlines. I suppose you can do the same with your gadgets and gizmos when preparing for the GCSE exam, and I am sure you will quickly adapt to a life with less technology.*

**3. Keep track of your progress**

A part of a comprehensive study plan is keeping track of your progress. **It gives you an idea of where you are and whether you need to modify the pace of your progress**. Additionally, it gives you a satisfactory feeling and **motivates **you to keep up the excellent work.

**4. Budget your time**

Take another look at the above checklist of the topics covered in the non-calculator GCSE maths papers. Which ones are simpler, and which ones need more time? **You should dedicate more time to topics that are more challenging for you,** and you should do it in the hours when you are at your best.

**5. Practise mental arithmetic**

mental mathematics refers to mathematical operations and calculations you do without using a calculator. Instead of reaching out for your cellphone to use the calculator, try to use your brain. Your brain is a muscle, and too much technology (like too much junk food) makes it slow.

Start with simple operations (i.e., **addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division**) and with high numbers, try to **estimate **the answer before you find the exact value. You can also play games like Sudoku or KenKen to practise mental maths, and you can set time limits to make it more challenging.

**6. Learn key formulas**

By learning the recurrent formulas in the GCSE maths exam, you can answer the questions and solve the problems more quickly. This will give you **a better grasp of your time** when taking the exam. You can see some of these formulas below.

**7. Use GCSE revision resources**

Practice papers and quizzes are great resources for familiarising yourself with the structure, question types, complexity level, grading scheme, etc. They can also help you identify the gaps in your mathematical knowledge.

To get the most out of practice tests, you should **time yourself** when you take them. Time restraints simulate the exam conditions, and you would get a sense of your performance under pressure. On the whole, practising past papers boosts your confidence and significantly improves your marks. Click to **download GCSE maths past papers**.

**Revision maths** designed for the non-calculator paper are also helpful materials for GCSE applicants. Revision mats contain information about different topics in the GCSE maths exam, and you can use them to understand a mathematical topic at one glance. Click to** download maths revision mats**.

**8. Get help from Ostado’s maths tutors**

Participating in the GCSE exam requires hard work and discipline. The tips and strategies we mentioned above can significantly improve your performance, but if you want to do them on your own, you would need to dedicate a considerable amount of time to planning, monitoring, and finding and gathering resources.

**Ostado’s GCSE maths tutors have extensive knowledge of the topics covered in GCSE maths, and they are aware of the challenges you face when revising for the GCSE exams**. Getting help from Ostado’s tutors saves you a lot of time; plus, you will have an engaging learning experience and enjoy the motivation you receive from Ostado’s tutor. Click on** GCSE maths tutors** to find your preferred tutor.

The GCSE qualification is not an overnight success. It requires **meticulous planning, hard work, and guidance from an education expert or GCSE maths tutor**. Revising for GCSE non-calculator maths paper must be finished two or three weeks before the exam. In the remaining period, you should wrap up your studies. In other words, you should not add new things to your schedule in the few weeks left to the exam session.

It is also essential to establish a regular sleeping habit with at least seven hours of **sleep **in 24 hours. Try to eat **healthy and nutritious food**, especially in the days before the exam. Recognise and respect your efforts to gain confidence and stay calm.

### FAQs - GCSE maths non-calculator revision

- Which exam board is the hardest for GCSE maths?All exam boards are regulated by Ofqual, and they are required to start with easy questions and move towards more complex questions. The difference between exam boards lies in the question style and grading scheme. Generally, whether to consider an exam board as "the hardest" depends on what kind of questions the applicant wants to answer.
- How much GCSE revision per day?The important thing in revising for GCSE is the quality of revision. The time depends on your personal life. But you need to spend at least two hours on weekdays and four to six hours on weekends and holidays to revise for the GCSE maths.
- What is the most important thing to learn for GCSE maths?The most important thing is a thorough understanding of the concepts covered in the GCSE maths exam in different areas like Algebra, Geometry, Probability, etc.

### FAQs - GCSE maths non-calculator revision

- Which exam board is the hardest for GCSE maths?All exam boards are regulated by Ofqual, and they are required to start with easy questions and move towards more complex questions. The difference between exam boards lies in the question style and grading scheme. Generally, whether to consider an exam board as "the hardest" depends on what kind of questions the applicant wants to answer.
- How much GCSE revision per day?The important thing in revising for GCSE is the quality of revision. The time depends on your personal life. But you need to spend at least two hours on weekdays and four to six hours on weekends and holidays to revise for the GCSE maths.
- What is the most important thing to learn for GCSE maths?The most important thing is a thorough understanding of the concepts covered in the GCSE maths exam in different areas like Algebra, Geometry, Probability, etc.