GCSE Maths


You may be well aware by now that a C in GCSE Maths is pretty important. It is required to continue your education at college and then university. It will also be repeatedly asked for by employers. Additionally, the percentage of their students gaining a C in GCSE Maths is a statistic used to rank schools in league tables.

So we know that everyone raves on about this C, but why is it important? Why does everyone want you to have it? No doubt there are countless times you have sat in a Maths lesson and thought, “When am I ever going to need to know how to do this?”. I will try and explain why all these chief executives, government officials and university lecturers keep asking for GCSE Maths.

To start off with, we can all agree there are many daily life examples where a basic grasp of Maths is handy. The classic example is shopping. Mental arithmetic is used to calculate sale discounts, the cheapest buying option and how much change you should get. Nevertheless, there are many other examples where Maths is useful.

  • If you own your own business or work freelance, you will have to complete all of your own tax forms.
  • If you work for a company, you will need to verify your pay cheque is correct.
  • If you go abroad you will need to understand the currency conversion rate, and hopefully be able to perform some simple estimation in your head to avoid overpaying.
  • If you are a chef you will need to be able to convert between different units of measurement, and calculate portion sizes.
  • All tradesmen, including builders, electricians and plumbers, need to have an understanding of shapes, areas and slopes.
  • Even when furnishing your house or trying to pack a suitcase, a good knowledge of tessellating shapes will help you maximise the space.

All of these are practical applications of the Maths you learn at secondary school. However, there are numerous topics in the GCSE syllabus that you will most probably never use for the rest of your life. I cannot pretend to argue you will one day need trigonometry while shopping for a new sofa, or that you will ever need to recite the quadratic formula ‘

Additional resources:

GCSE Maths Past Papers
How to Memorise Formulae: Maths and Science Exams
GCSE Maths: Need to Know Formulas

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