HE Exams Wiki

Having done the old gcse maths with my first son and then helping his friend out with the new 1-9 GCSE - and now working through all of the 1-9 with my second son, I have learnt many lessons about the best resources to use and in what order (after spending a lot of money on inappropriate books).

Here is a list of recommended material in the order that I would use it (if I had chance to do it again, which I won't!). This is for Higher maths only but nearly identical resources exist for foundation maths as well.

1.  Basic maths material for 1-9 GCSE 

Maths Genie 1-9 maths videos and topic revision questions:


All the topics in order of difficulty - please bear in mind that the vast majority of questions in the videos and revision questions do NOT require the more difficult problem solving aspects of the new GCSE.

CGP Generic 1-9 maths textbook

 This book seems to have the best reviews of the new 1-9 maths textbooks. It doesn’t have much colour though, but does have the advantage that you can choose which board to go with at the end of the course since it covers all GCSE and IGCSE as well.


CGP 1-9 GCSE maths student workbook


When you have finished working through the above materials you could try one or two past legacy papers (2016 and earlier) available here (bottom of the page):


NB These legacy papers are much easier than the new GCSE but they offer valuable practice at an earlier stage. Also good for building confidence.

2.  Skill building for harder maths skills and problem solving

These books are very good at targeting key skills and problem solving. Aim for the book that reflects your score in the legacy papers.

Target Grade 5 compendium


Target Grade 7 compendium


Target Grade 9 Algebra, Shape and Statistics


CGP GCSE Edexcel Mathematics Exam Practice Workbook

A very thorough book that provides questions at the right problem solving level for every topic, with worked answers and one set of practice papers at the end (highly recommended).


CGP GCSE Edexcel Mathematics Exam Practice Workbook – targeted grade 8 and 9

Specifically grade 8 and 9 questions in all topics. A really useful book (don’t give this to your child just before the exam – it could cause panic due to the extreme difficulties of some of the questions.


3.   Practice papers

It can be cheaper to buy these practice paper books than it is to use the printer.

Pearson Edexcel maths 1-9 practice papers

The best of the commercially produced practice paper sets. It is produced by Pearson (who are Edexcel) and is very well aligned to the syllabus. Clearly worked answers (very accessible for the independent student), two sets of papers. QR links to videos for difficult questions.


CGP practice papers

Two sets of practice papers with worked answers (well aligned to syllabus)


Letts practice papers

Two sets of papers with clearly marked answers (fairly well aligned to syllabus)


Collins practice papers

This practice set is not very good. There are several question topics which are not even on the Edexcel GCSE (e.g. sigma notation of sequences) However there are a couple of topics that occur that have not come up in any of the other papers (truncation of numbers, difference between equations and identities). Don’t attempt this set in the week before the exams – the more challenging questions start very early on in the paper – they are strangely worded and use unusual processes. It can cause panic.


Mark Ritchings 9-1 maths practice papers

I haven’t got this, but if you have lots of time…..


Maths Genie Predicted Papers

Mr Maths Genie produces a set of exam papers that he thinks will be reflective of the up and coming exam. There are also some of the predicted papers from the new spec previous years (ATM sets for 2017 and 2018 are available). These are very useful (and free!)


Churchill papers (free of sample of paper 1 plus mark scheme)

Follows a sample examiners mark scheme so that you can see how marks are awarded


4.   Video exam practice

On Maths

Online predicted papers with video walkthrough and electronic marking. The disadvantage of the electronic marking is that you don’t get any marks for workings – your overall mark will almost certainly be higher than your mark from this site. There are also some ‘mini-mocks’ which are quicker (20 mark) versions of the exam which are great if you don’t have much time on a particular day.


Wright Maths

Videos for specimen papers set 1, mock set 1 and 2 (These are for the Edexcel produced specimen and sample papers available at Maths Genie – see below)


5.   Actual practice papers produced by Edexcel

These have only the examiners mark scheme (workings are not always clear). Save these for when you are up and running with all of your skills.

https://www.mathsgenie.co.uk/papers.html (Sample and specimen papers - top of the page)

https://56leomessiphotoshop.blogspot.co.uk/p/edexcel-june-2017-exam-materials.html (Nov 2017 papers, H paper 2 missing)

Comments on using papers from other boards e.g. AQA and OCR: These papers can be useful if you have used up all the other sources, but in our experience the wording of the questions varies quite a bit – also the type of question, and one or two topics vary a bit in the content. Much better to stick to Edexcel material until you have used it all up.