7 Best Maths Resources for Secondary Students

Posted on February, 2024

Introduction

This blog delves into the seven indispensable resources tailored for secondary students, encompassing both free and paid options that can significantly enhance a student’s proficiency in mathematics exams. While each tool may have its limitations when used in isolation, their combined utilisation can yield remarkable results.

Corbett Maths

Corbett Maths, founded by John Corbett, has become a cornerstone of mathematics education in the UK. Initially conceived to showcase real-life math applications through photos, Corbett expanded his platform to include a YouTube channel, website, and publications, although personal experience with the latter remains limited.

Why is Corbett Maths Useful?

Corbett Maths serves as an excellent starting point for learners, fostering confidence through straightforward exercises and topic introductions.

While its depth may be limited for higher-grade pursuits, its free accessibility renders it invaluable. Notably, Corbett Maths offers challenging papers suitable for even the most adept GCSE mathematics students, alongside comprehensive assessments aiding in identifying knowledge gaps. His 5-a-day challenge is also a good way for students to improve their mathematics by doing a little each day.

Overall, Corbett Maths is recommended for students tackling key stage 3 mathematics, GCSE maths, and GCSE Further maths.

Maths Genie

Background

Maths Genie, founded by Joe Yusuf, specialises in curating exam-style questions across various topics. Although it caters to learners from primary school to A-Level, information about its founder remains sparse.

Why Maths Genie is Useful:

Maths Genie stands out for its meticulous organisation of exam-style questions according to topic, providing students with focused practice opportunities that closely mirror the format and rigour of actual exams. This targeted approach enhances students’ confidence in tackling a diverse range of mathematical concepts and problem-solving techniques, thereby reinforcing their understanding and proficiency.

However, while Maths Genie excels in offering practical exam practice, its emphasis may not lie in providing the foundational understanding that Corbett Maths specialises in. Corbett Maths, with its clear explanations and introductory exercises, serves as an invaluable resource for students seeking to grasp the underlying principles and concepts of mathematics thoroughly.

Nevertheless, the combination of Corbett Maths’ comprehensive topic primers with Maths Genie’s extensive collection of exam-style questions offers students a holistic approach to exam preparation. By leveraging both resources in tandem, students can not only solidify their foundational understanding but also sharpen their exam-taking skills, ensuring comprehensive coverage of the curriculum.

It’s important to acknowledge that while this combined approach provides a strong foundation for exam success, certain topics may require additional practice beyond what these resources offer. In such cases, targeted practice sessions or supplementary materials may be necessary to address specific areas of weakness and ensure thorough preparation for examinations.

BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize furnishes students with basic subject comprehension, backed by expertly crafted content.

Why BBC Bitesize is Useful:

However, while BBC Bitesize excels in providing a foundational understanding of subjects, it often lacks the depth necessary for comprehensive mastery. In-depth exploration of complex topics may be limited, leaving students wanting more detailed explanations or advanced concepts. This can challenge students aiming for higher grades or seeking a deeper understanding of the material.

Furthermore, BBC Bitesize’s focus on basic comprehension may not adequately prepare students for the rigours of exams. While it offers valuable learning resources, the absence of exam-simulated practice can be a significant drawback. Exam-style questions play a crucial role in preparing students for the format, difficulty level, and time constraints of actual exams. Without exposure to such practice, students may find themselves ill-equipped to tackle exam questions effectively.

In essence, while BBC Bitesize fulfils a crucial role in providing foundational knowledge, its limitations in depth and exam-simulated practice highlight the importance of supplementing its resources with additional study materials and practice exams for optimal exam preparation.

My Maths Cloud

My Maths Cloud provides students with plenty of resources for their mathematics study. My maths cloud was set up by a former UCL first-class mathematics graduate called Francesca.

Why My Maths Cloud is Useful:

My Maths Cloud is my favourite current resource because of one thing: it offers shadow papers. Shadow papers are past papers with the numbers changed.

I often find that when I am going through a past paper with a student, it can be useful to model a similar problem with different figures. Shadow papers perform this exact requirement. This is a useful resource for any student doing GCSE  or A-Level maths.

I think that she can improve her site a lot as it is difficult to find specific resources, but overall, it is really useful for any student looking for further test practice. It is especially useful for students about to take mock exams for GCSE in their schools. Unfortunately, she has recently made My Maths Cloud a paid-for resource, but if you were to go for the annual subscription, it works out to around £10 a month, which isn’t bad considering how much work she has put into the site.

M4ths.com

M4ths is a website that looks like it was developed in the dawn of web development, but it offers students free resources in various topics from GCSE algebra to A-Level mechanics. These resources, however, unfortunately, do not come with the answers unless you are Steve Blade’s student.

Why M4ths is Useful:

This is a useful website because it has more question practice for students. On the site, you can also find links to his paid resources, which might be good (but I have never used them). The fact that answers are not included is a real negative, but students still might get a lot out of practising with the questions.

Knowunity

I was pointed towards Knowunity by one of our students who says he uses it a lot in his revision. It consists of a community of students.

Why Knowunity is Useful:

This collaborative environment is helpful as students can field questions. It’s a bit like Instagram but for students who are looking for educational content specifically. Students can also share their notes on the platform, which is quite useful – when I was younger, I had someone whose notes I would use and copy. It is great that students feel empowered enough to share their work and understanding with others.

Essential Maths

Essential Maths by Elmwood Publishing is a series of books that target from KS3 to A-Level. We usually recommend that our students buy the relevant book for their level.

Why Essential Maths is Useful:

These books are easy to access, and nicely gradated, so that skills build nicely upon themselves. There are also plenty of questions for students to test their understanding of topics. Although this is a paid resource, I believe that it is, pardon the pun, “essential” for thorough mathematics preparation.

Check out the affiliate links below:

Foundation Level

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

GCSE Maths Foundation (1-3)

GCSE Maths Foundation (4-5)

Higher Level

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

GCSE Higher Maths (4-9)

A-Level

Book 1

Book 2

Bonus: Redbridge Tuition

Redbridge Tuition also provides a variety of helpful and useful resources for mathematics, including a downloadable collation of official past papers as well as maths holiday courses. 

We also recommend taking a look at our shop, where you can find a range of products designed to help give you an extra boost in maths.

Conclusion

So those were the 7 resources that you should use for maths practice. Resources aren’t everything, but they can help any student scale new heights.

What are your favourite maths resources?

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll be ready to help.

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