Monday, 27 December 2010

GCSE Master series website launched!

First of all just want to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year! Top Grade Tutoring are pleased to announce the release of the GCSE Master series website. For more information about the range of GCSE DVDs please visit!

Friday, 3 December 2010

New DVDs from Top Grade Tutoring!!!

Top Grade Tutoring are pleased to announce the release of a GCSE Science revision DVD due for release in April 2011. The DVD is presented by an up and coming presenter Rosie Hogg, featuring 3 hours of top tips on how best to maximise your marks for GCSE science exams.

Rosie Hogg was interviewed earlier this month to talk about the forthcoming release Check out the interview with the presenter below:

For more information about GCSE Maths please visit

Saturday, 13 November 2010

How to balance equations

Ok I was teaching a student how to balance equations today, so I just thought I would share the correct way to solve equations using this method.

Right! without further ado you need to remember that what you do to one side you must also do to the other side of the equation.

So lets say you had an equation 2x+10=20
The first thing you need to do is to take 10 from both sides

so this would be: 2x+10-10=20-10

Now this would result in 2x=10

Now you need to divide both sides by 2:

2x / 2 = 10/ 2


x = 5

Notice step by step we get nearer to the answer until we arrive at the answer which is 5

I always stick to a 'see saw method' So basically keep all the algebra on the left hand side and the numbers on the right hand side. Keep going by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing to both sides (depending upon what you have to do) until you arrive at a situation where x or y or whatever your unknown term is equals a number.

Hope that helps!


For more information about GCSE Maths please visit

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Just wanted to say congratulations to all of my students who did so well this year in their GCSEs!!

For more information about GCSE Maths please visit

Sunday, 1 August 2010

How to go from a D to an A in GCSE Maths

Ok you may be thinking that the subject title is a little ‘far fetched’ or even totally bizarre, but it is possible to do. As a home tutor in Mathematics I have taught many students the secrets to success in GCSE Maths in over a seven year period, with over 85% of all students that I have taught gaining at least a GCSE grade C. Without meaning to sound arrogant I have even brought some students up from a C/D to an A. In this article I hope to give some advice that will help boost your grades significantly!

Ok so let’s get down to brass tactics, the fundamental secret is confidence. Like most things in life the more confident you are in something that you undertake the less it bothers you and the less painful it becomes. So how exactly do you become more confident in Mathematics? Well it comes as a result of a combination of organisation and fundamentally a lot of practice.

Organisation and study skills are essential for success in GCSE Maths as they are for any subject that you undertake at any level. Remember to plan effectively, allocate time to your studies. Some students find it useful to devise a study timetable. I don’t advocate all work and no play, but neither do I advocate leaving everything to the last minute! I can’t stress enough that planning is essential! Remember that only you can take responsibility for your own learning, nobody else can, nobody else can do learn on your behalf only you can!

It is essential that before you practice that you understand the concepts of the topic that you are trying to improve upon. If you don’t get things first time in class and let’s face it who does? Then there are ways to obtain the information. The internet is an excellent resource with many video tutorials available on video sharing sites such as YouTube, Daily Motion and Blip TV to name but a few. Revision guides are ok but they usually summarise the concepts and don’t fully go through the step by step processes needed to solve a problem. Now this is the key, you need step by step instructions to explain how the methodology behind each topic, be it Algebra or Trigonometry. Course textbooks are excellent for this as they often go into a lot more detail, do a search on for the best books on the market, usually the average rating is a good indicator of this. Make sure the star rating is at least 4 out of 5.

When you have obtained your book it is important that you maintain self discipline to learn the concepts in the book and to practice as many questions as you can. You can get questions from not only the book itself but also from many GCSE Maths revision websites. Also get as many past exam papers as you can get hold of. Make sure that they are the correct type that is to say make sure you know which exam board you are under. So if you are taking GCSE Maths that is being examined by AQA , get AQA past exam papers. If you are unsure speak to your Maths teacher, they will usually know which exam board you are under.

Now my final bit of advice is probably the best bit of advice. If you really do struggle with Maths and you have tried lots of books, video tutorials and after school clubs and nothing seems to work then get yourself a maths tutor. I know you probably hate the thought of somebody coming round to help you, as you may see this as a weakness, but remember even a short term amount of tutoring for as little as three months can really make a difference! There are many national tuition agencies out there and you can often stipulate what kind of tutor that you want, for example a young or older tutor, male / female etc.

For more information about maths tuition please go to

Monday, 26 July 2010

How to succeed in GCSE Maths

Let’s face it, GCSE Maths isn’t a popular subject for the majority of students in the UK. A lot of students find the subject boring, irrelevant or too difficult. As a home tutor in Mathematics I have experienced ‘first hand’ a lot of these opinions regarding GCSE Mathematics. I have also successfully helped over 120 students through their GCSE Maths exams with over 85% of these obtaining at least a grade C. Some have even gone on to study the subject at A level, as a result of the one to one tuition that I have provided. So what is the secret to the success in GCSE Maths? Well before I go into detail, I want to firstly outline the 5 key areas in where I know students make mistakes. From here it will be clear as to how to succeed in the subject.

Mistake #1 Negative beliefs “I don’t understand the subject therefore I never will”

Getting rid of limiting beliefs is one key area to succeeding in the subject. I have lost count the number of times that I have heard students say that they will never understand Algebra or Trigonometry. This is simply not true. A lot of students attempt questions that are far too difficult to begin with, remember as the Chinese say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step. Firstly learn the step by step procedures to in Algebra or Trigonometry or whatever it is that you are having problems in, this is the magic recipe if you will that you can then apply to help solve the problems. From there on you can then apply this to more difficult problems. You will find that as you progress and you begin to get questions right, your confidence will subsequently improve.

Mistake #2 Not practising enough “Not enough practice results in poor performance”

Remember that GCSE Maths is very much like a sport, you need to practice otherwise you will become rusty. I realise that not a lot of schools allow students to take home GCSE Maths text books. In this case you need to take responsibility and get yourself a GCSE Maths text book from the library, WHSMITHS, Waterstones or even from Amazon. You usually get a good second hand book from Amazon for as little as £10. Make sure it has answers in the back, not to be used for cheating mind! The reason being for this is that you can do the exercises in the book then check your answers afterwards. I also strongly recommend getting lots and lots of past exam papers so that you can practice the questions and get a feel for what they are going to be like.

Mistake #3 Poor GCSE Study Skills “Poor organisation results in poor progress”

This is a general study tip here that you can apply to all your subjects. Remember you have to organise your time effectively. Plan out your week meticulously. Work out when you can spend time on Maths, English, Science etc... Then within this plan sub divide your time. So for example you may allocate 8 hours a week for Maths. From this 2 hours could be spent on Past papers, 3 hours on weak topics and 3 hours on revision etc. Remember discipline here is the key. You have to make a plan and stick to it. I am not advocating ‘all work and no play’ but in Year 11 exams are looming and you need to be prepared to make sacrifices.

Mistake #4 Spending too much on topics you are good at “ignoring weaknesses results in failure”

I see time after time a lot of students who focus far too much on topics that they are stronger on. What is the point of that? Remember the exam will test a wide range of topics including the ones that you not so good at, so you need to ensure that you cover as many of your weak areas as possible to bring them up to the same standard as your stronger topics.

Mistake #5 Not getting help “I will look stupid if I ask for help”

Nobody deep down likes to admit that they need help, they feel it is a weakness and something that will expose an inadequacy. I would argue that it shows a strength of character. After all aren’t you wanting to improve your situation and get better? If you don’t want a tutor, then there are GCSE Maths forums that you can use, so there are always options open to you. If you do struggle with Maths then a tutor is an invaluable resource. There are many home tuition agencies out there, getting a younger more modern teacher may be more appealing, without meaning to sound ageist.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Another GCSE Maths Master Sample

For more information about the GCSE Maths Master revision DVD please visit

Sunday, 11 July 2010

GCSE Maths Revision Trigonometry

Sample taken from the GCSE Maths Master revision DVD

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New GCSE Maths Revision Forum!

Top Grade Tutoring have just launched a GCSE Maths Revision Forum! So don't suffer anymore with your GCSE Maths! Check out the forum to find solutions to your questions, exchange ideas and even make new friends!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Maths tuition certainly makes the grade

As this is the first post of 2010 I just wanted to wish every reader a happy and prosperous 2010!

Pressure to succeed academically is becoming greater and greater in the UK. Students are expected to reach stringent government targets at key stages 2,3 and 4. Teachers often do not have the time to over topics with students if they 'don't get things first time'. So invariably parents are turning to an alternative solution, private home tuition.

Private home tuition in subjects like Mathematics is becoming more popular because students are falling behind. Mathematics has traditionally been a difficult subject, the kind of subject that you either love or hate. Alas the majority of students dislike it and often require additional support.

With the continuing decline in classroom behaviour in the United Kingdom, students are missing out on the essential education that they require. Teachers are also under more pressure to meet ever increasing government targets and fill in paper work, which means that they are unable to spend enough time with students to help them them with any problems that they are encountering with their studies.

So how does private tuition work? Once you contact a private tuition agency to arrange for private tuition you will then be contacted by a home tutor, who is CRB checked in accordance with the protection of children act 1999. The home tutor who typically will be either a graduate or a teacher in a school will discuss with you your child's educational needs, in order to establish the level and frequency of tuition that they feel is necessary. Typicall the tutor will travel to your house to conduct the lessons which typically will be around an hour in length. During the lesson the tutor will address the areas of difficulty that your child is encountering within the subject that they are being tutored in and provide exam practice and preparation.

With one to one maths tuition, students are able to raise any areas of difficulty within Mathematics that they may have with their assigned tutor and have it explained in a clear and professional manner. Secondly, more able students are able to progress more quickly in their studies as more topics can be covered on a one to one basis, compared to in a classroom environment, where disruptive students can hold back more able students who wish to learn.

Typically a student will learn twice as much via a one to one private tuition approach in a single lesson compared to that of a classroom environmnent where there are many disrupitions varying from noise to other disruptive students. The cost of home tuition can be off putting for many parents, the benefits however definitely outweigh the costs. For example students are often more confident as a result of the private tuition that they receive. Students are often ahead of their peers too, as topics can be covered more quickly as a result of the maths tuition that they receive.

Top Grade Tutoring, a private mathematics tuition agency formed by Steven Britton in his home town of Halesowen West Midlands has successfully helped over 120 people in Mathematics. He claims that a staggering 85% of all people that have been taught by tutors there have moved up at least one grade in Mathematics.

So as you can see it really does make sense to invest the time and money into your child's education. You could argue that this perhaps is a sad reflection on the state of the British education system that has been ruined by the policies of the new labour government since 1997, but with every problem there is a solution. Private tuition definitely seems the way to go and an excellent alternative to private education with certainly is costly.