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Level 4 Maths: How to pass GCSE Maths and make maths fun

What is level 4 Maths? Will your child achieve it?

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It is important to understand the grading levels of GCSE Mathematics. The Government has deemed a grade 4 (level C) as a ‘standard pass’. Grade 5 is a ‘strong pass‘ and equivalent to a high C or low B in the old grading system. Grade 4, however, remains the level that students must achieve. If they do not achieve this level in English or maths, they will resit English and Maths post-16.

In 2019, AQA Foundation Maths required a score of 122/240 to achieve grade 4, and 157/240 for grade 5. That’s roughly a 50% pass for grade 4 and 65% for grade 5.

The AQA Higher Maths Exam Higher may be an option because, in November 2020, fewer marks were needed to achieve grade 4 – only 37/240 was required (or less than 15.5%). The Foundation questions are easier, but a lot more need to be answered correctly.

In 2019 AQA Higher Maths
Understanding the marking scheme is simple: Do the working-out, give your answer and you’ll get the marks. Marks are awarded for correct working-out, so even if the answer is wrong, you can still gain marks.

Time to pass your GCSE Maths with a level 4 or above

An overwhelming majority of pupils fail to reach their full potential in Maths, but not necessarily because they are not ‘good’ at the subject. There are many reasons why children underachieve in Maths. Some may have special educational needs, while others simply find the subject boring. Some struggle to understand abstract concepts, while others have a teacher or tutor who fails to make Maths interesting.

The challenge for tutors is to provide the help required to build students’ confidence and enjoyment of a complicated subject; to make Maths fun! It is important for children to start learning the basic concepts when they are young. After all, we can’t ignore their education until their GCSE exams and expect them to get a level four. Even if you are told your child is expected to fail the subject, or they say they hate Maths, there is still hope. They can still get that much-anticipated C (under new guidelines—level 4) and pass their GCSE Maths exams, the question is, how?

How can HNL Tutors help? What is level 4 as a grade?

HNL Tutors has been teaching Primary Maths and Maths GCSE online via its interactive academy (including face-to-face lessons) for many years. As an HNL tutor, I have a Higher Teaching Qualification in Maths and many years’ experience teaching Mathematics and Numeracy to children who find Maths a challenge. I prepare them academically, mentally and emotionally for their exams, because it doesn’t matter if your child understands maths or even likes Mathematics, they will love the satisfaction of achieving a good grade, particularly in a subject where so many others fail.

Testimonials from parents and students can be found here

HNL Tutors takes great satisfaction from introducing a child who doesn’t like Mathematics to the beautiful world of Maths. Truth be told, HNL Tutors are not too fond of the ‘same-old, same-old’ teaching methods that bore the pants off their students. Instead, when working with us, don’t be surprised if you hear enthusiastic discussions and laughter during our lessons, at both primary and secondary school level. Our classes are engaging and interactive because this helps children enjoy the learning process and trust me, it works. 100% of HNL Tutors’ students move up at least one level and 80% progress two levels. 

What is level 4 as a grade?

It is essential for a child to trust a tutor, her knowledge, and her intention to help them achieve in maths, but teaching must also be fun. Therefore, our lessons are much more than a standard student-teacher session; they are creative, effective and enjoyable.

As an example: After failing his GCSE Maths three times, a student came to HNL Tutors for tutoring. After working with us for two months, he passed the subject with a score of 175/200.

How do we do it? What is level 4 as a grade?

HNL Tutors use several teaching methods, depending on the child’s idiosyncrasies and needs. For example, we may watch and discuss an educational video, play an instructive board game that involves other students, or encourage students to play games together online. We teach from the whiteboard and in turn, encourage students to teach their friends what they have learnt with us. It is critical for students to teach their peers from the whiteboard this way and we have seen exceptional learning results from using this technique.

As part of the course, expect your child to be given homework, because homework is vital to the ongoing learning process.

To ensure students achieve their best potential, HNL courses are built up gradually.

1.   First, we teach a simple element of the course.

2.    When the child has a full understanding of that element, we expand it to a more in-depth level.

3.   That done, we then teach the entire topic from start to finish.

4.    We test to assess how well the child has understood the specific subject.

5.   Six weeks later, we return to the topic for revision at a more challenging level and to help cement learning, we may give a test.

Working hand in hand with parents

HNL Tutors need parents/carers to be on board for all of this to work. Together can make great strides and achieve the results we all want. This is teamwork, so we always appreciate supportive parents. It has been proved that if a parent believes in their child’s abilities and skills, the child will too and thus, children give their best when it is a joint effort.


Passing GCSE Maths to the required standard is not impossible, even for the most reluctant student. With a combination of proven techniques, interactive and enjoyable classes and with the support of parents, HNL Tutors make learning maths enjoyable and successful.

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