Weaker candidates need to address specific areas that would help them gain

additional marks in these key areas:
Not showing method or explanation - teachers must emphasise the importance
to candidates of earning available marks for representing and Interpreting
marks. If candidates simply give a correct answer without showing methods
and working and without giving reasons and explanations they are likely to
lose roughly 60% of the available marks.
Lack of skill - many candidates struggle with questions involving time
calculations. The most common error here is a lack of understanding – many
candidates seem to forget that there are 60 minutes in an hour and that, for
example, 5.47 hours are not the same as 5 hours 47 minutes. Another area of
difficulty seems to be questions related to practical skills. An example of this is
a calculation for the number of tiles needed for a kitchen floor should be
based on the length and width of the kitchen rather than on the area. Learners
using the area method are likely to score some marks but would not gain full
marks.
Not reading the question properly - candidates are losing marks because they
aren’t reading questions with sufficient care. This can lead to wasted time and
no marks. Spending time reading the question instead of rushing ahead is
advisable. It may be worth highlighting key words and phrases in the
question.
Not answering every question - do encourage your students to attempt every
single question. Even if they can only answer part of a question or show an
acceptable method, they are likely to be awarded some marks.
Describing methods used rather than showing them - this is really good advice
for your students as typing or writing figures and symbols is usually far
quicker than writing a description of them and it means that your students
will be gaining marks allocated for method. For example, to find the mean
height of five people (measuring 1.7, 1.94, 1.8, 1.65 and 1.99 metres) a
candidate may write ‘I added all the heights of the people together and then
divided by five’. When they should have written 1.7 + 1.94 + 1.8 + 1.65 + 1.99 =
9.08. 9.08/5 =1.816 metres.
Deleting calculations - sometimes candidate delete a calculation they think is
wrong. Examiner advice is not to delete work as it could provide them with
one or two extra marks.
Weaker candidates need to address specific areas that would help them gain
additional marks in these key areas:
Not checking calculations - weaker candidates seem unable to show evidence
that they have checked their calculations. They should be encouraged to carry
out checks using estimation and reverse calculation; marks for checks are
usually easily gained.
Not reading the question or source material properly - candidates are losing
marks because they aren’t answering the question asked. They should read
the question with care to avoid wasting time and losing marks by doing
unnecessary work. Some candidates seem to misread the source material
which can lead to incorrect interpretations, though they still pick up most of
the process marks.
Not showing explanations - if the question asks for an explanation, candidates
must provide one. This can be as simple as explaining how they worked their
answers out. However more marks may be gained if candidates refer to values
and results in their explanations.
Not showing workings - if a question has marks available for method then
candidates must show their workings. If there are several calculation steps
required to come to an answer, candidates should show working for every one
of those steps. It is important to stress to your students that the Representing
and Interpreting marks are just as important as the Analysing marks. If
candidates give correct answers without showing methods and working or
reasons and explanations they stand to lose about 60% of the available marks.
Poor layout of a response - weaker candidates tend not to think about the way
they present their answers. It would help to consider the layout of an answer
and include key words to explain what candidates are doing – a simply
scaffolded answer would make questions easier to mark and help examiners
understand what candidates are trying to say.
Lack of skill - many candidates struggle with questions related to practical
skills. They seem to find it difficult extracting the mathematical demands of a
question. Another area where candidates seem to need practice is converting
between units, especially metric and imperial.
Deleting calculations - sometimes candidate delete a calculation they think is
wrong. Examiner advice is not to delete work as it could provide them with
one or two extra marks.