ICS Real Stories: Verity | Online GCSE Maths Review
As a working mum, Verity needed a flexible GCSE Maths course that would allow her to get the grade she needed to become a Geography Teacher.
I have just successfully taken my Maths GCSE as a mature student aged 43 with ICS Learn.
I made the decision to change my career to become a Geography Teacher at secondary school. One of the entry requirements was a minimum of C or new grade 4 in Maths.
I only managed an E grade when at school and found maths baffling so the thought of taking my GCSE again was quite terrifying.
I work full time and have a young child, so I needed an online course to give me the flexibility to study as and when it was possible.
I found ICS Learn from a Google search. I needed somewhere who would still enrol me as it was November and not the beginning of the school term.
I phoned and spoke to one of the course advisors who answered all my queries. I chose ICS Learn as they offered the course I needed and the flexibility I required.
I started my studies just before Christmas. I have to say I was very apprehensive at the start. I was not sure what to expect.
Would I struggle with the subject as I had at school? Would I complete the course on time? As a mature student with over 25 years since my GCSEs, how would I cope with studying again?
I really believed I was not good at maths.
I started the course by watching the online lessons led by Melissa Lieberman recorded on YouTube. I could not attend the lessons live as they were during the day.
Melissa’s lessons were undoubtedly one of the reasons I got through the GCSE. She was very clear, went at a good pace and put me at ease.
I found it helped me when I saw some of the students who were interacting during the live lessons made the same mistakes as I was!
Also, if there was something I found difficult, I could rewind the recording and go back over it until I understood.
There was always support available from either my tutor or I could message or call Melissa directly if I had any questions or problems.
The complete flexibility of the course meant I could study when I got the chance, even doing do half an hour of a lesson before work.
The lesson recordings were all listed on the ICS Learn website which showed how far you were along the course and what you had left to do.
At the start, I found some of the work quite tough but by Unit 2 where we began to revisit some of the basics in more detail, I started to get more confident.
There were exams to sit at the end of each of the 3 units. These were marked by my tutor who gave feedback.
This helped me address some of my weaker areas such as taking time to read the question correctly and checking the work to stop silly mistakes.
Once I had completed the 3 units required for the foundation paper I began my revision. I watched the online revision lessons and used the links recommended by Melissa. I found Maths Genie very helpful as it has a series of short revision clips.
I sat all past and sample GCSE papers available given by Melissa and watched the videos going through the solutions and self-marked. With areas I was weak, I revisited the online lessons until I felt confident.
During the actual exam, I was of course incredibly nervous as my future rested on a good result. I was over the moon and relieved to get a grade 5 with an 86% result over the 3 exams!
I never believed I could enjoy Maths so much as when at school I had thought I was not a natural. I enjoyed my maths journey and have in fact found it difficult to readjust to my Geography studies.
Therefore, from someone with very low confidence in Maths I would highly recommend ICS Learn to any students old or young. If I can do it so can you!