Maths Challenge Prompts

Challenge Prompts from Andrew Stewart-Brown provides just what the title says, a video prompt for students trying Maths Challenge questions. With the Junior Maths Challenge approaching in April this is an ideal time to look at this excellent resource if you have not done so. Papers covered by the resource are for Junior, 2014-2021 and Intermediate, 2015-2017. The resource is accessible on tablets and mobile phones as well as computers.

With the latest interface, students can be set a paper to attempt on their own, go to the website and enter their answers. If the answer is not correct, they are presented with the video. Students can listen to the question being read, watch the prompt at which point many will be able to solve the problem.

This is an ideal resource for students preparing for the Maths Challenges, but of course, is also excellent for any student working on their problem-solving skills. Highly recommended!

Challenge Prompts
JMC 2021 question 2
prompt video JMC 2021 question 2

The BSRLM published an article on the development of challenge prompts based on a presentation given at their online conference in Summer 2021, see paper 20 here.

From UKMT you can look at full solutions for recent papers also note the investigations and solutions to individual questions for the Junior, Intermediate and Senior competitions. The UKMT Solo Competitions page provides a useful index of resources. Solutions are also available for follow on rounds.

The investigations take a question further.

Look for example at the solutions and investigation for the 2020 paper.

UKMT on Diagnostic Questions

On the outstanding Diagnostic Questions site, you can choose Maths Challenge questions by topic for the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Challenges by choosing the Themed Quizzes option. These quizzes consist of sets of four or five questions grouped by topic. (Log in to Diagnostic Questions to use the link.)

For further challenging problems see the post, Polya – Problem Solving which includes many recommendations.

Zeitz, P., 2007. The art and craft of problem solving. 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, p.2

Mathematics Revision

See also these posts:

On the subject of starters – short questions can make ideal revision starters – a reminder of some great resources:

Unlimited Edexcel GCSE 1 mark questions

On TES, from SNO, this Excel spreadsheet generates an endless supply of 1 mark questions with the option to display the answers, making an ideal starter. Two versions are available, you can choose 5 or 10 questions to display.

Check this great resource from Mr Kingsley, an ideal starter, there are 80 sets of 10 1 and 2 mark questions in this file.

We start every foundation lesson with a booklet of ten 1&2 mark questions, aimed at repetition. Builds up in difficulty in both calc & non-calc topics. 80 pages worth. Seems to help reduce errors at the start of papers. Feel free to take a look.— Mr Kingsley (@KingsleyMaths) February 12, 2021

Edexcel’s Practice Papers include freely available Foundation Tier one mark questions. There are calculator and non-calculator paper questions and mark schemes from June 2017 through to June 2019 (non-calculator) and to November 2019 for the calculator questions.

Corbett Maths – A Bit of Everything practice papers

On Corbett Maths you will find a complete collection of Practice Papers, note the Revision resources, including A Bit of Everything Papers; the Foundation papers with 116 questions provide very comprehensive syllabus coverage! Each paper includes a contents list with the relevant teaching video.

Mr Neill

From Mr Neill, a brilliant resource, all Edexcel, AQA and OCR GCSE maths questions categorised by topic with answers from June 2017 to Nov 2020 (9-1), available all on pdf, PowerPoint or Promethean.

Transum Refreshing Revision

This Custom Starter from Transum, is one I have featured before, it allows teachers to select the number of questions and the topics to include; scroll down the page and choose the topics you want from the Concept Selection. It is possible to save a particular selection of topics as the URL for your selection will be generated. It is also possible to drag the panels so your questions are displayed in the desired order. The beginning of a lesson can be an ideal time to review previous learning.

Mr Chadburn – Calendars

I do like Wayne Chadburn’s monthly calendars that provide regular, varied practice – a little bit of maths each day. Calendars for the 2022-23 academic year (so far up to December) are available here. Note the three versions including crossover questions (these appear on both Foundation and Higher papers so great practice for the more challenging Foundation questions), Foundation, Foundation plus and Higher; answers are provided.

Mathematics Worked Examples – A Level

From Pearson/Edexcel, comes a very valuable resource, under Summer 2022, Support, A Level Mathematics Topic Tests, is a new set of topic tests (no login required) for Pure Mathematics (10 tests), Mechanics (5 tests) and Statistics (5 tests) are provided. These are very comprehensive, not only do we have the questions and mark schemes but further notes. Looking at an example, the first test of the Pure Mathematics tests is on Proof, 5 varied questions cover the knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to Pearson’s qualification. The tests are designed to be used with the advance information for the subject as well as general marking guidance for the qualification.

Edexcel Topic Test – Proof

Hodder examples
Hodder – Solutions for My Revision Notes (Pure)

Hodder Edexcel ebooks and multiple-choice questions.
You might find these free Hodder Revision Resources useful,  questions and fully worked solutions for each section of the book are provided, and whilst the documents refer to the books, they are complete in themselves. The free document pdf file) has questions with fully worked answers. You can also see multiple-choice questions by topic. 

Hodder Test Yourself example
Hodder – Test Yourself example

These work interactively, the correct answer with reasoning is provided and also explanations as to why the other responses are incorrect.

A huge thank you to Hodder for providing such excellent and useful resources.

Maths Genie
Maths Genie

From Maths Genie, as well as all the excellent GCSE resources, we also have A Level worked examples. There are two AS Sample papers with worked solutions, Pure Mathematics and Statistics and Mechanics; also available are videos and examination questions by topic for both AS and A Level.

crashMATHS AQA style

From crashMaths these AS Maths Key Skills Check worksheets are very valuable for Year 13 in the second year of their A Level course. The Skills Checks are all on Pure Mathematics and make ideal lesson starters.

crashMaths Skills Check
crashMaths Skills Checks

When working through solutions, take every opportunity to illustrate with technology. 

See also AS Level Question Countdown and/or the A-Level Countdown, these were created for the 2019 exams. Each set provides 10 worksheets of mixed questions with 7 questions on each sheet, 5 are pure questions and 2 are applied. Whilst written in the style of Edexcel, the subject content is the same for all examination boards.

CrashMaths Countdown

I do like the way the pure section of the worksheets includes a mix of basic, problem and modelling questions.

Women in Mathematics

March 8th 2022 is International Women’s Day.
We’ll start with an image I have shared before that I think still says it all! Thank you, Steve Lomax (Photo courtesy of the wonderful children of Mansfield Green E-ACT Primary, @mgeact  @EducationEACT) who shared this wonderful response to the task ‘Describe a mathematician’…


Some useful references on women in Mathematics:

From Lucy Rycroft-Smith, see this wonderful collection of books about Maths by women. Lucy has chosen 13 books, I like the way she has categorised the books, a book for the artist, for the rebel…. Brilliant – I can see some in there I want!

From the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme, Find ways to encourage girls to study Mathematics. Note the free resources here, including (for girls and boys!) Maths, Opening the door to your future, a leaflet which explores the post-16 maths qualifications available to students, to help them decide which one is best. 

Note too the 30-minute presentation, Why Study Maths, for students and parents/carers which is about the importance of studying maths post-GCSE. It outlines the options available and provides compelling reasons for choosing to take an advanced maths qualification. Slides and speaker notes are available to download. These resources could be an excellent way of helping Mathematics Departments link curriculum learning to Careers, for all students, helping to meet the Gatsby Benchmark on this. 

And for some History

Number Resources

Very much a beginning and a work in progress, I have been reorganising pages. Making things easy to find is a never-ending task! Having written this blog since 2009, many older posts are still very useful – I want to make those easier to find.

Hence some new pages, the first of which is Number under GCSE (14-16). This shows GCSE content and links to some favourite posts, also to sites that are particularly easy to search by topic. Further posts and resources and sites will be added, this is quite a project, but watch this space!

So number brings some posts together such as:

Number Operations

Number Operations

Systematic Listing Strategies

Corbett Maths

Multiplication and Division