## Every Student is Different

As a full time private Maths tutor with ten years’ experience you can imagine I’ve worked with a range of students and learner types. So I know very well there’s no magic formula for passing National 5 Maths. However, that experience has also taught me the things students can do to maximise their chances and the most common pitfalls. In this short article I’d like to share some ‘best practices’ for how to pass National 5 Maths.

## Nat 5 Maths is an Algebra Course

The National 5 Maths course contains around 20 topics but it’s essentially an algebra course. There is some geometry, numeracy and trigonometry but most of the marks come from using algebra in some way or other. Even topics that don’t initially seem to be algebra-based often turn into algebra – for example Pythagoras Theorem is to do with triangles right? Wrong, it’s about solving an equation i.e. doing algebra. The trigonometry topics in general use as much algebra technique as they do trigonometry. To be successful in National 5 Maths you have to be competent in algebra. Students should practice EXPANDING BRACKETS, FACTORISING, ALGEBRAIC FRACTIONS, SOLVING EQUATIONS and REARRANGING FORMULAS. If you’re unsure about any of these techniques you can watch my ALGEBRA instructional videos.

## Become An Equation Ninja!

I just said that to pass National 5 Maths you have to be competent in algebra. But to be more specific you have to be confident in solving equations. On the final exam there’s only ever one actual equation question (and a simultaneous equation question). But equations are how answers are derived and solutions presented for a range of question types. In general, at least 30% of the final EXAM QUESTIONS will require students to use an equation. Getting good at equations not only allows students to generate marks but also gives students confidence and allows them to tackle problems more efficiently so they have more time for other questions. Students should start off by practicing ‘basic’ EQUATIONS and then move onto EQUATIONS WITH BRACKETS, EQUATIONS WITH FRACTIONS, INEQUATIONS, and SIMULTANEOUS EQUATIONS. Note that REARRANGING FORMULAS (also called ‘changing the subject of a formula’) is essentially the same technique as solving an equation and is also a common exam technique. If you’re unsure about any of these techniques you can watch my NATIONAL 5 MATHS EQUATIONS instructional videos.

**Need More Help with National 5 Maths?**

We have the solution with our National 5 Maths Online Course. Featuring 85 step by step instructional videos, more than 500 exam relevant practice questions with full solutions and comprehensive course notes. Ideal to support your classroom work, help with homework or tests, and prepare for final exams. Learn more and start your course access HERE.

## Get Cozy With Common Questions

One of the biggest challenges that National 5 Maths students face is associating techniques to particular question types. It doesn’t matter how competent you are with a technique – if it isn’t answering the question you won’t get the marks! Students often remark that the questions that come up on assessments are ones they’ve never seen before. Of course this is rarely true, they just haven’t recognized the question type. If you want to know how to pass National 5 Maths, one key will be getting very familiar with common questions. If you look at past NATIONAL 5 MATHS EXAM PAPERS – and, in particular, PAST EXAM QUESTIONS BY TOPIC – you see that essentially the same questions come up every year but in a slightly different form. But that said questions are never going to be identical from year to year so it’s also important to be prepared for, and practice, variations. Click to watch VIDEO SOLUTIONS to past exam papers.

## It’s OK to Not Know Everything

National 5 Maths consists of more than 20 topics and over 100 techniques. That’s a lot of content to be able to recall – especially when you consider variations on questions. But students should keep in mind that they don’t have to know everything – every student has strong topics and topics that are more challenging for them. I often suggest to students to consider not attempting questions on topics that they’re finding particularly difficult when it could waste time and impact other questions. Ideally students would feel comfortable enough with all topics to at least give the questions a go – but shouldn’t feel that they have to take on every question. It’s possible to ignore multiple topics / questions and comfortably pass National 5 Maths. In fact, you could still make an A grade using this strategy. This shouldn’t be seen as an excuse for not trying to learn tricky topics – but if you’re really not making progress consider putting them to one side. Check out our FREE NATIONAL 5 MATHS EXAM STUDY RESOURCES.

## Don’t Obsess Over Graphs

When I ask students what they’re most worried about for the final exam, or which topic / technique they need the most help with, by far the most common response is graphs. There are graphs in National 5 Maths for sure but, like all techniques, they’re not so prevalent as to make or break a students chances. Graphs are a great example of the previous section – ‘you don’t need to know everything’ Graphs appear in STRAIGHT LINES, QUADRATICS and TRIGONOMETRY. Collectively graphs account for around 7 marks on the final exam. Graphs aren’t easy and have a fair bit of understanding behind them. In most cases studenst will have to persevere to master the techniques. Watch my GRAPH INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS if you need some support.

**Need More Help with National 5 Maths?**

We have the solution with our National 5 Maths Online Course. Featuring 85 step by step instructional videos, more than 500 exam relevant practice questions with full solutions and comprehensive course notes. Ideal to support your classroom work, help with homework or tests, and prepare for final exams. Learn more and start your course access HERE.

## Useful Links

These links may help you find additional information about the National 5 Maths course.

National 5 Maths Exam Papers & Solutions

National 5 Maths Exam Questions by Topic

National 5 Maths Exam Study Materials

National 5 Maths FREE Worksheets

National 5 Maths Video Solutions

National 5 Maths Key Skills Playlist

National 5 Maths Exam Tips & Tricks Playlist

National 5 Maths Online Course

## Any More Questions?

Drop us a message if you have any questions about the National 5 Maths course. We’ll get back to you shortly.