Skip to main content

Identify weaknesses

It’s important to understand the areas you need to work on, that might need extra attention and practice before entering the exam. You should aim to be equally confident in all areas of the syllabus rather than excelling in one topic, and struggling with others. This is a time to get back to basics and find out where you went wrong in past answers, don’t just move on – try to figure it out! Revise your notes or get some help from your NCEA level 1 maths tutor to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Practice, practice, practice

You’ll want to ingrain those equations and methods into your memory with loads of practice, until it becomes second nature. The only way you can really prepare yourself for the NCEA level 1 maths exam is with endless practice, focusing on areas you have struggled with. Find past exam papers, talk to your teachers about the exam structure and what topics might be included so you know what areas to dedicate your study time to.

Tailor your notes in a way that you can understand and remember

Try and find ways to connect algorithms to real world concepts to make it easier for you to remember how to approach certain maths problems with practical applications. Turning mathematical concepts into analogies can help a student’s perception of changing concepts that seem too abstract or incomprehensible, to real life situations.

Stay on top of homework with help from a tutor

Don’t get too caught up in your study that you forget to keep on top of homework! This is just as important so that you don’t fall behind with new topics or refreshing and going over old ones. Dedicate a scheduled time separate from study to complete homework and class assignments as falling behind in one area, could have larger consequences of falling behind in multiple, trying to catch up. Work with your NCEA level 1 maths tutor to complete homework in a efficient manner, learning as you go.

Familiarise yourself with the calculator functions

Your calculator is supposed to be your friend, not enemy, so make sure you understand the functions before heading into the exam. It’s there to help you, not confuse you! Talk to your teachers and research calculators that are approved to be used in the exam, the last thing you want is for it to be confiscated for not meeting the standard policies.


Maths is an important skill and we are here to help you develop it. Our qualified NCEA level 1 Maths tutors throughout Auckland will help you create a program fitted to your own syllabus or curriculum, preparing you in advance for exams, assignments, and tests. Contact us at Tutoring for Excellence to get prepared for the NCEA.