CENTURY’s top five recommended revision topics for GCSE maths resits November 2022

Posted on 17th October 2022

Posted by CENTURY Maths Team

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


The topics below were all in our Advance Information course in the summer term, and these are the questions that students struggled with the most. All of these topics are due to come up again in November in either the Edexcel or AQA papers, or both. We recommend you make these a priority with your students.

You can see the full information from the exam boards on the November exams Advance Information here for Edexcel and here for AQA. 

The Edexcel examiner report for the June 2022 Foundation papers also indicates that the questions on these topics were poorly answered by many candidates. The misconceptions identified below are similar for the cohort wide feedback. Read the full examiner reports here.

For each of these topics we will provide a full breakdown including common incorrect answers and misconceptions we have identified from the answers students submitted. This is 5 out of 5 in our series of topics. Topics 1 to 4 have been published previously.

Some ideas to build these topics into your teaching

  • Set the recommended nuggets as independent learning using the planner tool on CENTURY
  • Include these topics in your lessons as a starter each lesson
  • Set a mini assessment for students including these topics using past exam paper questions

Volume of a Cylinder

This non-calculator question was answered incorrectly 80% of the time. This question required knowledge of the formula for the volume of a cylinder, as well as proficiency with working with pi as an exact value.

Some of the most common incorrect answers were:

  • 40 - Students have just multiplied the two numbers from the diagram
  • 40π - Students here may have tried to recall the correct volume formula but have used πrh, forgetting to square the radius
  • 160 - Students have correctly used part of the volume formula by calculating r2h but have omitted π
  • 80 - Students who gave this answer possibly confused the formula for the area of a circle with the circumference, as they appeared to have calculated 2rh, but again they have also omitted π

A significant number of students also calculated the volume correctly but gave their answer as a decimal, rather than leaving it in terms of π as the question asked them to do, either using the π button on their calculators or approximating using 3.14.

Students should be reminded that the formula sheet provided gives both the formula for the area and circumference of a circle, and for the volume of a prism, which can be applied here to a cylinder. 

Students should be comfortable working with answers required in terms of π, and would benefit from working from questions presented in different ways. For example, if no diagram is provided, or the diameter is given instead of the radius of the cross-section. 

To help your students with this topic use CENTURY nugget: Volume of Cylinders (MF34.07).

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