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Why are GCSE Maths and GCSE English the most Tutored subjects of 2017

August 24th, 2017 by Sarah Adams

On average in the UK, students will take 10 GCSE's examinations. There are two categories of GCSE subjects: compulsory and optional. Compulsory GCSE's include English, Mathematics, and Science are counted as the core subjects, and every student is required to take them. Optional subjects can include speciality subjects including languages and the arts.

Most Tutored Core GCSE Subjects 2016/2017

With private tuition increasing year on year, First Tutors have looked into the most tutored core GCSE subjects of the academic year 2016/17.

firsttutors data

52% of all First Tutors GCSE students, required help with Maths. Followed by 30% studying GCSE English and 16% in the science subjects.In the Academic year of 2016/2017, over 5000 tutors worked with GCSE Maths students alone to assist with their studies. Almost 3000 students found a GCSE English Tutor, with a further 700 seeking English tuition at secondary level.

Why are students seeking Maths Tuition?

The new GCSE Maths curriculum has changed and students claim it is 'harder than ever'. There is a greater emphasis on problem-solving and mathematical reasoning, with more marks in the GCSE exams being allocated to these higher-order skills. Some students are struggling to memorise the formulae and require extra help outside of school to help them with their studies. Students will also have to memorise formulae and the exam time itself has increased.

Work-Placed Examinations Employers are also introducing Core GCSE examinations such as Maths and English to their current staff to increase their job based knowledge. Tests and examinations are now commonly being introduced as part of the interview process.

Our tutees said:

I have a maths exam coming up as part of a series of job interviews. It is mainly GCSE level with a little A level content. I have past papers that are the exact same format so should give you an idea of what is required. I sat these exams last year and passed but have subsequently not used maths since so a top up of knowledge is required!...


My son will be taking his GCSEs at the end of year 11. However he may take the maths GCSEs a year earlier. My son would like help only with topics he covers in school. Regarding worksheets, we have CGP workbooks and some other books that he practises from. However, he prefers that homework be set every week to keep him informed....

We spoke to one of our GCSE Maths tutors about the curriculum


I specialise in building confidence along with maths ability and problem solving skills which are all necessary for the new gcse curriculum. With the new change in the mathematical curriculum, I have been implementing a new approach within my current role, a curriculum which focuses on problem solving and fluency of mathematics which the national curriculum desires. I have created resources, and stratigies on how to best deliver the new curriculum and train others on how to adopt this approach...something that schools do not always cover.


Why are students seeking GCSE English Tuition?

The iGCSE: There has been an Increase in iGCSE studies now that it is internationally recognised. More than 224,000 students sat these iGCSE exams in over 2,500 schools in the UK - an increase of four per cent. This means that one in three students in England is taking an English GCSE-level qualification this year, another reason why private English tuition is on the rise.

Grade Reform: Under major reforms to exams, traditional A*-G grades have been axed and next month, students in England will see their GCSE results in English and maths graded 9-1, with 9 the highest mark. New grading system has caused some confusion to the mark scheme and tutees are seeking help with exam preparation to reach their expected grades.

Our tutees said:

My daughter currently studying in an international school in Hong Kong and will be taking IGCSE First Language English CIE 0500 in May 2018. She needs help in both paper 2 and paper 4....

I am sitting my English GCSE exams in the summer and I need some help with exam preparation, both English papers require require "long essay" type answers and I struggle to manage my time. Ideally I need a tutor to help me with my timing and confidence. I need to hit my estimated grades...

What our Tutors say

We spoke with some of our GCSE tutors to discuss why GCSE students are coming to them for help.


Tutor Annabel, Bedford - Maths, English, History, Psychology...

Students seek help with a number of topics, but most often it is understanding the course topics and then successfully applying them in exams. If a student attends for the recommended six months or more, I will usually spend the first three months working on understanding topics and applying these to short exam questions and the remaining three months working more extensively on exam technique.

Tutor Marina, Winchester - Maths, English...

Students normally come to me if they are struggling at school to get the desired grades, have specific learning difficulties or just generally want extra support to feel more confident in class. They usually want to focus on exam preparation and understanding certain novels.

How do I find a tutor for GCSE subjects?

Whether it is an English or Maths tutor you require, First Tutors can help. You can browse our tutors and read their unique profile and existing reviews before contacting them to discuss your requirements. Whatever your budget, we can help find a tutor for you.

Categories: GCSE