GCSE Maths – Advice for Parents of Pupils with Dyscalculia or Maths Difficulties

GCSE  Maths- Advice for Parents


Marijke Walters (Approved by Peter Jarrett)


Tell your child that there are certain formulas your child does not need to memorise for the 2022 exam series; a formula sheet is included in the GCSE exam papers.

Here are the downloadable links for the foundation maths papers of the different exam boards:


AQA formulae sheet

OCR formulae sheet

Pearson Edexcel 


Children are allowed to use highlighters in their GCSE exam to help them. However, only the notes in black pen will be accepted for marking.


Show your child how to use their ruler for simple addition and subtraction.


Tell them it’s ok to use their fingers.


Speak to the SENCO about:

  • EAA (Exam Access Arrangements) such as possible use of extra time; preferably start this process in Year 9 so the school can see what the normal way of working is for the child. Having a diagnosis for dyscalculia/dyslexia does not automatically entitle the child for extra time in the exam (even if it is a recommendation in the report). The testing for extra time needs to be done either by the school or by a private assessor who is in communication with the school

  • Mathematical fluency can be assessed for extra time in maths exams (mathematical fluency is really a measure of working memory and the ability to recall facts)

  • You could ask if your child could be given rest breaks, could be allowed to use a word processor, or if your child could be given supportive software e.g. Read-Write program

  • Your child could use the extra time to write out facts they struggle to remember liked times tables


Speak to the maths teacher and ask

  • if your child could be allowed to use a times tables square or a simple calculator during lessons. That way they are not spending time unnecessary working out simple calculations, getting further behind, and missing important information in the lesson

  • if your child could have handouts of the lesson at the start; that way they are not spending time copying from the board and can process what the teacher is saying

  • have differentiated homework, preferably not online

Here is a very helpful website, specifically for students with maths difficulties, with videos explaining maths concepts-