In March 2020, most parents probably had only a vague idea of what their kids were learning in the classroom. Now, though, after months of playing teacher at home, many mums and dads will have a new-found respect for just how tough school can be.

If it’s been a while since you’ve taken GCSE Maths, A-Level Maths, or even A-level Further Maths, you might be curious about what the curriculum is like these days. From algebra to trigonometry, and probability to differentiation, students are expected to grapple with a range of equations and logic – the likes of which a lot of people would struggle with.

With schools set to reopen this month, we thought now was as good a time as any to see how much you can remember from your days in the classroom. Because for us adults, it’s easy to forget just how tricky school can be, particularly for youngsters studying that most dreaded of subjects: maths.

You may think that knowing how to simplify surds or factorise an expression is irrelevant in the real world. But the key skills you develop while studying maths are what’s important; problem-solving, logical thinking and mathematical reasoning apply to every area of life.

Remember, nobody is born with knowledge, it’s acquired through learning, understanding, and practising. So, give this quiz a go and see what you can remember from school. Though it doesn’t reflect real exam conditions, it will give you an idea of the kinds of questions students in England and Wales are expected to answer.

Are you ready to put your skills to the test? Then grab a pen and paper, don your thinking cap and find out just much you remember about GCSE Maths and A-Level Maths below.

P.S. The answers are all below, but see if you can figure them out on your own first… All the questions have been pulled from previous AQA and Edexcel GCSE and A-Level exam papers.

Can you answer these GCSE and A-level Maths questions?

Question 1.

Here is a sequence: 90 82 74 66 58. What is the expression for the nth term of the sequence?

  • n - 8
  • 98 - 8n
  • 8n + 82
  • 8n - 98

Question 2. 

Solve 16+14÷2+35−11

  • 75
  • 79
  • 27
  • 23

Question 3.

Which of these shapes has the most sides?

  • Hexagon
  • Octagon
  • Rhombus
  • Trapezium

Question 4.

Three of the following points lie in the same straight line. Which point does not lie on this line?

  • (-2, 14)
  • (-1, 8)
  • (1, -1)
  • (2, -6)

Question 5.

A group of scientists are providing an experiment on the simultaneous tossing of 5 coins. The result of the experiment is the final amount of tails that will drop out. How many possible consequences can be at the end of this experiment?

  • 10
  • 5
  • 3
  • 6

Question 6.

Find the factors of x3−7x−6

  • (x+3)(x+2)(x−1)
  • (x−3)(x+2)(x+1)
  • (x−4)(x−2)(x+1)
  • (x−6)(x−1)(x+1)

Question 7. 

Billy wants to buy these tickets for a show: 4 adult tickets at £15 each and 2 child tickets at £10 each. A 10% booking fee is added to the ticket price. 3% is then added for paying by credit card. Work out the total charge for these tickets when paying by credit card.

  • £88.64
  • £90.64
  • £94.64
  • £98.64

Question 8.

Work out 1/7 x 2/3

  • 2/10
  • 3/5
  • 1/14
  • 2/21

That wasn’t too hard, was it? Don’t worry if you struggled (or simply didn’t have a clue); the skills tested in GCSE and A-Level Maths are honed through consistent studying and practise.

In fact, only one in ten people scored full marks on our quiz, with many struggling with the trickiest questions. From our results, older people did the best, suggesting that they remember more from the schoolroom than the younger generation.

So, now we’ve refreshed your memory of just how challenging school can be, you may want to spare a thought for youngsters as they trudge back to the classroom. School is tough at the best of times, and we think young people deserve more credit for their achievements.

You can find out the answers to the Maths quiz below…


Q1. 98 - 8n

Q2 27

Q3. Octagon

Q4. (-1, 8)

Q5. 6

Q6. (x−3)(x+2)(x+1)

Q7. £90.64.

Q8. 2/21.  Logic: 1/7 x 2/3 = 1x2/7x3 = 2/21

Whether you want to go to university or apply for a new job, GCSE courses and A-level courses can help you get there. Find out about the range of distance learning courses we offer at Oxbridge, browse online or give us a call today on 0121 630 3000.