Anna and Lucy are a mother and daughter who are sharing their experiences of online distance learning and home education. In this edition of ‘A home educator’s journey’ Lucy tells us what it’s like studying GCSE Maths with NEC, discusses the support she receives from her tutor, and revising for her upcoming exams.

This year I am studying GCSE maths with NEC. At first I was a bit overwhelmed as there are a lot of topics to get through, but with the help of my tutor I was able to make a schedule where I managed to fit in all the topics and leave plenty of time for revision.

Learning online

You can choose if you want to do foundation or higher tier maths. I chose to do higher tier, so I had more course material to complete. The lesson comes as a PDF, which you can read online or print out. The lessons are very interactive as you can read through a section of the lesson and then answer the questions. Any formulas or very important points are highlighted in a blue box which is very helpful. The lessons always have example questions you work through step-by-step, showing you how to use what you have just learnt and apply it to questions. The lessons use a range of teaching methods, including quizzes and videos. This helps to make it more interesting and supports you to apply your learning to actual questions. Also at the end of each topic there is an assignment on all the previous lessons. The questions are a mixture of all the things you’ve learnt and are similar to questions that will be in the exam. I think this is very helpful because it continually prepares you for the exam.

Online forum

One of the good things about NEC is that there is an online forum where you can post any questions or worries, which enables you to communicate with any maths tutor or someone else studying GCSE Maths. On the forums you can discuss revision or recommend helpful websites. It’s a very friendly atmosphere as everyone helps each other. There is also a weekly challenge on the forums which helps you to build on the knowledge you’ve learnt in the lessons and apply it to questions.

Tutor support

My maths tutor always answers my messages very quickly and checks up on me regularly. Her feedback is always helpful and she praises me for the things I did well. She carefully explains how I got something wrong and what I should do next time to get the correct answer. If I am stuck on a question or topic she sends me a message explaining it to me and if I need her to explain it in more detail she is willing to phone or skype me.


Once you have worked through all the topics you can start revising. This might seem a bit intimidating at first! My tutor messaged me and gave me advice for revising. She also asked if I wanted any add-ons such as past-paper marking and revision tutorials. I found it useful to put together a timetable so I could check I was able to fit in all the topics for revision. I am in the middle of revising and have found being able to go back over previous lessons is very helpful to refresh all the information. I also find the videos extremely useful as they explain how to use formulas or rules to work out different exam-style questions. The videos aren’t too long but they are still very detailed and in depth.

I would say that maths is not my favourite subject but the NEC course has supported me and helped me to become more confident in maths.  I feel I am well prepared for the exam and will be able to give it my best shot.

Do you know about our add-ons?
NEC offer additional support that can help you in your revision – Including past paper marking and revision tutorials. For further information see our faqs page or speak with our Student Support team on 0800 3892839 or email student.support@nec.ac.uk

Read the previous blogs in the series “Selecting our course provider“, “Getting started”, “Home educating through GCSEs”, “Booking exams”, “Studying GCSE Sociology” (plus “Studying GCSE Sociology – Tutor response”), Using learn@nec and Tutor Support, and GCSE revision at home.

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