Past Paper Generator: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Pedagogy Place, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
This is a super smart idea that I am a little bit annoyed I haven’t thought of before! In essence it is a past paper which – via a clever use of Excel – has an infinite number of versions of each question. So, whilst the original question may have a 6 in it, with one press of F9, that 6 has now been replaced by a 3. And better still, the worked solutions automatically update with the new numbers.

How can it be used?
The problem I have found when going through past papers with my students is giving them that all important practice. It is all well and good me modelling how to do a question they have struggled on, but then what do they do next? The power of imitation is something I have undervalued for much of my teaching career. Having students watch as I model a solution, and then change a number and get them to complete their own solution serves a number of purposes: it makes them more likely to pay attention during the modelling phase; it gives them a confidence boost when they can do it; it shows them how to set out work; and it gives them some correct maths that they can refer back to. It also breaks the monotony of me ploughing through the solutions to past papers which always carries the danger of students slipping into passivity.

But that is just one way of using this excellent resource. The other is to revisit troublesome questions at some point in the future. Can students still answer, say, Question 7 when it is presented at the start of the lesson 2 weeks later? There is only one way to find out 🙂

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Past paper questions generator
View the author’s other resources


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