Top 5 Most Difficult Concepts for GCSE Maths

mathematics Jan 9, 2020

We’ve crunched the numbers, we’ve spoken to students, and we’ve collated a list of the topics where students are confused most commonly, based on what we've seen at Stairway.


Vectors can be confusing at first, but once you've mastered Vector Notation, things start to become much clearer.

We've seen many students use Stairway to demystify this concept, with one student saying:

"Thank you so much, this helped me a lot as I didn't understand Vectors before at ALL!"


Whether you're just getting started with the Basics, or you're starting to explore adding and subtracting fractions, fractions can be difficult to grasp! But when they occur so commonly in everyday scenarios, it's great to master them early!

Algebraic Manipulation

Algebra might seem abstract at first, but it has so many applications once you learn what it represents, and how it can be used.

Starting with the basics and building up is the best way to go, as having strong foundations in this topic will help enormously when learning more advanced concepts

Solving Simultaneous Equations

We've spoken with students who are confused by the different methods for solving simultaneous equations. Whether you're solving by Elimination or Substitution, we have you covered! 💪

Pythagoras' Theorem

Pythagoras' Theorem has many interesting uses, but it is a concept that students often struggle with at first. Learning it visually is a great way to go to understanding this concept


We're on a mission to inspire the next generation of STEM learners!