Can Someone With Dyscalculia Pass GCSE Maths?

Last Updated on October 8, 2022 by Editorial Team

GCSE Exam, the General Certificate of Secondary Education, is a test that students need to go through to enter universities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and other British territories. When it comes to enrolling, most universities need students to undergo various tests in the form of entrance exams to enter the establishments. These exams do involve a lot of basic as well as advanced maths concepts. However, several universities still waive off maths as a requirement but again there are a lot of factors involved in order to get that kind of relaxation.

However, when talking about the GCSE Maths Exam, this exam is a tougher one, especially for people with dyscalculia. From algebra to ratios to statistics to measures and accuracy, these are a few topics that are covered in the GSCE Maths exam. These topics can give dyscalculics cold feet and shivers. But this is one exam that is mandatory for all students in England if they wish to enter the universities of England or other British territories. And that is the reason why this becomes an exam that just can’t be omitted.

Difficulty in reading, processing numbers, and even getting confused in topics like bigger and small – this is the world of dyscalculics. Understanding various concepts and topics is never easy for people with dyscalculia. It is tough to an extent that it sometimes even becomes a problem for them to read the time from the clock.  While there are plenty of home school programs today for children who are suffering from dyscalculia, yet understanding the various complex maths topics still becomes a problem for these kids. And that is the reason why passing this exam becomes super tough for students with Dyscalculia.

Topics covered in GCSE maths exam

Topics included in the GCSE exam are selected in such a way that makes sure that the basic understanding of a student is tested.

Some of the topics that are covered are –

  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Algebra
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Ratio
  • Structures
  • Percentage
  • Rates of changes
  • Geometry

These topics usually require a higher level of understanding, and therefore, individuals with a learning disability might not be able to get through the exam at grade C. However, making this notion that none of the people who have dyscalculia can pass the GCSE Maths exam would not be right. There are a lot of people who work hard and try to understand and retain the topics so that they can pass the exam with flying colors.

Despite this, there is still no denying that the preparation part is a lot more difficult and extensive for them than the rest of the individuals appearing for the exam. Nonetheless, passing this exam in one go might still not be possible for many dyscalculics out there. It is an arduous and strenuous process for them to understand the topics of the subject, and that is why passing the GCSE exam becomes a catch-22 situation for them.

Dyscalculia and maths

Dyscalculia is a learning disability that makes understanding math tricky, and the individual needs a longer time and a greater effort to comprehend the various concepts of the subject. In fact, doing advance level math topics for a dyscalculic is like driving while having a blurred-up vision. And therefore, learning and understanding maths can be a plight for most people.

Most kids who have dyscalculia may not perform well in maths tests as they either do not understand or retain the concepts of this subject. Their pace in grasping the concepts may not be parallel to their peers. And therefore, right from preparation, to passing the exam might not really be a cakewalk for dyscalculic students and individuals.


While it is a known fact that Dyscalculics have trouble understanding Maths, therefore, this test might often even feel like grasping at straws. But just catching on to the concepts is like the tip of the iceberg, as over the years, there are tons of exams and situations which would involve a basic understanding and withholding of the subject, just like the GCSE Maths exam, which is taken in England to enter the universities.

However, with the right approach and methods of teaching, dyscalculics can very well overcome this plight of life too. Dyscalculics may struggle in the GCSE exam, but adapting to a new learning process and preparing right from the early days with parents and teachers’ support is the right way to target it.

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