Exam paper remix

Remix papers

I wrote about how I have been flipping some of my revision lessons last week and said I would post about some other revision ideas, so here it is..

This idea for a revision lesson was given to me a few years ago by a maths adviser who visited our school. I had used it to help prepare my then students whilst they were preparing for their unit 3 maths exam and it worked fairly well. I spoke to the rest of my fantastic department about it in a meeting a few weeks ago and we decided we would all give it a go.

The idea is to create a ‘remix’ paper for a particular exam by recreating the questions but modifying them slightly. This could be by changing the orientation of the shapes on a transformations question, or changing the data in a frequency table for a histograms question. We prepared a ‘remix’ calculator and non-calculator for the June 2011 Edexcel exams along with mark schemes as a department (this actually turned out to be a fantastic bit of CPD with some really interesting discussions!) Rather than worrying about making it look perfect, we used tippex and glued in graph paper to make our modifications. There are lots of ways in which these ‘remix’ papers can be used and I will outline how I am using them with my year 11 class below:

Maths Apprentice


As my class arrived, I had the classic boardroom photo with my face superimposed over that of Lord Alan Sugar. I split my class into 8 teams of 3 or 4 students ensuring that there was a mixture of abilities in each group and ensured that each group had an exam paper expert (someone who communicates well in exam papers). I also chose a project manager for each team and gave them a team name. I introduced the task to them and told them it will take place over a period of around 8 lessons (not consecutive – variety is the key for successful revision lessons). They were also told the prize would be a pizza party for each member of their team – and they could all bring a plus one!

In this first lesson, they were all given a ‘remix’ paper to work on together with the rest of their team (each student got their own exam paper to complete). I had stuck a paperclip into every paper as to where they were working up to (up to the staples). The project manager was responsible for ensuring every member of the team communicated their working clearly and got involved. They also had to make sure that each member of the group (including themselves) understood how to get to the solution for each question before they moved onto the next. Here comes the twist – the score for each team would be the LOWEST mark achieved in their group. Also, I told them that there was a strict ‘no working, no marks’ policy. This mean that even the ‘just did it in my head’ brigade had to engage with showing their methods and had it modelled to them by one of their peers for each question. The atmosphere in the room during this first lesson was absolutely fantastic as they discussed with and assisted each other throughout.

In the follow up lesson, they went back to their original seats and worked on the actual exam paper on their own (applying what they had picked up in the previous lesson). They were still contributing towards their team score, but this time it would be their AVERAGE mark rather than the lowest. On marking their previous lessons work, I had picked up on a few misconceptions amongst some students so I displayed tips for them on the board in order to address them.

Overall, the first couple of lessons on this has seemed to suit my class well and I am looking forward to them working on the second half of the paper together after Easter.

Although we (my department) are happy to share our remix papers for June 2011, I strongly recommend putting together your own set with the members of your team – It really is a fantastic (and fun) bit of CPD. Please tweet/email me if you would like a link to ours.

In the meantime here is a link to some old Unit 3 papers I remixed a few years ago.


14 thoughts on “Exam paper remix

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Susan Plant

    April 4, 2015 at 8:01pm

    I am loving this idea. Can I have a copy of your remix papers to see what you started with?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 5, 2015 at 12:25am

      You have mail 🙂

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Helen Braithwaite

    April 9, 2015 at 11:07pm

    I love this idea and I am always looking for new ways to revise. Could I have a link to your remix papers please.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 10, 2015 at 12:58pm

      You have mail 🙂

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 10, 2015 at 12:01pm

    Hello. I like the sound of this too, particularly for the new GCSE as we will need to generate papers to allow for the lack of past ones to use.
    Please could I have a copy of your remix papers.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 10, 2015 at 12:59pm

      Good idea about the new GCSE. I have sent through the papers by email. If you produce any yourself, please share 🙂

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 10, 2015 at 8:24pm

    Hi, I too think this is a great idea so could I please have a copy of your remix papers.
    Many thanks.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 10, 2015 at 8:27pm

      You have mail 🙂

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sarah Graham

    April 16, 2015 at 12:05pm

    Please could I have a copy of this, it sounds great. We have CPD next week so will suggest we make one as well then. Thanks so much.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      April 16, 2015 at 6:48pm

      I have emailed it through to you. If you do happen to create one, I would love to have a copy 🙂

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 15, 2015 at 3:26pm

    I would love to have a copy of your remixed papers too!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      August 15, 2015 at 4:08pm

      Emailed through to you. Let me know how you get on 🙂

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 18, 2015 at 6:14am

    can I have one too? 🙂

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      October 18, 2015 at 9:15pm

      You have mail 🙂

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