Ten different programs are provided in this package, ranging from basic arithmetic and the use of a calculator to algebra, geometry and trigonometry. This 'mathematics suites, as Letts call it, comprises a summary of important theory points, screen demonstrations, user interaction where the power of the computer is under the control of the student leg the drawing of graphs), and several quizzes where the computer marks the answers and demonstrates correct solutions step-by-step. The suite ends with an hour-long trial examination based on the common core of the GCE syllabuses, at the end of which the student receives a breakdown of performance. The notes suggest that this exam might, in fact, be taken straight away in order to highlight specific areas of difficulty which could be worked on.
Advice is also given to the student on how to use the programs in a revision scheme, and reference is made to the other Letts revision aids, such as the Passcards. Mathematics is a subject which lends itself well to computer assisted learning, and this package would be of great help to the serious student. It does, however, cover a very wide area of mathematical knowledge, so the student may find that certain programs are far too easy. A mathematics teacher commented that the area covered was, perhaps, far too wide, although some students might benefit from revision of the basics.
CONTROL KEYS: Apart from the problems in the Chemistry suite, the control keys are clearly explained and are easy to use.
KEYBOARD PLAY: Very responsive
USE of COLOUR: Simple but clear.
GRAPHICS: Used to good effect
Revision programs like these are, generally speaking, only as good as the student using them. Used sensibly in conjunction with other study methods, they do have a useful role to play, but it has to be understood that, on their own, these packages will not miraculously ensure A grade passes!
Explaining the layout of a scientific calculator in the Letts MATHEMATICS revision package.
Hard sums with the calculator, part of the MATHEMATICS software from Letts.