O Level Maths Revision Parts 1 & 2 (Ampalsoft) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

O Level Maths Revision Parts 1 & 2
By Ampalsoft
Acorn Electron

Published in A&B Computing 1.09

The idea behind this type of program seems great and I have seen packages which can really help the student to revise at this stage in his school career, but these are not of sufficient quality to be worthwhile in my opinion.

Each pack comprises two double-sided cassettes with each cassette containing four major topics. These cover the following areas, some areas are split into two topics; Algebra, Trigonometry, Graphs, Calculus, Arithmetic and Constructions. According to the packaging they were written by the maths department of a "top" school. Well, perhaps I am not of sufficient calibre to attend such an institution for I don't believe that these programs are anywhere near good enough!

My main criticism is that they are purely static creations and they never change in any way from run to run. To explain what I mean, you need to understand what each program comprises. The first screen is a menu from which you select the sub-topic you wish to study. Then you can choose to have screens on the underlying concepts, which is a good idea although there is no remedial section for extra help at all, or to see some worked examples or to try some problems yourself. Now it is at this stage that the lack of variation is so critical. Every time you run the program the questions (and indeed the answers!) are the same oones so that once you have answered them - or cheated and read the answers! - you have no further use for that section.

This strikes me as plain ludicrous. You can buy, for far less than £30, good text books which can present you with just this type of revision. What I, and indeed most students, would expect from a package like this is at least some variation in the question, so that you can get extra practice at those parts of the syllabus where you are particularly weak. These programs don't provide such a facility and even though in all other respects they are well-written and presented, I cannot believe that anyone can really get their money's worth from such a package.

The best feature of the programs is the step forward/backward feature, which means that you can go from the page you are on to find the vial piece of information you missed. But having said that, you can do that with a book too!

Dave Reeder

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