Question tempters;Reviews;General;Secondary

27th February 1998 at 00:00
SMP GCSE MATHEMATICS REVISION HIGHER. Cambridge University Press pound;4.95. REVISE FOR LONDON GCSE MATHEMATICS (Foundation, Intermediate, Higher) Heinemann pound;5.99 each.

Revising for maths GCSE can't simply be done by reading a book - however good it is; students have to work through questions to check how well they can apply the knowledge and skills they think they have acquired. Revision books can, therefore, be partly assessed by how well they encourage students to attempt the questions. These books, linked to specific syllabuses, each succeed to some extent in meeting this test.

The SMP revision book is clearly laid out, with a detailed contents list that enables students to go straight to what they want. Key facts are placed at the start of each section, but with limited use of explanatory notes. Exam questions, mainly MEG, are scattered throughout the text, but there is no full exam paper. Hints are often provided with the answers, with references to SMP textbooks for students needing further help.

By contrast, the Heinemann books have no hints with the answers, but they do have fuller worked examples as well as references to the London textbooks. They also have a useful introductory section on how to revise with the book.

Test Yourself sections enable students in a hurry to check which topics they need to work through. There is a full exam paper in each of the books.

Either of the Higher revision books could be used by students taking exams other than London or SMP, provided the students were prepared to look up references in textbooks other than those quoted.

For all students, the advice in the Heinemann books remains relevant: "If you still can't find your mistake, ask your teacher to help you."

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