THE INSIDE TRACK TO GCSE SUCCESS: MATHS Mathematics revision CD-Rom software for multimedia PCs. Starter pack with 10-student licence, Pounds 299, or Pounds 1,000 for year-group site licence. Student version available soon, Pounds 39.99. Longman-Logotron, 124 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 4ZS. Tel: 01223 425558
This CD-Rom, one of a suite, is an early spin-off from the publishing of GCSE mark schemes. It contains a piece of mathematics software that will appeal to pupils and teachers who want both to share the wisdom and ideals of GCSE examiners and to practise the skills needed for examination success.
The software gives pupils the chance to go through problems using electronic games. The menu lists the topics for each pupil to cover and the grades achieved.
Dan, the on-screen mentor, says how long the test will be, and exam-style pages appear. Papers are "written" and checked; there are cheers for good grades, and hints for the less successful.
Our test groups started by scoffing at ear-wiggling Dan, then tackled the 20-minute tests with increasing enthusiasm. An hour later, they had to be prised off the computers. Choosing a familiar first topic helped confidence, as did the grade after each test. But the marking can be cheated, and the recommended weekly sessions will need monitoring.
A set of networked PCs is needed to get optimum value from the licensing system. Paired pupils suffer more than with other software because there is little time for the speedy partner to give explanations to a slower user.
Any family mentor or teacher who wants students to understand what examiners require should inspect this pack. If the three science and combined science discs are as good as the mathematics disc, they will sell fast - to those schools that can afford them.