Mental Arithmetic Tests (Small Schools) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

Mental Arithmetic Tests
By Small Schools
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 2.09

Waste of valuable micro time

There are many valid, exciting and original ways of using the valuable time of the school BBC Micro - unfortunately Mental Arithmetic Tests from Small Schools Software isn't one of them.

It isn't just that a formal and rather boring subject should be chosen, but unfortunately the screen display, programming and general educational value are poor.

There are three programs, all largely written in Mode 7, but including none of the colourful graphics which that mode can support.

The individual test allows one of many topic and difficulty levels to be decided, after which a number of questions are printed on the screen.

They are identical to the formal maths books which most teachers now use with great care and suspicion, but add nothing to that format.

The programming is also a little suspect, for one is asked such undesirable questions as "What is the sum of £0.75 and £4.6?".

Even worse is the suggestion to use the class test on a screen in front of a whole class. I found myself wondering whether the author had ever faced a class of 35 children.

Tables is an unimaginative question-and-answer session, concentrating on one particular table at a time.

No, if a teacher at my school tied up a computer for such a trivial and unimaginative suite of programs as this I would be sorely disappointed, to say the very least.

Phil Tayler

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