Do you HATE throwing marks away? Then see...

The GCSE Guide

"...fantastic...brilliant...amazing..." Extracts from the T.E.S. review

"...sound...interesting...surprisingly readable..." The Guardian Review

* * W H SMITH recommended book of the month, May 2001 * *

Sadly this book is now out of print although it may be possible to get a copy via this link to Amazon.

The Murderous Maths series does cover most topics in GCSE, and in particular The Perfect Sausage and Other Fundamental Formulas gives almost every formula you'll ever need with explanations of how to use them.

Details of how the other books can help you are at our Guide to the Maths in the MM books

Murderous Maths is great fun, but what about when it all starts getting serious?

If you want to get on in life there are a few basic things you'll find helpful:

Yes, it's a sad fact that at some point most people will need to take maths exams, so Scholastic decided to do something about it. They grabbed Kjartan Poskitt, bundled him into the back of an unmarked van and drove him to a secret location where they locked him up until he'd written "The Alternative GCSE guide to Maths"

What's in it?

Kjartan's guide is divided into four main sections:

There are also loads of tips on impressing the examiners, and neat little bits of advice ranging from how to present answers to what to do if your hands are sweaty.

Does it cover everything?

Just about. Across the country there are lots of different exam boards with different syllabuses, and you have the choice of trying the foundation level, the intermediate or the higher. This means that to explain EVERYTHING the book would be about the size of a bus. However, it does cover all the foundation stuff, and most of the main topics for the other levels. So if you know it ALL then you'll get at least 90% and your maths teacher will carry a picture of you around for ever.

Is this like other GCSE guides?

Find out for yourself. If you have another guide, ask these questions and compare them with the answers for this one!

  1. Does it just have one or two worked examples and then give you loads of dull questions to try yourself?
  2. Does it have cute pictures to cheer you up?
  3. Does it talk through every topic in full starting with the simplest details, so that if you didn't understand it in class, you've got another chance?
  4. Is it about the same size and weight as a phone directory? And is it about as depressing?
  5. Does it have example questions on things like mad yaks, crop circles and lifts that scare people silly? And does it give you a good reason for chucking your tedious boyfriend/girlfriend?
  6. Are the graphics that explain the graphs and geometry nice and clear?
  7. Does it have lots of tips such as: "make sure your pencil is sharp without being lethal" and "how to test your calculator is working correctly"?
  8. Does it tell you what examiners are like?
  9. If you find GCSE maths too easy in English, is there a KOREAN translation available?

Here are the answers for Kjartan's guide:

1/ No
2/ Yes
3/ Yes
4/ No, it's about the size of a fattish paperback novel and no, it's not as depressing
5/ Yes and yes
6/ Have a look at this graph and decide yourself (and if you don't understand what this graph is supposed to be showing you, this book will make everything clear!)
7/ Yes
8/ Yes, and they aren't so bad after all.
9/ Yes indeed there is.

Do the Murderous Maths books help with GCSE?

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Yes. Although they are aimed at kids aged 10-12 (key stages 2 and 3), a lot of the foundation topics do appear:
"The Essential Arithmetricks" covers basic arithmetic - and remember that a lot of GCSE work does not let you use a calculator!
"The Mean and Vulgar Bits" covers fractions, factors and introduces averages.
"Desperate Measures" helps with line/area/volume and compound measures such as speed.
"Do You Feel Lucky?" concentrates on probability.
The books generally cover other topics too including estimations, shape, rounding off numbers and Pythagoras.

For full details, see A Guide to the Maths in the MM books

Go THIS way Go THAT way
Of course, the advantage of the GCSE guide is that everything is covered, and systematically laid out to make it suitable for exam revision.

The GCSE Guide credits:

Author: Kjartan Poskitt
Maths Educational Consultants: Mike Moon, Dave Watkins, Diana Kimpton
Illustrator: Polly Dunbar
Graphics: Raymond Turvey
Scholastic editors: Tracey Turner, Marina Chester

Sadly this title is out of print but you might be able to get it (along with the Alternative GCSE Guides to English Language, English Literature and French) via our bookshop.

GCSE Slips and Tips

The Murderous Maths Books

The Bookshop

Murderous Maths Main Index Page

What the Times Education Supplement said:

"I gave the books to some of my Year 10 students. They thought they were "fantastic" "brilliant" and "amazing"...."

"I imagine students will find themselves whizzing through with a real sense of progress..."

"The more you look at these books, the better they seem. They would be an asset for school libraries and individual students. The information is sound - the kind of stuff I wish someone had taught me - and the lively style certainly makes its point with admirable clarity."

"The audience and tone are cleverly judged, the jokes are often genuinely funny, and - best of all - (these are) examples of books that students will really enjoy reading. At less than a fiver that seems like a bargain."

Extracts from Geoff Barton's review of Scholastic's "Alternate GCSE Guides" printed in the Times Educational Supplement March 2nd 2001

Guardian review will appear here soon! The Guardian review -

Guardian Education Nov 6th 2001

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