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

"...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:

- Being able to write your name
- Dressing yourself
- Remembering to say "please" and "thank you"
- GCSE maths

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"

Kjartan's guide is divided into four main sections:

- NUMBERS: arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages, factors, estimations, accuracy, ratios, irrational numbers, standard index form and compound measures.
- ALGEBRA: expanding, factorising, quadratics # ,
formulae, loads
of different sorts of equations, inequalities, all types of graphs, sequences and so on.

# As we've mentioned quadratics, you've GOT to try this gadget! - SHAPE: polygons, constructions, symmetry, loci, Pythagoras, trigonometry, similar and congruent shapes, bearings, transformations, length/area/volume, vectors and all the cool stuff about circles, chords and tangents.
- DATA: questionaires, surveys, graphs and charts, cumulative frequency, means modes and medians, histograms, standard deviation (which gives you a good excuse to play with some of the odd looking buttons on your calculator) and probability.

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.

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

- Does it just have one or two worked examples and then give you loads of dull questions to try yourself?
- Does it have cute pictures to cheer you up?
- 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?
- Is it about the same size and weight as a phone directory? And is it about as depressing?
- 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?
- Are the graphics that explain the graphs and geometry nice and clear?
- 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"?
- Does it tell you what examiners are like?
- 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.

"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

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. *

Murderous Maths Main Index Page

What the Times Education Supplement said:

"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*

The Guardian review -

Guardian Education Nov 6th 2001