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4.4 out of 5 stars
Countdown to Mathematics: v. 1
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201 of 203 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2002
I decided to do the Open University course MST121 "Using Mathematics" and needed to do some serious revision beforehand. I purchased this book after seeing it mentioned on the OU web site. The book is well laid out and very easy to follow. Unlike some maths books whose content appears to masses of formulae which can be very daunting, this book goes to great lengths to explain all the workings. I quickly regained the maths skills I had forgotten and also picked up some new ones along the way. At times I had difficulty following the OUs revision pack, but when I consulted the appropriate chapter in this book things seemed to fall into place. I would recommend this book to anyone who like me has not used their maths skills in a long time and wishes to go on to Further Education Maths.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2000
This book is a must to all who need to use mathematics for their work or studies, but failed to do any real mathematics at school. The last time I did any real mathematics was nearly 30 years ago.
The book takes the reader from negative numbers, decimals and fractions, on to that all important but highly daunting subject of algebra and then on to straight line and curved graphs and the representation and interpretation of data.
The reader is presented with examples to step you through the logic of the mathematical procedures and exercises to test your own understanding of the same.
This text serves as a valuable introduction to Open University mathematics courses, followed by Volume 2 by the same authors.
The reader should be aware though, that there are a few errors in the solutions to the exercises. This having been said, I could not have done my maths course without it! A very good introduction to A level and Undergraduate Mathematics.
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2001
I had absolutely no confidence in maths and left school 15 years ago with a very bad CSE grade. This has stopped me from attempting other courses in the past due to the maths content and my lack of confidence in maths. After reading and working through the examples in this book I feel a lot more confidient. I am working on maths that I didn't even have a clue about when I was at school. In fact I have enroled on an OU course in IT and Computing and have selected MU120 Open Mathematics for the first module.
My father and a friend are both thinking about attending various educational courses in different subjects and I am going to buy a copy of this book for them.
If you have problems with maths then get this book it really is very well written and is easy to understand.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2001
Easy to follow and understand. Ideal for those wishing to revise for OU courses BUT lost a star due to its failure to provide a comprehensive contents section. To force the reader to wade through a mass of unwanted information to find the nugget they desire means an otherwise superb book cannot easily be used for on going reference purposes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2009
Brilliant book!

Forget all your gimmicks and Carol Vorderman et al; this book tells you how it is from the very beginning to Higher GCSE/A level maths in two clear publications.

I say 'two' because there is follow on book you can buy which builds on to this one. Its imaginatevly titled "Countdown 2". Book 2 is more advanced but is merely the progression one expected after Countdown 1.

I actually wrote to the authors and thanked them for transforming my phobia over maths but was sad to hear (late '90s) from the co author that Dave Sargeant had died. It is a shame as this team had the magic touch to transform math for anyone and to do so without pretentions.

Buy it if you want maths competence and confidence. It will turn your fear of maths from reluctance to acceptance, even keeness! For me it made maths seem magical and no longer a mystery for someone else to solve.

I got my copy 'free' from the OU as part of an engineering degree and still to this day have it in my 'special collection'.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2000
Excelent introduction to mathematics. Unlike so many books it truly is an introduction to mathematics aimed specifically at those with effectively no mathematical knowledge or have forgoten. Suffice to say the previous reviews are correct. No point in repeating it.
I left school with a C-grade in O level mathematics 10 years ago despising maths because I simply didn't understand or see the use for A+B=C. This book starts at the begininnig and lays the basis for Higher mathematics in an interesting unconvential way; numerous examples, tests and cartoons of individuals aksing the very questions I found myself asking! Suprisingly enough I now have an Honours Degree in Engineering i.e. Applied mathematics!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2009
Countdown to Mathematics: v. 2I am doing an OU degree of which mathematics is part of the syllabus. Volume two of this book is recommended, which I purchased and am really happy with, but because I hadn't worked with maths for such a long time there was something missing. So I purchased volume one, and it has been really helpful in filling in the blanks. The book is well constructed, gradually taking you through the basics, and then leading you into more advanced work. The book is well illustrated and has lots of exercise to help you along. Highly recommneded if you haven't worked with mathematics for a long time, or like me, just didn't really get it at school.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2000
I have tried other maths text books, and found it frustrating looking though for examples of what the authors mean. No such problem here, plenty of worked examples for each sub heading. Test questions at each chapter heading really help to plan study amount and time. Volume 2 is also great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2010
Some 30 years after doing maths at school, I went through part 2 as a precursor to the MST 121 OU course. I would highly recommend it to anybody in a similar position who feels that they need a bit of preparation. The layout and way of working is very similar to that of 121 and it really gives a good grounding in the basics of algebraic manipulation . I started the course much more confident of my ability to juggle xs and ys and so was able to concentrate on the "new" stuff without getting bogged down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2014
Volume 1 of this book, is the book to get started in learning about maths. Both books have been compiled by serveral expert teachers, education experts, maths teachers and advisors with a tried and tested development programme to get you unambiguously clear about what to do, how to do it, and why it works. It answers all the questions a beginner may have, when just starting in maths and I think is better than a teacher in a maths class, because it is so comprehensive. When I was at school the maths teacher said I was dumb, but later I used this book to get me started on the path to a maths degree, and after completing 360 credits in Maths with the OU, I can't recommed this book highly enough. There is an error sheet available so you know where any errors are and can have confidence the answers to the exercises and questions in the book are correct.
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