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25 June 2007 PR 07/87

mathscard revision aid popular with teachers, students – and Johnny Ball!

Teachers and school students up and down the country have been bowled over by a novel maths revision aid, created at Loughborough University.

The two pocket-sized cards – which contain most of the formulae relevant to both the maths GCSE syllabus and the pure maths A-level syllabus – were devised by the University to help school pupils improve their maths skills.

In just under five years since its development, mathscard has spread right across the GCSE and A-level sector. Over two million cards have been distributed, with 75% of all the secondary schools and 6th forms in England having subscribed to the free initiative. In the last year alone almost half a million of the GCSE and A-level cards have been given out by maths teachers to their students in over 3,000 schools across the UK.

The mathscard is both simple and effective. It contains the key elements of a maths revision text book but is only the size of a credit-card when folded, as it uses the Z-CARD® format. Being paper based it is both relatively cheap to produce and easily carried around by students in their pocket or pencil case.

On a recent visit to Loughborough, Johnny Ball, the maths enthusiast and presenter of educational TV shows such as Think of a Number!, praised the initiative.

He said: “The Z-Card is a wonderful British mathematical invention which is sweeping the world, but never has it been put to better use.

“Here you have at your fingertips the whole maths curriculum, squeezed into so small a space, showing that there’s nothing daunting about becoming a true maths achiever. Treasure your mathscard – maths really can be the key to career success.”

The mathscard idea was first created and developed by the University’s Faculty of Engineering, working with the Mathematics Education Centre. Recognising the importance of maths in their own field, staff in the Faculty wanted to help improve the standard of maths being taught in schools and colleges today. The University recently carried out a survey among schools and found that over two thirds of teachers who had given the cards to their students said they believed they had improved their students’ understanding of maths.

The real secret of mathscard’s success lies with maths teachers and their students. Described by one student as “The best resource ever”, and by a teacher as “The best revision guide I have seen to date!”, the mathscard is ‘cool’ enough for students to use on a regular basis and comprehensive enough for teachers to include in their lesson plans.

Any students wanting to get hold of a card should contact their maths teacher, who can order them online for free at www.mathscard.com

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Notes for editors:

Teachers’ quotes:

“An excellent way to encourage students to learn!”
“The students really appreciated all the formulae being in one compact area, no bigger than a credit card.”
“The pupils appreciate it when we can give them anything that shows we are there to help them.”
“The 6th form think your cards are ‘great’ and ‘cool’.”
“Our pupils really love these! They always refer to them in class and at home. No pencil case is complete without it!”
“It is refreshing to see mathematics being promoted in such a positive way.”
“This is definitely one of the most useful items produced by any university for Maths students!”

Students’ quotes:

“Thank you so much! These are the best revision cards around!”
“Those cards are amazing. My brother has one and I’m so jealous.”
“Why can’t they be available for all subjects? They’re perfect for revision!”

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