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MATHS has never been the sexiest of subjects, but now we're being told it has a real image problem.

A government report has found the subject needs revamping.

I know Britain needs to be able to do its sums if we are going to compete with the rest of the world.

A study by Professor Adrian Smith, principal of Queen Mary College, University of London, yesterday said the subject is in crisis.

It found reforms of A-level maths had been "an utter and complete disaster" and employers could not rely on qualifications to tell how much pupils knew about the subject.

He also said maths was devalued because it has only one GCSE award, compared to two for English.

And the professor insisted maths teachers must be paid better if they are to be attracted to the job.

I couldn't agree more.

Many people feel they are not mathematically gifted and switch off too soon.

And without a firm grasp of maths we will never develop the scientists we need to build up British industry.

How could you cope with GCSE-level maths questions?

Try our quiz - and go back to the school books if you end up scratching your head.

1 A SYNDICATE of 12 people wins pounds 250,000 on the National Lottery. How much do they get each, to the nearest penny?

a) pounds 20,834

b) pounds 20,833.33

c) pounds 20,833.34

2 A TRIANGLE has three sides measuring 5cm, 10cm and 12cm. What is its perimeter?

a) 17cm

b) 27cm

c) 600cm

3 WHAT is the area of the parallelogram above?

a) 11.7 sq cm

b) 32.4 sq cm

c) 36 sq cm

4 IN this sequence, what is the next number? 1, 9, 17, 25, 33...

a) 39

b) 41

c) 46

5 A TRIANGLE with two equal sides and two equal angles is:

a) An equilateral triangle

b) An isosceles triangle

c) A scalene triangle

6 SEVEN packets of crisps cost pounds 3.50. Find the cost of 30 packets of crisps.

a) pounds 8

b) pounds 15

c) pounds 19

7 WITHOUT a calculator, divide 1,884 by 12. Answer:

a) 157

b) 241

c) 765

8 WHAT is four kilograms in pounds?

a) 4.5lb

b) 6.1lb

c) 8.8lb

9 THE temperature in Aberdeen is minus 2 degrees Celsius. The temperature in Bristol is 5 degrees C higher. What is the temperature in Bristol?

a) Minus 7 deg C

b) 5 deg C

c) 3 deg C

10 A CERTAIN office contains a total of 16 women and 20 men. Express the ratio of women to men in its simplest form.

a) 16:20

b) 4:5

c) 80

11 WHAT is the length of xy in the graphic above?

a) 4.77cm

b) 5.11cm

c) 7.45cm

12 IF a triangle has two angles of 34 and 41 degrees, what is the third angle?

a) 25 deg

b) 79 deg

c) 105 deg

13 IF 5x-25=100, what is x?

a) 25

b) 95

c) 205

14 JULIE spends 20 minutes on her exercise bike on Monday, 30 minutes on Tuesday, 20 minutes on Wednesday, 35 minutes on Thursday and 25 minutes on Friday. What is the median time she spends on the bike?

a) 135min

b) 25min

c) 26min

15 WHAT is three eighths multiplied by four fifths?

a) Two fifths

b) Five sixths

c) Three 10ths

16 A CUBOID is 3cm broad, 5cm long and 1cm deep. What is its volume?

a) 15cm3

b) 9cm3

c) 8cm3

17 SOLVE this equation: 5n+2=37. What is the value of n?

a) 7n=37

b) n=37

c) n=7

18 SOLVE this equation: 3(y+2)=15. The value of y?

a) y=1

b) y=2

c) y=3

19 WHAT is three fifths divided by six sevenths?

a) Seven tenths

b) Nine twelfths

c) Three halves

20 HOW many zeroes are there in a googol?

a) 100

b) 1,000

c) 1,000,000


PAGE 6 DAILY MIRROR, Wednesday, February 25, 2004
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2004
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