Students can test their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills with Math Compass. You can set levels of difficulty and the particular operation (or random operations) to practice. In practice mode, you solve equations and are rewarded with a cute picture when you get them right. The correct answer appears when you get them wrong. Game mode consists of three single-player and one dual-player drills. The two-player Head to Head option lets you set an ending score, while Time Trial ends after the interval you've chosen expires. Other games just keep going. Tutorials offer great tips on quickly solving the different types of problems. The session report details each question, your answer, and the correct answer for practice mode.
Unfortunately, we ran across a few difficulties. We had to install Visual Basic to get Math Compass to work, and we had to uninstall the program using its uninstaller rather than our PC's Control Panel. The Web link in the right-hand window of the practice panel led to a "coming soon" page littered with typos. Equations repeated more often than we'd like. We wish each game had an end point and displayed correct answers when you answered wrong. Still, the varying levels make Math Compass a decent pick for elementary through middle-school students.
From Math Compass:
Math Compass teaches general math through flash-card style practice with flexible settings to accommodate students at any level. It includes 4 games (Missing Number, Missing Operation, Time Trial and Head-to-Head), short tutorials for each operation, a real time report that can be output to an html file, a printable worksheet generator, a test mode that allows teachers/parents to pre-program the drill settings.
October 02, 2008
Version: Math Compass 6.1
Easy to see and use interface.
Easy to use settings for operation and difficulty.
Cute symbols & sounds displallyed after entering answers.
Worksheet generator appears to generate worksheets and answersheets but they cannot be found when you try to open them.
Random number gerator may not be working properly - problems are similar or repetitive.
I'm looking forward to using it with second graders I am helping.
You can use your numeric keypad to enter your answers instead of using your mouse to answer a multiple choice like question... the games aren't too bad... I like the Time Trial one.. you can definitely see if you're improving through that. The program could also use an options dialoge for basic things like turning off the sound, images or what the default settings (difficulty/operation) should be when you load it. I've been looking for a program that helped me with basic math and I think I've finally found it.
I'm not too sure that beginners can do 154 / 22 -- but maybe that's just me. Also in the 'Head to Head' game.. it doesn't seem to allow ties to happen.. so even if both players get the same amount of questions right.. the player who started first will always win. But other than that nothing too trifling.. I still recommend this program very much.