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Hooray - at last someone has come up with a chemistry program aimed at 12- to 16-year-olds. That was my inital reaction. My enthusiasm -was soon dampened, however, as it became clear that the program had a long way to go before reaching O-level standard.
On loading, you are presented with a menu offering a skeleton selection of the actual chemistry course. If the packaging had said 12- to 14-year-olds, I would have agreed, but there is no conceivable way that prospective O-level candidates can even consider passing with this. Apart from that, there is a very good idea here.
Selecting one of the topics gives you the choice to either read a few notes on the subject or alternatively jump straight into the questions. The notes are short and sweet. They cover the questions you are about to answer but go no further. For that, you will have to consult the numerous textbooks.
The question section has a wonderfully executed area, but there arc many spelling errors. On occasions my answers where rejected. I presumed either I had got them wrong or my spelling was incorrect. But then the program would spew out its version of the correct answer exactly what I had typed in! There are ten questions to each section; you are given two chances to answer each one. If you enter the incorrect answer first time, you are given a small clue (which is generally small enough to enable you to attain the answer). A correct answer earns you 10% - if on the second attempt you manage to get it right, you are awarded 5%. At the end of the 10 questions, your overall percentage mark is shown; depending on the mark achieved, you will get the message very good, good, or "poor but will do better next time'. Obviously you'll do better next time the questions remain the same.
This idea has the making of a good educational package. Unfortunately, on the Amstrad at least, this product is still in its early days; consequently it has several bugs, and could be further enhanced with more questions, a more comprehensive notes section and a general tidy-up. Still I mustn't complain too bitterly as there are so few of these educational programs around.
AMSTRAD ACTION #15