Calculators & Tools

Calculating FinancesA whole new section.

I thought I would gather together useful sites/tools for checking your work.

This will be kept updated with any new tools I come across that I think will be useful. I will also add relevant notes and examples.

Do explore the various pages;

I have checked all links are working and made some happy discoveries along the way where tools have been improved. There are many calculators here from basic to rather more advanced. I will keep these pages regularly updated.

On Decision Mathematics for example, check the excellent Linear Programming grapher from

Linear Programming Grapher -

Linear Programming Grapher –

And look at the calculator from zweigmedia for normal distribution probabilities on the Statistics 16+ page, not only are probabilities calculated but a very clear diagram illustrating those probabilities is also provided.

Normal Distribution Calculator - Random Science Tools and Calculators

Normal Distribution Calculator – Random Science Tools and Calculators

The Graphs section has also had a major update with all the Desmos resources gathered together

Desmos Slideshows

I thought it would be useful to put all the Desmos examples in one place. These slideshows show you many examples of Desmos graphs and the syntax you need to create them.

By Colleen Young Posted in Graphs

Statistics – WolframAlpha

A new slideshow has been added to the page demonstrating WolframAlpha syntax. WolframAlpha can be very useful for checking for example normal probabilities. Each query as you will see in the slides is illustrated with a diagram. It is always useful to sketch a diagram when solving any normal distribution problems.

Questions – lots of questions!


The way to improve your mathematical skills is to do lots of questions (then do some more!) You need to apply what you know and just reading your notes will not help you do that. Worked examples can be very helpful – particularly if you cover up the solution and try answering the question yourself first.

If you are looking for questions the following sites provide many for you.

Maths Centre (age 16+)
An extensive collection of very clear notes and other resources are available from the mathcentreThere are many very clearly worked examples, also exercises (with answers). Check the resource types, choosing Practice & Revision for example would lead you to this Calculus Refresher (under the Chain rule) which is a whole workbook of mixed calculus examples. mathtutor provides mathcentre resources conveniently structured as a course.

mathcentre – Maths Tutor

Just the Maths (age 18+)

Just the Maths by Tony Hobson is another extensive collection of notes which include numerous worked examples and also exercises to try (with answers). These notes are very useful for students in their last years at school and at university.

The Maths Teacher (age 11-17)
David Smith’s site, The Maths Teacher has an extensive collection of videos to help you study Mathematics. GCSE (age 14-16, though many of these resources would be helpful for younger students also) and A-Level (age 16-18) lessons are available. For each topic not only is a video available but also a transcript and exercises with solutions. This makes the site ideal for revision – you have the choice of perhaps just trying the exercises or if you feel you need more help you can watch the video – whatever is right for you.

Diagnostic Questions (Craig Barton & Simon Woodhead) (age 11 – 16+)

A totally brilliant site – thousands of multiple choice questions with your misconceptions anticipated. Try some diagnostic questions (all multiple choice) to check your understanding.

BBC Sites (ages 5 to 18)
All the BBC sites have quizzes and/or tests for you to try as well as notes and examples.

BBC Skillswise although aimed at adults, this site has information on basic Mathematics (and English) skills useful for any age.

BBC Bitesize KS1 (ages 5-7)   BBC Bitesize KS2 (ages 7-11)

BBC Bitesize KS3 (ages 11-14)   BBC GCSE Bitesize (ages 14 – 16)

BBC Higher Maths (age 17+)

CIMT, The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (age 5 – 18)
Scroll down this page to see all the material available for students of all ages. The student texts include worked examples in every section. The texts also have exercises which are usually password protected. (Schools can obtain the password from CIMT). Note in particular the Interactive Material (examples with online checking of answers for Year 7 | Year 8 | Year 9 (have a look at the topics here which may be useful for slightly older students also).
If you choose the GCSE course material for example and scroll down the page you will see all the pupil textbook chapters.
Trinity school (age 11-16)
Trinity School have very helpful Mathematics resources – many examples for you to try (answers included)

Trinity School Nottingham - numerous questions and answers

Trinity School Nottingham – numerous questions and answers
WolframAlpha (age 5 upwards!) 

If you are trying any exercises you can obviously check the answers given in the notes; remember that you can also check your answers with WolframAlpha. You could make up questions of your own and check the answers on WolframAlpha, for example suppose you want to make sure you can multiply out brackets – make up your own question (writing questions is actually a good way to check your understanding), for example multiply out (x+3)(x+2), write your answer, then check it on WolframAlpha. Perhaps some calculus? Differentiate sinxcosx wrt x.

On the subject of WolframAlpha, there are several slideshows on the WolframAlpha page on this blog to help you get used to the syntax.

Exploring Straight Lines

Desmos - gradients

Click on the image to try this on Desmos

If you are feeling a little unsure on identifying the equation of a straight line then use this Desmos graph and experiment by changing the gradient, intercept or points marked on the line. The image above shows the line y=2x+1. We can see that the intercept is 1 (where the line crosses the y axis) and the gradient is 2. Looking at the graph we can see that the gradient is positive and you can verify that the gradient is 2 by dividing the difference between the y coordinates (6 in this image) by the difference in the x coordinates (3 in this image). Try moving the points, you will see that this ratio remains constant.

Fractional gradient

Compare the second image. We can see that the intercept is 1. Looking at the slope, the gradient is positive. The gradient is given by 2÷4 = 0.5. So the equation of the line is y = 0.5x + 1.


Negative gradientIn the third example; looking at the slope of the line we can see it is negative. The gradient is given by 6÷2 which is 3 and the line crosses the y axis at 2 giving the equation of the line as y = ─3x + 2

Since writing this post Desmos have taken the page and created a superior version!

Gradient of a straight line by Desmos

Try this!

By Colleen Young Posted in Graphs