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Last Updated: Wednesday February 25 2009 10:36 GMT

Games test Maddy's mental maths!

Maddy trying out one of the games consoles

Pupils across Scotland have started playing on games consoles during lessons!

Experts reckon using 'brain training' games can help improve your maths. Maddy's been testing them out...


"Maths was my worst subject at school and I had to work really hard to get a good grade. So testing out a maths game definitely didn't sound like a dream day at Newsround!

I went along to a school in north east Scotland where pupils have been using Nintendo DS consoles for a few months. Nearly everyone there admitted they are hooked on the mental maths games.

Some of them barely looked up from their consoles to chat to me because they were concentrating so hard to try to beat their top scores. I had to give it a go!

How it works

Maddy using one of the consoles

I tested a game where you need to work out the answers to 20 sums as quickly as you can. There's addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions.

You use the special pen that comes with the console to write the answers on your screen. You can get similar games on other types of computer and even on some mobiles.

The result

After you've answered the sums, the game works out your 'brain age'. The worst you can get is 80, and the best age is 20.

I got 46 on my first go, which I thought was rubbish! But the headmistress told me most people end up the same age as their gran or grandpa when they start trying the game!

Some 11-year-old pupils told me they've managed to get their age scores down to about 22, after just a few months of dedicated practice!

Addictive

By the end of the afternoon I was totally hooked! I had turned into one of those people who didn't take their eyes off the screen! My score did improve, but only a bit! My producer had to drag me away to catch our flight back home!

Some people reckon the traditional way of doing sums using pens and paper is still the best. Others are worried that games consoles are too expensive for most schools to afford.

If you are lucky enough to try one, I definitely reckon they're a great way to help you improve your maths. Don't forget to do your homework too though!"

Maddy