Last year, I reviewed one of my favourite math apps: Quick Math. It was designed for juniors ages 6-11 to practice their basic arithmetic skills, focusing on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It’s also one of very few apps that I keep on my iPhone.
With its unique handwriting recognition, the app has enabled my three-year-old son Philip to learn and practice basic addition. I only spent 30 minutes to teach him the concept of addition using this app, and let him practice on his own afterwards. I believe it’s the app’s unique handwriting input that intrigues Philip.
Apparently, many adults and teenagers are also interested in the challenges that the app provides because today, the developers released a brand new app entitled Quick Math+. The focus is still on the four basic arithmetic operations, but the app has a few twists that make the game challenging enough for teenagers ages 11-15.
Similar to its predecessor, Quick Math+ provides challenges in a batch of 20. It doesn’t keep scores, but it encourages you to solve all the problems as quickly as possible. You can choose to skip a question if you find it too difficult, but the app will give penalize your time.
The app also inherits its predecessor’s beautiful and clutter-free design that helps players to focus on the problems at hand. It supports multiple user profiles that makes it suitable for family and classroom usage. It is also great for friendly competitions with your friends, or even for improving your own skills by aiming to beat your own record.
Quick Math+ has four game modes and four difficulty levels for each mode. When you start a game mode for the first time, the app will show you a demo of how to play the game.
If you’re playing for the first time, I’d suggest you play Solve first. Its Basic level is the closest to its predecessor app. The Intermediate level lets you play with three operands and negative value. The Advanced level tests your understanding of the orders of arithmetic operation, including how parentheses work. In the Extreme level, you get to play with superscript index, such as a square product of a number.
Three New Game Modes
The next mode that I’d suggest is Compare. In this mode, the app will provide two equations: one on the left hand side, and another on the right. It asks you to identify the inequality relationship between them. For example, 4 + 3 .. 2 * 5. There are three operands that you can write: >, <, and =. These are a new set of handwriting that Quick Math+ is able to recognize.
As you move up the difficulty level, you will find equations with bigger numbers. To keep the difficulty level reasonable, the number of operands is kept to just two, even in the Extreme level.
The third mode is called Memorize. It looks similar to the first mode, Solve, where you get one equation at a time. The problem is, you don’t get to see the next equation. The game will reuse one of the operands from the current equation in the next one. For example, an equation of 6 + 7 can be followed by an equation of 6 - 1. Obviously, 6 is the operand being reused here.
The operand that gets reused for the next equation will be masked with a hand icon. This forces you to recall what it is. Every once in a while, the hand icon may move from the left-hand operand to the right-hand operand, and vice versa. Again, this forces you to memorize both operands of the equation, because you never know which will be masked for the next equation.
Finally, Quick Math+ offers an interesting game mode called Swap. It’s arguably the most difficult mode in the app, due to the complexity of its equations. The app may include up to five operands in a single equation, and the final result may be in thousands.
The name “Swap” suggests that one or more operands/operators in the current equation may be swapped with new ones to be used in the next question. But, at the same time, the game may also add new operand and/or operator on top of the ones currently included in the equation. Here’s a series of questions that you may find in the Swap mode:
25 - 1 = ?
25 - 1 + 26 = ?
(25 - 1 + 26) / 2 = ?
(33 - 1 + 26) / 2 = ?
(37 - 1 + 26) / 2 = ?
Parents Need to Know
Similar to its predecessor app, Quick Math+ is designed to develop the players’ mental arithmetic skills. Even though the new app still focuses on the four basic arithmetic operations, it’s more appropriate for older juniors and teenagers.
While older juniors may not need this app to practice their handwriting, they might find Quick Math+ useful in training their memory, logic, and estimation skills. Clearly, the Memorize game mode puts your memory to the test. But, I’d argue that the Compare game mode also lets you practice your memory. For example, before you can properly compare both hands of an inequality, you need to compute one and memorize the result, before computing the next one and comparing its result with the one in your memory.
Logic and estimation comes into play when you’re trying to increase your speed. For example, it may benefit you in some Compare problems if you use logic to estimate which one would yield a greater value instead of doing the actual calculation.
Finally, you can experience the ultimate test in memory, logic, and estimation in the Swap game mode. There are many situations where memorizing both the equation and the answer combined with a little logic may help speed up estimating the answer for the next question.
25 - 1 + 26 = ?
(25 - 1 + 26) / 2 = ?
(33 - 1 + 26) / 2 = ?
For example, in the above series of questions, memorizing the first question and its answer would help you calculate the answer of the next question. You don’t need to compute (25 - 1 + 26) again, because you have memorized its result. And, when 25 is swapped with 33, your memory identifies the difference in value. Use 8/2 and add its result to the previous result that you have memorized.
Quick Math+ is a nice upgrade to its predecessor. It provides challenges that encourage you to develop your math techniques, not just brute speed. Here are a few tips that you might want to try to increase your speed:
- In the Compare mode, take a glimpse of both hands of the inequality, and calculate the hard one first. Counting a difficult equation while keeping a number in your memory is not a trivial thing to do.
- In the Compare mode, try removing all the similarities between both hands from the inequality. For example, instead of comparing 34 + 47 .. 35 + 46, compare 4 + 7 .. 1 + 6 instead.
- In the Memorize mode, if you completely forgot the number masked by the hand icon, it’s much quicker to just skip the question. You will get a time penalty, but in return, you get to restart your memory. Usually the hand icon will move from covering the left-hand operand to the right-hand, and vice versa. So, get yourself ready before tapping the "Skip Question" button.
- In the Swap mode, memorize both the equation and answer of the previous question. If possible, memorize all the operands, notice the swap, and calculate how that swap affects the new equation.
If you enjoyed playing Quick Math, you’re going to love Quick Math+. It’s an excellent step-up with more challenges that requires you train your memory and come up with clever strategies to solve equations as quickly as possible. While the app is designed for teenagers, I’d say it’s also perfect for adults who want to keep their brains sharp with a few minutes of math exercise everyday.
App was provided for our honest review.