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Welcome to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine!

Some of your MSc Modules - in particular those with 'Statistics' or 'Epidemiology' in the Module title - will contain some basic mathematical content.

The interactive self-assessment exercise and study materials offered on this web page are intended to help any students who, for various reasons, may feel that they would benefit from refreshing their basic maths skills. (Please note that these materials are not intended to teach statistics or specific techniques that you will cover during the Modules in Term 1, they are for revision of basic concepts only).

The materials are divided into 4 sessions consisting of the following topics:

Session 1: fractions, decimals, percentages, rounding, ratios and proportions, order of operations (brackets), simple calculator arithmetic;

Session 2: simple algebra, simple equations, simple inequalities, using and rearranging formulae;

Session 3: simple graphs, applied problem solving and probabilities (using 'mathematical thinking'), exponents (powers) and standard form (including calculator use);

Session 4: logarithms (including calculator use), transforming curve to straight line graph.

As a reasonable guide, the questions in the interactive self-assessment may take you about 30-60 minutes to complete (excluding the time taken to carefully study the worked solutions). The important thing to consider is whether you understand how the answers are obtained rather than the speed with which you are able to do them. Even if you get the answers correct, you might like to read through the worked solutions as some contain additional information about calculator use or other background information, although this will add considerably to the time estimation given above.

Note that there is often more than one way to obtain the correct answer, so if you have your own method that consistently leads you to the correct answer for several similar questions then you can continue using your own method and need not convert to using the method given in the solutions provided here. Please also be aware that we cover some basic maths concepts in more depth in these materials than you will need for most LSHTM MScs, in the hope that this helps to improve your understanding and build your confidence. For example, most MSc students at LSHTM find that they do not need to remember or fully understand all the rules of indices or rules of logarithms, but some students prefer to have a sense of how these rules are linked so that they feel more comfortable using logarithms in their statistics and epidemiology Modules.

If after attempting the self-assessment exercise, you still feel that you are struggling to follow through the solutions, then have a look through the PowerPoint slides and Word documents (at the end of each session) for further guidance and exercises for extra practice (and check your answers against the solutions provided). Afterwards, you might like to work through the self-assessment exercise a second time to see if you can improve your score (but only after sufficient time has elapsed so that you are not simply memorising the answers from the previous time)!

Please note that you will need a calculator for some of the questions and exercises. The recommended calculator used in these materials is the Casio fx-85GT or fx-85GT PLUS.

If you return to the main Study Skills web page ( you will find links to a number of external maths revision websites (under the subheading 'Maths and Numeracy Skills'). You may find it helpful to have a look at these if you require some additional worked examples. They will also help to reinforce what you have done during these sessions.