Singapore Math Guru

Now that Primary 4 and 5 exams are over, what next?

empty-314554_1280So how did you child do for his/her primary 4 exams. Did they do well? When you look at the papers, what are the glaring mistakes?

Typically for primary 4 students who are proceeding to primary 5, many students will have a shock in terms of the CA1 results for year 2015.

Now, that is normally the case. That is because, primary 5 is when you see all the full blown heuristics concepts kicking in. Primary 5 is also a tough transition and can be demoralizing to students. Students who have scored 80 to 90 for math suddenly see their marks decline to 70. Students who score 60 to 70 in primary 4 SA 2 suddenly start failing their primary 5 CA 1.

stamp-114438_1280This, in fact, is a typical occurrence. In primary 5 math, it goes beyond just typical before – after concepts and simple more than less than concepts and morphs into complex concepts on patterns, working backwards, assumption, guess and check and even questions which are simply out of this world.

If you have already gone through this phase, I think you know what I mean. Then, begins the mad hunt for tutors who can help their children as parents realize that algebra may not be the optimal solution to help students.

So what should you do now that primary 4 exams are over? Well, take it step by step. Some parents start their kids doing past year papers only in primary 6. I think if parents want to see steady and stable progress, they should start them off in primary 4. If you have not done so in primary 4, after primary 4 SA 2 exams, try purchasing the latest years primary 5 examination papers of other schools for math. There are many vendors in the market providing an on demand delivery service for these test papers. You can also download some of them from the internet.After you have purchased these papers, you can start your child off with these papers at the CA 1 exams.

calculator-23414_1280Do remember that calculators are permitted for paper 2 in primary 5. Hence, learning to use the calculator while not being totally reliant on the calculator is a factor that parents have instill in the student.

Also, get the calculator as advocated by the school. Allow your child to fiddle with it and get to know how to use it. The more adept one is at using the calculator, the better. The speed at which the student uses the calculator will be a minor determining factor in the speed of solving a question in paper 2.

In case you are not so well acquainted with paper 2 questions, it’s those mind bending , non-routine questions that you will begin to see more of.

The other thing you should take note of is to get the right assessment books. Speaking about assessment books, www.singaporemathguru.com will be more than helpful in helping a child improve their grades. And we believe it to be a tool that would far surpass many of the other assessment books in the market. Firstly, we have over 10, 000 questions in the database that you can attempt as parent and students. The questions and answers to these questions are practically free to attempt and try as long as they are not used on a commercial basis.

Furthermore, these questions are organized into exercises that make an imprint on the child’s mind. (For your information, primary 1, 2 and 3 questions are in the works.)

For example, if your child finds “working backwards” questions difficult, you can easily go to the exercise that contains a few of these questions and attempt these questions. These scores will get recorded (If you have registered and signed in. Registration is completely free of charge) and you can analyze them after the attempts.

Or let’s say that your child is weak at systematic listing, find an exercise that has these questions and attempt them. Anyway, be sure to get the right materials for your child. Some materials are just better than others. We believe that our materials are well organized enough to make an imprint on a child’s mind. I mean, if you do it once and with some help, it may not mean mastery. But if a child can do it twice and thrice without any help, it will mean mastery over a certain concept.

Now, if your child has been weak at simple more than, less than concepts and before-after concepts, it will be important to do a revision on primary 4’s work. You can access the database on such questions and do a revision on our site. Once again, registration is free and the advantage of registration is that your child’s scores get recorded. That way, you can analyze these scores and come back to it later.

At primary 5, the core topics to master are fraction, ratio, percentage and decimals. These topics are also the topics that students are most weak in. If students do not master these topics, then doing well in primary 6 math may be a remote possibility.

The thing is that doing well in PSLE math is not something that can be done overnight. To the better students, of course they can learn at a faster rate. But to the average Joe’s out there, they may need a longer runway. It is better to start them off earlier to topics such as fractions, ratio, percentages and decimals.

glass-96237_1280For example, a student may be exposed to questions such as the one below:

John has 0.15 as many marbles as Mary. If Mary has 51 more marbles than Tom, how many marbles have they got altogether?

A student would have to know that 0.15 is also 15% and 15% is 3/20 and 3/20 is 3:20 in ratio. So, as you can see percentages, fractions, ratio and decimals are all interchangeable.

Variations to this questions could be:
John has 15% as many marbles as Mary. If Mary has 51 more marbles than Tom, how many marbles have they got altogether?

OR

John has 3/20 as many marbles as Mary. If Mary has 51 more marbles than Tom, how many marbles have they got altogether?

OR

The ratio of John’s marbles to Mary’s marbles is 3:20. If Mary has 51 more marbles than Tom, how many marbles have they got altogether?

So a student would need to learn how percentages, fractions, decimals and ratio are all interconnected and rephrasing the question can help the student how to solve the question.
Hence, looking at the question:

John has 0.15 as many marbles as Mary. If Mary has 51 more marbles than Tom, how many marbles have they got altogether?

0.15 is 3/20.

Therefore a student can assign 3 units to John and 20 units to Mary. By doing so and representing it as a model, the student understands that Mary has 17 units more than John.

How so?

20 – 3 = 17

17 units = 51

1 unit = 51/17 = 3

They have 23 units altogether.

How so? 20 + 3 = 23

Hence, 23 x 3 = 69

Therefore, they have 69 marbles altogether.

To summarize the above, get your child prepared to understand fractions, percentages, ratio and decimals really well.

Now, if primary 5 exams have just ended and results are not satisfactory, chances are that the student’s mastery of percentages, fractions, ratio and decimals are not something to boast about. Hence, do visit these links here to try some of these questions. I would advise you to try all our exercises in primary 5 on fractions, ratio, percentage and decimals after registration so that your child’s scores are recorded.

Some easy ones are here, click on the questions to try them and find out if you are able to answer them on singaporemathguru.com:

Ratio: Clue – Think in units! > Ratio Exercise 1 > 1

In a bird park, there are 390 parrots.
There are 130 more macaws than parrots.
The number of owls is 455 less than the number of macaws.
(a) Find the ratio of the number of macaws to owls to parrots in the bird park.
(b) What is the total number of all the three types of birds?

Ratio: Clue – Think in units! > Ratio Exercise 7 > 1

A coconut vendor sold all his coconuts to shops X, Y and Z.
Shop X purchased 413 of the coconuts.
Shops Y and Z purchased the remaining coconuts in the ratio of 11 : 7.
If shops X and Z purchased a total of 75 coconuts, how many coconuts did the coconut vendor sell?

The “medium level” difficulty ones are here:

Ratio: Clue – Think in units! > Ratio Exercise 20 > 1

The ratio of $5 notes to $1 notes in Charlie’s wallet was 5 : 4.
Charlie exchanged 10 pieces of $5 notes for some $1 notes.
Then, the ratio of $5 notes to $1 notes that Charlie had became 3 : 14.
Find the total value of $1 notes and $5 notes Charlie had in the end.

Percentage: If you watch these video solutions, you’ll realise how easy it is! > Percentage Exercise 20 > 1

20% of the number of boys in a dance class is equal to 25% of the number of girls in the same dance class. If there are 30 less girls than boys, find the total number of children in the dance class.

I mean these are just some questions. Do try to navigate the site. You will find some crazily tough questions. We will leave that to you. Also, if your child had exceptional results in primary SA 2 for primary 5, you can expose him or her to primary 6 topics such as speed, circles etc. In fact, the entire syllabus can be completed in March or April next year with some effort and help.

For circles questions and speed questions see below:

Speed: Getting there! > Speed Exercise 29 > 1

Cindy can bake a certain number of cakes in 5 hours. Bella can bake the same number of cakes in 4 hours.
(a) In 4 hours, Bella can bake 30 cakes. How many cakes can Cindy bake in 4 hours?
(b) How long will it take both girls to bake a total of 108 cakes?

Speed: Getting there! > Speed Exercise 27 > 1

A straight road connects Town P to Town Q.
At 0900, John left Town P and drove towards Town Q while Gwen left Town Q and drove towards Town P.
At 1200, both John and Gwen passed each other.
At 1400, John reached Town P but Gwen was still 150 km from Town Q.
(a) What is the distance between both towns?
(b) What was the combined speed of both John and Gwen as they approached each other?

Speed: Getting there! > Speed Exercise 27 > 1

A straight road connects Town P to Town Q.
At 0900, John left Town P and drove towards Town Q while Gwen left Town Q and drove towards Town P.
At 1200, both John and Gwen passed each other.
At 1400, John reached Town P but Gwen was still 150 km from Town Q.
(a) What is the distance between both towns?
(b) What was the combined speed of both John and Gwen as they approached each other?

Circles : Ace this or else… > Circles Exercise 11 > 1

Q is the centre of the circle.
The length of PR is 98 cm.
(a) What is the area of the shaded region?
(b) What is the perimeter of the shaded region?
[ Take π to be 3.14 ]

Certainly, this is not meant to be exhaustive. Do navigate the site and try it on your own. In case you need to know the solutions, many of these questions have a worked video explanation on how to solve the question and at only $39.90, you get access to over 300 hours of video solutions.

The other reason why you should register is that we are not a static database and we continually update our site and add “cloned” exam questions that lands up in your mailbox.

graduation-149646_1280

For more tips and articles like this, book mark our blog and check back again real soon, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Sign up with us and let our video explanations guide your child! Each and every video explanation to our questions is a complete guide to getting full marks to every question. Did we mention that we have 300 hours of video solutions and explanationsSign up now at www.singaporemathguru.com!