Why Do Students Do Badly in Math
There are many reasons why students do badly in Math particularly in Math exams. I’m not going to talk about students being lazy, not focused, distracted or just very careless. These are usually attributes that parents already know.
What many parents do not know is how the curriculum changes as the level moves up from Primary 4 to Primary 5. They usually find out only when their child comes back with marks that are way below what they used to score in Primary 4 and parents may end up scolding or blaming their child.
Here I will talk about 3 main reasons related to the curriculum:
1) Examination Format
The exam format for Primary 5 is similar to the PSLE format. The main bulk of the marks are focused on Word Problems, in fact, more than 50%. The questions are lengthier and more complex than the ones tested in Primary 4. So, Problem-Solving skills are crucial.
2) Weak Foundation in Basic Math
If the student has a weak foundation in basic Math calculations, then this will not help to compensate for the big loss of marks in the Word Problems section. Now, if your child does not know the Times Table well, for example, by Primary 4, this is going to be very hard for him. In Primary 5, there is no time to focus on honing basic Math skills as mastering Problem-Solving skills becomes the focus.
The methods used in Primary 4 are no longer enough to solve more challenging questions. More advance problem-solving methods are needed. This is so because the numbers involved are bigger and the concepts are more complex.
Superficial understanding of concepts is not enough to save the day. Students need deeper understanding of concepts and cannot memorise methods or solutions.
Many children start to be very afraid of Math from Primary 5 onwards. The main complaint is that the Math questions have become so difficult now.
Awareness on this huge jump from Primary 4 to Primary 5 is important to help parents prepare their child to minimize Math anxiety and stress.
Don’t let your child do badly in Math. You can help your child with early preparation. Don’t wait till it’s too late.