Math Tests Go Beyond Simple Arithmetic in Asia

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Written By Henry Dalziel

I've been living and working in Hong Kong since 2016 as an SEO Professional.

Mathematics education is changing all across the world. Early primary school math test questions are now probing deeper into cognitive and pattern reasoning skills than simple arithmetic, particularly in Hong Kong, Japan, and China.This shift is the result of a growing amount of evidence indicating that early maths skills predict subsequent performance in school and in life. A recent study, for example, discovered that children who had a strong foundation in arithmetic at the age of five were more likely to go on to achieve good scores in other areas, such as reading and science.There is also a rising understanding of the value of mathematics in the global economy. In a world where employment are rapidly being outsourced to lower-cost countries, countries with high maths education are better positioned to compete. Hong Kong, Japan, and China are pioneering this new approach to mathematics instruction. These countries have a long history of prioritising memorization and rote learning. They are, however, beginning to recognise the value of greater comprehension and problem-solving abilities.As a result, their early primary school math test questions are increasingly measuring cognitive and pattern reasoning skills rather than plain arithmetic. This is a huge adjustment that will undoubtedly benefit their pupils’ future success.
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