Math Assessment Books: A Singapore Parent's Friendly Guide

Math Assessment Books: A Parent’s Guide

Buying Maths assessment books is a yearly affair for many Singapore parents and children. Yet, the experience can be quite overwhelming with the number of choices that you have and if you don’t really know what to look out for.

Here are some questions that might pop up in your head when you are buying Math assessment books:

  • How many assessment books should I buy?
  • Why are there so many types of Math assessment books?
  • Should I go for popular assessment books? Is there some sort of recommended assessment books?
  • How can I tell if an assessment book is good?
  • Should I consider online assessment books?

If you are looking for the answers to these questions, here’s a simple and comprehensive guide to help you pick the best Math assessment book that you’ll need.

How many assessment books should I buy?

According to a survey done with 120 parents by OpenSchoolbag in 2016, it was found that children complete 60 per cent of their assessment books on average. Some parents even reported completion rates as low as 10 to 15 per cent.

So before you get too excited about getting assessment books again this year, think realistically about the amount of time that your child has. The best case scenario is to get one ultimate Math assessment book. Not only does it prevent wastage, it also saves storage space. However, if the book is not able to meet all your needs, then you might need to get 2 books.

Why are there so many types of Math assessment books?

Different assessment books are designed for different purposes. Hence, they are structured differently, and come with different types of questions.

We can generally break them down into these few categories:

  1. Topical, Skill-based, Chronological

Most of these books come with notes and simpler Math questions for practicing the lower order skills and help children build a strong foundation from the ground up.

These Math assessment books arranged by topics and usually follow the order which your child is taught in school. Most authors assume that children will be using these books, for either advance practice (before the school teaches) or general Math revision (after the school teaches).

These kind of Math assessment books are good for children who need more help with their foundation, or if they are slightly behind in class. Parents can use the notes included to guide their children while tutors can use them to reinforce the child’s understanding of each topic.

2. Heuristics, Challenging

These Math assessment books contains the more challenging questions. Not only do they tackle the higher order skills, their difficulty is usually a magnitude higher than what children normally expect to do in school. Some of them will have a few simpler questions to provide scaffolding for the journey into the harder questions.

If your child has a good foundation in the subject, and is slightly ahead of the curve, such assessment books will serve to pick their brains and level them up. If you are preparing for an exam and want to give your child more exposure to problem sums, you can consider these.

  1. Mock Exams

These Math assessment books are designed to mimic the format and structure of the exam format in schools. The purpose of these books is not so much to train your child in the skills of the subject, but rather, the skills in sitting for the subject’s exam. For example, your child can practice how to keep track of their time, how to ration their time, and know when to skip questions, and come back to them later.

Get these books when it’s closer to the exams and you want your child to rehearse going through what is expected beforehand.

Should I buy popular assessment books?

Are there any recommended Math assessment books?

Popular assessment books may work for some people, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will work for you too. If you are looking for popular assessment books, the main question that you should be thinking about is how average your child is. Since assessment books are written for the masses, it is still better if you can find one that suits your child’s needs rather than follow everyone.

If you are looking for recommended Math assessment books, you can check out the bookstores or your school bookshop. However, it is important to check who the one recommending these assessment books is. Are their recommendations based on sound pedagogy? How well do they know your child?

Unless they really know your child’s ability, you’ll be the best one to judge.

Take a free diagnostic test to see how well your child’s Math skills are.

How can I tell if a Math assessment book is good?

A good Math assessment book should be able to give your child the targeted practice that they need. Look out for alignment to the latest MOE syllabus to make sure that they are not studying the wrong topics. On top of that, a good Math assessment book should help to reinforce what is taught in school and also expose your child to important problem-solving skills and trending questions.

Be sure to check that any Math assessment book you buy don’t just come with answers. A good assessment book should come with easy to understand, step by step explanation so that your child will have something to guide them in their understanding should they bump into difficulties.

As we have mentioned earlier on, the most effective books are tailored to what your child need. Supposing you’ve got that figured out,

Are online Math assessment books good?

That depends on what the assessment book can do.

An online Math assessment book powered by artificial intelligence like Practicle can help you save time and energy. With more than 10, 000 questions of different difficulties, Practicle is able to detect the strengths and weaknesses of each unique child and select questions at the right difficulty, at the right time to suit the changing needs of every student.

Unlike traditional assessment books where the solutions are text-based, Practicle offers step by step worked solutions as well as video explanations to help your child master key concepts and problem solving techniques easily.

With automarking and real time analytics, practicle saves time for parents and keeps them updated with their child’s progress on the fly.

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