Singaporean students have an unparalleled record of achieving world-leading scores in international standardized tests in mathematics.
They have consistently ranked at the top in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which measures the mathematics and science performance of students from 13-14 years old (Grade 8) and 9-10 years old (Grade 4) respectively.
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
TIMSS Ranking and Scores for Grade 8 Math Performance
The Singapore MOE math method is not about students rote learning math concepts and principles for academic tests. Instead, the Singapore mathematics program is about equipping students with the confidence and competencies to solve real-world problems. In the first-ever global PISA Collaborative Problem Solving Tests in 2015 that involved over 125,000 students across 52 economies, Singaporean students topped the global ranking.
This measures students' ability to solve problems collaboratively, negotiate and come to agreements. Singapore had the highest proportion of top performers, with more than 20% of students here achieving the highest level of proficiency (Level 4) in collaborative problem solving, as compared to the OECD average of 8%.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Singapore students have also consistently achieved the top position in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures 15-year old school students' scholastic performance in math, science and reading.
PISA Ranking and Scores for Math Performance
PISA Ranking and Scores for Collaborative Problem Solving
US parents and students often associate the Singapore MOE math method with the Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract (CPA) approach. In this approach, students are introduced to a new math concept via concrete objects, such as everyday items. When they are familiar with the math concept using concrete objects, they then progress to using pictorial representations such as models, in place of the concrete objects, to solve the problem based on the specific math concept. Finally, when the students have gained mastery of the concept, they progress to using the abstract of the pictorial, such as numbers, to apply the concept and solve the problem.
However, the CPA approach is just a very small part of the Singapore MOE’s deep approach to its primary school math program, one which has consistently educated Singapore primary school children to become world-class math learners. Singapore mathematics has various elements that help children develop and retain mathematical abilities. Contact us today to learn more about how the Singapore mathematics method can elevate your child’s math skills.