Maths - do any children get consistently 100% on hard maths?

(40 Posts)
MonkeySea Tue 12-Feb-13 00:24:31

My son likes maths, is in Y6 and regarded as very able. However while he's obviously very good at it, he doesn't do perfectly. E.g., in the Primary Maths Challenge, he got 21/25, where 23 was the bonus round mark. I had him do a couple of the PMC bonus round papers, and he got 19/25 on 2012's paper (which would have been bronze out of the bonus round entrants), and 20/25 on 2011 (silver).

Obviously quite creditable, but he's clearly not the highest echelon. Is it possible to get there? Or is he just a case that he's a three-sigma student, but never six-sigma, so to speak?

friedegg1 Tue 19-Feb-13 18:59:52

Having just read this thread, I had no idea that the Primary Maths Challenge carried so much weight. DD bought home a certificate a few weeks ago, I put it on the fridge and thought nothing of it. Now, reading this thread, maybe I should have made a bit more fuss of her. The school have gone to town with her results but I really didn't have a clue...perhaps I should have googled it.
Anyway, I've now learnt that DD is a bit better at maths than I thought as she got a gold as a Year 3. I'm guessing she didn't make the next stage though.

LaQueen Thu 21-Feb-13 18:13:12

I know DH always got 100% in any kind of maths test through junior school (have seen his school report where his HT saw fit to give this a special mention) - and then through grammar school he won the Maths Prize every year, and always came No. I, in the top-set for Maths...and bascially never, ever got anything wrong, ever (as confirmed by several of his mates).

I know at university, he got 100% on the Maths papers he had to sit for his sub-sid Maths course?

Can see DD2 being exactly the same - I think if your brain has that maths quirk, then you do get 100%, because Maths is one of the few subjects where you can get everything exactly right.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 22-Feb-13 17:04:46

I'm beginning to think I've stepped into a parallel universe here. grin

I came on the thread to learn about maths tests and levels and am completely lost.

Ok what is Primary Maths, hard maths, PMC, and the other tests mentioned.
I am particularly looking for something that will encourage a reluctant, struggling dd to become more involved with maths. Which I seem to have found, in various forms.
Ultimately, the challenges and tests will be a huge milestone, so wanted to know more.
Can somebody give me a quick breakdown please. Standard wise it would be equivalent to 11+ but not looking for grammar entrance.

MrsHoarder Fri 22-Feb-13 17:14:52

The maths challenges are intended to stretch the next generation of mathematicians. They are run by a maths charity (or some form of non-profit org) and ultimately can lead to representing the UK in international maths competitions. I suspect they're not what you're looking for morethan if your DD is struggling with maths.

Hassled Fri 22-Feb-13 17:17:08

One of DS2's friends routinely gets 100% in Maths tests. It's like he can't be out-challenged. I think when you're seriously gifted in a subject like Maths, it sticks out a mile.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 22-Feb-13 18:06:13

MrsHoarder.

I'll get my coat grin.

By struggling, I don't mean she's really bad. But you are right definitely not the next generation of mathematicians. smile. Do you know of any challenges or particularly competitive resources for when she has improved? She is working hard and quite enjoys challenging herself as well.

Roisin Fri 22-Feb-13 19:28:01

I'm not sure aiming for 100% is a desirable thing.
Last year ds2 got a silver medal in the Junior Olympiad, which apparently puts him in the top 90 students out of 240,000 who took the exam.
To qualify for the Olympiad (0.5% of entrants) they had to get "just" 110 out of possible 135.

I can't recall the actual scoring for the Olympiad, but I know it's nothing like 100% for a gold medal!

Roisin Fri 22-Feb-13 19:28:48

This is the VALUE of these challenging competitions. Our namby pamby NC encourages students to think they have to get 100%, rather than accepting that in order to challenge students appropriately they should be challenged to the point of failure: ie encounter something they can't do.

richmal Fri 22-Feb-13 20:48:17

morethanpotatoprints, have you looked at the nrich website? They don't do competitions, but they do interesting maths problems for children at all levels. (Sorry, I'm not good at links)

MrsHoarder Sat 23-Feb-13 16:31:31

Sorry morethan, that was rude. I shouldn't go on MN after a poor night's sleep. Have you seen mathematical pie?

morethanpotatoprints Sat 23-Feb-13 21:41:22

MrsHoarder.

No worries, it was quite funny actually. I thought you were all talking about normal level dc not really clever mathematicians. I have always kept up with what is happening in education and was surprised there was something I had never heard of.
I didn't think you were being rude at all, honestly. grin Thanks for the idea.

Thank you Richmal

Miggsie Sat 23-Feb-13 21:45:54

I've found that DD makes mistakes as she is sloppy - she has poor attention to detail sometimes. She rushes to the end and doesn't pay as much attention as she should.
Her teacher now does extended maths - the more outré stuff - with her at lunchtimes, where instead of getting to a "right" answer, she has to think about concepts - this has slowed her down a bit and makes her approach it less like a race.
She gets a lot out of this - and much prefers it to straight "sums", which she really finds quite boring (although she is very good at them).

sanam2010 Mon 25-Feb-13 07:51:46

Wow Dewe, that course mate of yours sounds incredible! Where was he from?

Agree with stclemens that maths is actually one of the few subjects where you can justifiably get 100% along with physics because if you don't make mistakes you must have 100%. It's much harder to get 100% in history or literature essays because they can always argue it wasn't absolutely perfect.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 07:59:38

My DS1 does. Until you get to lvl 8 work. He's also in Y6.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 08:00:32

He got a gold medal in the maths challenge, full marks.

He's crap at art, mind you!!

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