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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?

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!!

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

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

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.

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).

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


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

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?

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)

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.

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!

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

corinthian Mon 18-Feb-13 22:07:55

For standard school exams, not much difference between getting 95% and 100% - everybody is bound to make a few careless mistakes even if they totally understand the material.

Things like the PMC/SMC etc are a bit different and are slightly different from the JMC, BMO etc - people do very well in the latter without necessarily having got 100% in the former. Those are different again from e.g. doing well at maths at Oxbridge, ending up as a top class maths researcher and so on. There are definite correlations certainly but plenty of exceptions too.

Important thing at this stage is if he enjoys maths to encourage that!

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Feb-13 15:40:39

Don't know about the primary maths challenge, but for the secondary maths challenges the UKMT emails out monthly mentoring sheets with tricky problems for the most able to give them practice on the sort of thinking which will help them in the challenges.

sausagesandwich34 Sat 16-Feb-13 08:29:17

My dc's school doesn't take part in pmc but does do hard maths

Dd1 went through a phase of high 90s but it was always the easy questions she got wrong -decimal in the wrong place, rushing reading the questions and assuming they are going to ask something they don't

Her teacher actually got her doing some easier maths papers, dd understood why and that he was trying to make a point

Did her a huge favour in the entrance exam she has just taken and she got 100% in the level 6 practise she has just done

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 16-Feb-13 08:17:06

According to the Primary Maths Challenge website "An amazing 268 pupils scored 25/25." out of 70 000 entries. So that would be somewhat less than 0.5%.

stclemens Thu 14-Feb-13 10:23:03

there is a variant of this which asks which numbers have ODD numbers of factors - only squares have these as they have two + 1. I have to admit I had never thought about this before - I think it came up in a London Consortium paper. So practicing different papers will help here.

Agree that 8 has 1, 8, 2, 4 so doesn't count.

MonkeySea Wed 13-Feb-13 23:30:14

It doesn't say prime factors.

cumfy Wed 13-Feb-13 22:36:33

Monkey, so E was given as correct answer.

But B is also "correct" as prime factorisation of 8=2x2x2. ie 2 is the only prime factor of 8.

breatheslowly Wed 13-Feb-13 21:49:47

I was good at maths at school - I could get 100% on school tests and got a certificate in the thing you do after the senior maths challenge, but my friend was still clearly streets ahead of me and I don't think that extra practice would have got me to her level.

MonkeySea Wed 13-Feb-13 21:34:25







So it's E.

You typically need to score 23/25 to get to the bonus round (about 1000 get through I think), which then has medals for about half the candidates.

teacherwith2kids Wed 13-Feb-13 20:23:33

DS is the type of child who will get 93-96% in any Maths test - from Level 1 all the way up to Level 7. Always makes 1 silly mistake...

(PMC levels, btw, are 'school specific' - as far as I remember, the medals are awarded to the top marks in the school, not the top marks per se. It's only once they get onto the 'out of school' rounds that 'absolute' levels become meaningful. DS obtained gold medals in both Year 5 and Year 6, but I'm interested to see what he will get on the 'absolute level marked' JMC this year)

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