focus-math-flagMath proficiency: why it is so important to master the basic skills before moving on to more advanced math and how it is correlated with success later in life.

Basic math skills are mastered in elementary school. They are based mainly on proficiency in basic arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. There are a lot of articles, books, and reports with explanations why these basic math skills are so important.

As an example, here are two quotes from academic papers:

According to the research by Harvard professor Tom Loveless:

Basic skills are necessary to advance in math (Students must learn arithmetic so that they can move on to more demanding mathematics—algebra, geometry, calculus)

Basic skills predict adult earnings. …A growing body of research has documented that the skills and knowledge students learn in school is correlated with success later in life

A survey done by The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,  published in March 2013, states: “Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings”.

Also, students need the basic math in order to do high school and university courses. University teachers complain they are getting students with weaker math skills each year and more students need to take remedial courses once they enroll (that means extra costs, lower earnings and limited employment choices)

There are a few special tablet, phone and desktop applications that serve the goal of mastering basic math skills. The following are just the tip of the iceberg:

Desktop applications:

Math for Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 11

Add whole numbers:

Subtract whole numbers:

Multiply whole numbers:

Divide whole numbers:

iPad applications:

Fraction Math

Quiz Generator

QuizGenerator2

Math Whole

Math Fraction

Math Drills

Math Drills Lite

iPhone applications:

Fraction Math

Math BK5

Math BK5Lite

Math Drills

Math Drills Lite

Do you have a favorite app that you would like us to add to the list? We will be glad to hear from you.

About the Author

Tat@facebook_3Tatyana Belyavskaya taught on the college level in St. Petersburg, Russia for more than 20 years and moved to the USA in 1991. Over the next 20 years she as a software engineer, Web designer, database administrator, and an information systems analyst. Prompted by their grandkids’ math questions and problems, Tatyana and her husband (who is the software developer) decided to reach more children, helping them to master basic math skills. They have published tablet, phone and desktop applications for arithmetic practice. Tatyana likes to read and travel.
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4 Responses to Math proficiency: why it is so important to master the basic skills

  1. […] “ Math proficiency: why it is so important to master the basic skills before moving on to more advanced math and how it is correlated with success later in life.”  […]

  2. My own research in Psychology supports the claims of this post. I have published this research in a book published by Oxford University Press (Speelman & Kirsner, 2005). I have also developed a computer game – Numbeat – that is specifically designed according to this principle. Two trials in Australian elementary schools demonstrated that Numbeat can increase a child’s speed of performing arithmetic calculations (Speelman, 2013). Last month Numbeat was released as an app for iPad.

  3. […] Math proficiency: why it is so important to master the basic skills before moving on to more advanced math and how it is correlated with success later in life. Basic math skills are mastered in elementary school.  […]

  4. […] Math proficiency: why it is so important to master the basic skills before moving on to more advanced math and how it is correlated with success later in life.  […]