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Primary Mathematics Notes

Some parents have been complaining about Primary Mathematics. They say nowadays Primary Mathematics is not “pure” Mathematics anymore. They say that the Mathematics questions are more like playing with word games, if you do not understand the questions, you cannot solve the questions. Nonetheless, we can still solve the “word games” and score high in Mathematics! In addition, the terms are universal, you can keep this note for Secondary Mathematics too.

Caution: Though the wordings used in this post are commonly found in the Mathematics questions, each question is unique and may vary. The most important thing is to read and understand the questions. Treat each question on a case-by-case basis. If you face any problem on Mathematics questions, please feel free to contact me at

Below are some of the common words used in Primary Mathematics questions:

1. as … as = same

Jenny is as tall as Kenny. That means both Jenny and Kenny have the same height.

Variation version:

(a) Jenny has twice as many candies as Kenny. That means if Jenny has 6 candies, Kenny has only 3 candies. In algebra, Jenny’s candies = 2 x Kenny’s candies.

(b) When x is doubled, find y. That means when x = 2x.

2. -er than, the difference of => use subtraction (-)

Kenny has $50 more than Jenny. That means the difference of the amount of money between Kenny and Jenny is $50, most questions can be solved using subtraction.

Kenny is taller than Jenny by 2 cm. That means the difference of the height between Kenny and Jenny is 2 cm and Kenny is taller.

3. altogether, the sum of => use addition (+)

How many flowers are there altogether? The question is asking you to add all the flowers mentioned in the question.

What is the sum of money? The question is asking you to add all the money value mentioned in the question.

4. Mathematics language

(a) Subtract 5 from 9 => 9 – 5

(b) A bag cost $5.00, how much does it cost if Jenny buys 3 bags? => $5 x 3

Below are the concepts that must be understood by Primary students so that they can tackle more difficult questions:

1. Percentage

2. Ratio

3. Average

4. Bar modelling

5. Algebra (This concept will be taught in more details in Secondary school, thus the understanding of the concept is of utmost importance)

In a nutshell, understanding the concepts is the most important thing to learn in Mathematics. Once you have understood, solving more questions will reinforce the understanding and A* is on the way!

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