Number problems

I've just been looking at my son's maths homework, which is from the CGP Year Six Maths Workbook - Year Six in the UK is kids who are 10 to 11 years old. Here's the question:

a) How many hundreds in 4695?

I can think of four possible answers, depending on how you interpret the question:

  1. 6, i.e. the hundreds digit of 4695 is 6
  2. 600, i.e. the hundreds component of 4695 is 600
  3. 46, i.e. 100 goes into 4695 46 times, with 95 left over
  4. 46.95, i.e. 4695 ÷ 100

From previous experience with these books, it could be any of the first three possibilities, although the last one is an equally valid interpretation. No wonder the standard of maths in UK primary schools is so poor, if they have to use such frankly awful source material. Here's another example, from the next page:

Solve this problem.

17 × 6 + 98 ÷ 25 × 301 - 21 + 113 =        

If you think the answer is 1376.92, i.e. (17 × 6) + (98 ÷ 25 × 301) - 21 + 113, you'd be wrong. The answer they seem to be expecting is 2500, i.e. ((((((17 × 6) + 98) ÷ 25) × 301) - 21) + 113). I know that's the case because the kids aren't allowed to use calculators, so the answer will be an integer value. So much for the rules of operator precedence...

p.s. Thanks to @kangcool for spotting the maths error in the original version ;-)

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