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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Lighter Side of Singapore Math (Part 4)

A Citizenship Proficiency Test

Below is a sample of math-related questions that could be posed in a "Singapore Citizenship Proficiency Test" paper meant for future naturalized citizens.

1. Singapore is
A. the fourth largest city in China, after Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing.
B. the capital of Malaysia.
C. an island situated near the equator.
D. an island off the East coast of Taiwan.
E. none of the above.

2. The Singapore model method, or bar method, is a naturalized math product. Where did it originate from?
I. China  
II. Israel
III. Japan
IV. Russia
V. United States

A. I only
B. I and III only
C. I, III, and IV
D. II and IV
E. I, III, IV, and V

3. Singapore math textbooks are currently used in
A. the United States and in fewer than 10 Asian countries.
B. more than 50 countries around the world.
C. fewer than 20 Commonwealth countries.
D. over 120 American schools.
E. none of the above.

4. The "Math in Focus" series of books, published in Singapore and printed in China, is an adaptation of a local popular math series. What is the name of this math series?
A. Shaping Maths
B. Discover Maths
C. My Pals Are Here
D. Everyday Maths
E. Maths in Action
5. Which country came top in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) for three consecutive times?
A. China
B. Japan
C. Finland 
D. Singapore 
E. Germany

The Art of Model Drawing: The Right Model

Based on a grade two word problem, the diagrams below show the solutions of four students. Which one best represents a suitable model drawing?

The right [or write?] model is ____.

An [Unofficial] PISA's Ranking for World's Cities

Following the recent PISA ranking, with Shanghai coming up first in math, science, and reading, one mainland Chinese commented online:

"If China were to submit test results for all 30 of its provinces then they will rank from #1 to #30 with Korea and Japan squeezed in between." Z

The comment is anything but far-fetched, as it's an open secret that it's much harder for a high-school graduate to be admitted to the top universities in China than to secure a place in the top two universities in Singapore.

Here's a possible PISA or TIMSS ranking, should they decide to compare city-state Singapore with the world's best cities in mathematics or science.

Tel Avi

Hong Kong
New York

Will Singapore be around in the next century?
In the sixties, to control the population growth, the slogan then to [primarily non-college-] graduates couples was: "Stop at two kids!"

Today, to address the declining birthrate, the dangerously unwritten slogan in some postmodern or liberal circles is: "Seek two… wives!" Or, maybe it's: "Stick to one wife, but sleep with a few concubines!"

Two more expensive-cheat Singapore math books—titles which over-promise and under-deliver, or whose contents are worth a fraction of their published prices—according to dozens of local teachers, tutors, lecturers, and parents. Order them from Amazon.com if you've extra cash to spare!


Yan, K. C. (2011). The Lighter Side of Singapore Math (Part 3). May 1, 2011. http://www.singaporemathplus.com/2011/05/lighter-side-of-singapore-math-part-3.html

Yan, K. C. (2010). The Lighter Side of Singapore Math (Part 2). Sep. 25, 2010. http://www.singaporemathplus.com/2010/09/lighter-side-of-singapore-math-part-2.html

Yan, K. C. (2010). The Lighter Side of Singapore Math (Part 1). April 1, 2010. 

© Yan Kow Cheong, December 15, 2013.