• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Swedish pupils' maths skills don't add up

The Local/og · 10 Apr 2014, 12:13

Published: 10 Apr 2014 12:13 GMT+02:00

 
The two researchers, one a university lecture and the other a former lecturer, said that the study was carried out on 1,500 first year high school students, when the pupils are on average 15 years old, in an unnamed central Sweden municipality.
 
"Far too many students have very poor knowledge when it comes to simple competencies like adding and multiplying basic fractions or figuring out percentage calculations," they wrote in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Thursday.
 
They added that it seemed some Swedish pupils ground to a halt in math class after sixth grade.
 
"Understanding simple calculations is roughly the same in the eighth-grade as  in the sixth," the wrote. "Even during the first year of high school, half of the students had problems with basic calculations that they should have learned in middle school."
 
The researchers argued that this slow down in math skills probably meant that the student simply did not understand what they were being asked to learn in earlier grades. 
 
"It's remarkable. It makes you wonder how it's possible that a pupil can go year after year lacking basic maths skills without the teachers reacting."
 
Here are some of the questions from the testing process, followed by how many of the 1,500 students answered incorrectly.
Story continues below…
 
7x8+5 (38 percent answered incorrectly)
What's 15 percent off a 720 kronor item? (54 percent were wrong)
Divide 0.16 by 4 (50 percent wrong)
Add four fifths and two thirds (44 percent wrong)

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden votes yes to controversial Nato deal
A Nato exercise in Spain 2014. Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor

A bid to stall the decision was voted down.

Swedish pensioner 'pulled fake gun' on salesman
A file photo of an airsoft gun not linked to the story. Photo: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

We know that many of you have probably had your patience tried by salespeople in the past. But don't do this at home, kids.

Swedish PM shakes up cabinet in key reshuffle
Ann Linde, Peter Eriksson, Isabella Lövin, Stefan Löfven, Karolina Skog and Ibrahim Baylan. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

UPDATED: Will this turn a page on weeks of scandals for Sweden's coalition?

Why this Swedish handyman wore high heels to work
Not the ideal footwear for manual labour. Photo: Emil Andersson

Laying a floor in a fourth floor apartment turned out to be pretty difficult in high heels.

Julian Assange
Stockholm court upholds Assange arrest warrant
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

UPDATED: A Stockholm district court has maintained a European arrest warrant against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Local List
Ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Thinking about that time he compared himself to Rambo? Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Is it a Ferrari? Is it a shark? No, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sweden sees dramatic rise in syphilis cases
New figures show a significant increase in Swedish syphilis cases. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Syphilis is on the increase in Sweden, with the number of new cases more than tripling in some parts of the country.

Why Sweden's teachers have no time for their students
A Swedish classroom. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Teachers in Sweden are drowning in paperwork and have insufficient time to properly plan lessons, a new report suggests.

Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
3,315
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se