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Walkthrough of 8 Common Primary 1 Maths Questions in Exam

Updated: Mar 21


8 Common Primary 1 Maths Questions in Exam

In Primary 1 maths exams, students encounter a variety of questions that test their understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts. From number patterns to word problems, these questions aim to assess students' grasp of basic arithmetic and problem-solving skills. In this walkthrough, we'll delve into eight common types of math questions for Primary 1, providing step-by-step solutions and strategies to approach each type effectively.


1. Fact Family


A fact family refers to a collection of mathematical facts or equations formulated using identical sets of numbers. In addition and subtraction, a fact family encompasses two addition and two subtraction equations.


For example, in addition and subtraction, the numbers 2, 4, and 6 can be used to create the fact family:


  • Addition facts: 2 + 4 = 6, 4 + 2 = 6

  • Subtraction facts: 6 - 4 = 2, 6 - 2 = 4



Example:


Write a fact family for the question below


Fact Family

Tip: 

For addition equations, the total is always at the end. 

For subtraction equations, the total is always at the start!


More Than/Fewer Than

2. More Than/Fewer Than


These questions involve comparing quantities to determine how many more or fewer items one group has compared to another.

More than fewer than


Method 1: Subtract to Find the Difference


When comparing, always subtract. If you are asked how many more tennis balls there are than soccer balls, and you have 9 tennis balls and 4 soccer balls, you would calculate 9 - 4 = 5. Therefore, there are 5 more tennis balls than soccer balls. 


  • For "How Many More": Subtract the smaller number from the larger number. The result tells you how many more items one group has compared to the other. 

  • For "How Many Fewer": This is essentially the same operation but phrased differently. If asked how many fewer soccer balls there are than tennis balls in the example above, you would perform the same subtraction: 9 (tennis) - 4 (soccer) = 5. Answer is 5 fewer soccer balls than tennis balls.

Method 2: One-to-one Correspondence


Subtract to Find the Difference

Match one tennis ball to one soccer ball and count the remaining tennis balls to determine the difference.


3. Number Patterns


Number patterns are sequences of numbers that follow a certain rule or pattern. In Primary 1 level exams, these questions typically involve identifying the next number in the sequence.


Example:


Look at the pattern below. What is the missing number?

Number Patterns

Solution:


At the Primary 1 level, number patterns usually involve a fixed number (the common difference) added to the previous number to obtain the next term.

Number Patterns 1

The missing number is 6.


Ordering Numbers

4. Ordering Numbers


Ordering numbers entails arranging them in either increasing or decreasing order based on their value.

Ordering numbers entails arranging them in either increasing or decreasing

To be able to grasp the concept of ordering numbers, students first need to master counting forward and backwards. 


Counting forward establishes the basic principle that numbers follow a specific sequence where each number is one more than the number before it. This helps in understanding increasing order. 


Conversely, counting backwards emphasises the concept that each number is one less than the one before it, laying the foundation for decreasing order.


5. Word Problem Keywords: ‘Altogether’ or ‘In total’


The keywords "altogether" or “in total” in the question are a signal that you will be adding

When you see "altogether" or “in total,” it usually means you need to combine quantities or add numbers to find the total amount.


Example:

Julia has 3 candles. Kayla has 2 candles. Lucas has 5 candles.

How many candles do they have altogether?


Solution:


3 + 2 + 5 = 10


They have 10 candles altogether.


Word Problem Keywords: ‘Altogether’ or ‘In total’

6. Word Problem Keyword: ‘Left’


The keyword "left" in the question is a signal that you will be subtracting

The keyword "left" in word problems often signifies subtraction because it refers to what remains after a portion has been taken away or used up from a starting amount.


Example:

Tim has 10 pears. He gives 5 pears to his friend.

How many pears does he have left?


Solution:


10 - 5 = 5


He has 5 pears left.


7. Word Problem Keyword: ‘At First’


The keyword "at first" in the question is a signal you have to work backwards to find the number of items at the start. 


We usually have to do reverse calculations to find the beginning state.


Example:

Yen had some stamps. She gave 5 stamps to her brother. She had 3 stamps left. 

Answer: How many stamps did she have at first?


Solution:


To find the original number of stamps, we add the number of stamps she gave away to the number of stamps she had left.


3 + 5 = 8


She had 8 stamps at first.


Word Problem Keyword: ‘Left’

8. Word Problem Keywords: ‘More Than’ or ‘Fewer Than’


These problems are designed to test the understanding of comparing 2 items by using addition or subtraction.


Example 1:

Mary ate 8 jelly beans. Ali ate 2 fewer jelly beans than Mary.

How many jelly beans did Ali eat?


Solution:

To determine how many jelly beans Ali ate, we first need to ask ourselves if Ali has more or fewer jelly beans. Since we know that Ali has fewer jelly beans from the sentence “Ali ate 2 fewer jelly beans than Mary”, we need to subtract.


8 - 2 = 6


Ali ate 6 jelly beans.


Note: Do not always assume the keyword “fewer” will require subtraction. Look at example 2.


Example 2:

Mary ate 8 jelly beans. Mary ate 2 fewer jelly beans than Ali.

How many jelly beans did Ali eat?


Solution:

In this case, Mary is the one with fewer jelly beans. To find how many jelly beans Ali ate, we have to add.


8 + 2 = 10


Ali ate 10 jelly beans.


Word Problem Keywords: ‘More Than’ or ‘Fewer Than’


Mastering the Maths Primary 1 exam in Singapore requires a solid understanding of foundational concepts such as fact families, number patterns, ordering numbers, and solving word problems. By employing appropriate strategies and practising regularly, students can confidently approach exams and achieve success in Mathematics.


Enrolling your child in AGrader Learning Centre offers a valuable opportunity to enhance their Mathematical skills and problem-solving abilities. AGrader Primary Math Programme is meticulously designed to equip students from Primary 1 to 6 with efficient techniques to tackle challenging math problems with ease.



Enrolling your child in AGrader Learning Centre offers a valuable opportunity

Our experienced tutors employ heuristics to teach problem-solving skills, enabling your child to confidently approach even the most daunting problem sums. Moreover, our curriculum aligns with the latest syllabus set by the Ministry of Education, ensuring that your child receives relevant and up-to-date instruction. By enrolling your child in the Primary Math Programme, you're investing in their academic success and providing them with the necessary tools to excel in mathematics. 


Take the first step towards unlocking your child's potential in Math. Enrol them in AGrader Learning Centre's Primary Math Programme today.


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