Singapore maths FAQs

Singapore maths FAQs

Maths is the subject that many homeschooling parents need help with, and using a good program will save you a lot of angst in teaching, preparation and organisation. Choosing the right Singapore maths program for homeschool is a big decision. We’ve compiled this list of questions and answers about Singapore maths that will help you decide if the Singapore maths programs we have are suitable for your children.

If your question isn’t answered here, please let us know. If you need more help, there is plenty more information in our Singapore Maths Hub, which includes articles comparing Singapore maths with the Australian Curriculum.

Primary levels

Do I need the workbooks or is the textbook enough?

To get the full benefit and course requirements you will need textbooks A and B and workbooks A and B for the grade level. 

Can I get by with just the workbooks?

The workbooks simply provide you with practice for the concepts taught. They do not do the teaching, so you will need the textbooks as well to get the full benefit of Singapore maths programs. The teaching is done in the textbooks.

Is the Teacher’s Resource Book necessary?

The Teacher’s Resource Book is optional. It contains all the answers to the problems in the textbooks and workbooks.  It also has a Scope and Sequence, which is useful for government homeschooling registration plans, and your own. It will help you pace the course over your school year. It also has teaching notes.

Can I use a teacher’s guide or home instructor guide from one program with another program?

No, each program has been published at different times and often the sequence of topics is altered when the course is republished.  Each edition needs its own guides and they are not inter-usable.

Do the Singapore maths books “levels” match Australian school grades?

Not necessarily. If you need to know what level is best for your child, it’s best to do a placement test. You can find some here. Many parents find that their children who have been to school test lower than their grade level with Singapore maths. This is not something to cause alarm, but it highlights the importance of placing your child at the right Singapore maths level. It is better for the child to go back a grade level and re learn concepts with the Singapore maths methodology than risk them struggling.

If my child shows proficiency in part A in a given level, but not B, can I start my child at part B?

We don’t recommend starting a Singapore maths level halfway through. It’s always best to make sure you cover the topics that the level deems as important to prepare the child for other topics or future levels.

Are ebooks available for Singapore maths?

Yes, though there are pros and cons of ebooks. Shing Lee (publisher of New Syllabus Maths) has an online platform. Access to the ebooks is by a one-year subscription, so if you need access to the ebook for more than a year, you will need to renew the subscription for another year. This may work fine if you are confident of getting through the program in the time allotted.

Ebooks on Shing Lee’s online platform are the same price as the print Singapore maths books. There is no printing function on the online platform. If you are interested in an online subscription, please contact us.

Does Singapore maths match the Australian Curriculum requirements?

Generally, it does, and is ahead in all the basic topics. Probability is not taught until year 8 in Singapore maths. For more detailed information, please read our Singapore maths and Australian Curriculum comparisons for each grade level.

What’s the difference between the US 3rd Edition and Singapore 3rd Edition of primary maths?

The Primary Maths US 3rd Edition is the same as the Singapore Primary Maths 3rd Edition (now out of print) but replaces any money problems with US money and adds in US measures (it also keeps metric measures). 

What is Bar Modelling used in Singapore maths?

Bar modelling is a visual method of finding unknowns in equations, especially word problems. It is very useful for younger students and builds a good foundation for solving more complex problems when they are older. You can find out how to do it in this video.

Highschool levels

Is the workbook necessary?

For the Normal Academic (NA) series, the workbook is necessary as the course is spread over the textbook and workbook. The workbook has problems that are necessary to meet the full course requirements.

The 7th Edition (Accelerated) has everything necessary to complete the course in the textbook and contains extra work for extension. This makes it a cheaper program and we recommend it over the Normal Academic. 

The Accelerated edition covers 5 years in 4 books – you can slow your pace if you need to. The Normal Academic has 5 books over 5 years.

Is the Teacher’s Resource Book necessary?

The Teacher’s Resource Book for high school levels contains fully worked solutions to all the textbook problems (and workbook for NA edition) as opposed to just answers, which are at the back of the textbook. For most parents, the Teacher’s Resource Book is the key to succeeding with teaching high school mathematics, which is why we only sell it with the textbook and not separately.

The Teacher’s Resource Book also contains teaching notes and a Scope and Sequence to assist you with planning.

Does Singapore high school maths match the Australian Curriculum requirements?

It depends on which stream you choose: NSM 7th Edition (Accelerated) or the Normal Academic. All topics are covered but some are taught earlier and some later. Over the whole course, all topics are covered.

General questions about Singapore maths

How good is Singapore maths?

Singapore consistently produces students that outperform other nations in international assessments, and always outperform Australian students. This article comments on some of the latest statistics.

Singapore maths for schools

Where do I find information about implementing Singapore maths at my school?

Singapore maths is increasingly being used by schools, especially specialist and individual needs programs. Please visit our Schools Hub for programs and other relevant information for schools wanting to implement Singapore maths. 

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