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20% drop in maths performance after Class 7 as students don’t understand words, edtech app finds

Year-long study by Bengaluru-based Countingwell shows just 28% students have good language comprehension, and when they start getting word problems, their results suffer.

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New Delhi: A year-long study on maths learning among middle-school students (those studying in classes 6 to 10) has revealed that a majority of them have poor language comprehension skills, which results in a a 20 percent drop in maths performance from Class 7 onwards.

The study, conducted by Bengaluru-based maths-learning edtech platform Countingwell, monitored over 75,000 middle-school students nationwide in 2021, and found that just 28 per cent of the students showcased good comprehension skills.

Nirmal Shah, founder of the learning platform, summed up the findings by saying “there is a positive correlation between comprehension and problem-solving skills in mathematics”.

“Class 7 onwards students start getting word problems and their failure to understand them is leading to drop in performance,” Shah told ThePrint.

Further, 17.4 per cent of students, or nearly one in five, were found to lack basic calculation by the time they reached Class 6.

The study found that after language comprehension, it was modelling of maths problems that was challenging for most students. Only 39 per cent of the monitored students were able to model problems as given in tests or exams accurately, while 63.5 per cent of students demonstrated adequate knowledge of maths concepts.

Students from Tier-2, Tier-3 perform well

Contrary to the prevailing belief that students from smaller cities do not get the same quality of education as their counterparts in metros or bigger cities, the study found that students from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities performed just as well as students from the metros.

According to Shah, a little over 50 per cent of respondents were from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. “Parent involvement during older years reduces, since the concepts get more complicated. Maths teachers do not lay emphasis on language comprehension. When left unchecked, this problem amplifies with an increase in grade levels,” he said.

The study also found that the performance of male and female students was found to be on par. Initial data analysis revealed that male students performed 10 per cent better than female students, but with necessary intervention, the gap was reduced.

What is Countingwell?

Countingwell is a maths-learning app that provides 20-minute bite-sized learning modules to increase concept retention among students.

The app was launched in December 2020 and has so far delivered maths learning to over 90,000 students. It imparts learning with an advanced AI-driven algorithm, and also features a unique model consisting of 20-minute daily ‘maths workouts’, designed to minimise screen time.

The academic advisers of the app include well-known academicians Anita Sharma and Dr Dharam Prakash. Sharma was honoured with the Aryabhatta Award from the All India Ramanujan Maths Club, and the Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya Shiksha Vid Samman for her contributions to education and mathematics.

Dr Prakash, who is involved with the NCERT, has been awarded the B.K. Passi Prize (2008) instituted by the All India Association of Educational Research (AIAER).

(Edited by Manoj Ramachandran)


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