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Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > Secrets of getting high math marks

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29 Apr 2008

Secrets of getting high math marks



Frank Ho


Founder and BC certified math teacher at

Ho Math and Chess



You thought that you worked very hard and prepared very well and had a math tutor helped you to iron out all potential problems but the chart of your math marks are still look like a yo-yo, you wondered why?


I have been teaching and tutoring all my life, over 25 years, and at times I also scratched my head at loss and wondered what I will do for some kids who just could not seem to pull their marks higher? After my careful observations, I found there a few reasons why some children just could not get their math marks to the level they wanted. These factors of affecting their math marks are:


1.      Do not follow steps or procedures.


Some children have trouble to follow exactly the steps or algorithms on how a problem should be solved. For example, as simple as a division problem, many students have to do it in a way which is not very well streamlined and an extra simple multiplication has to be done in a separate step instead in their heads. Their mental math ability is not very high. To solve an equation, some students can never place an = sign on the left side since their equation is done in a broken and different steps.


2.      Can not connect the knowledge learned.

May be able to do , but later the same student is asked to do then this student may have problems with it. The ability of handling symbols is not high.


3.      Difficulty in seeing patterns, or not comfortable with logic problems.


Can do simple arithmetic like 2 – 1, but when a string of patterned numbers are connected together, then the student can not see the pattern. For example, 2 – 1 + 3 – 2 + 4 – 3 + 5 – 4.


Some chess players have the talents of being able to “see” patterns, lines, and interactions, but most have to be trained to play well. This is the same problem I see for most of math students, they need to be trained to gain number sense in seeing patters, logic relations, table relations, sorting, classifying etc. This number sense ability can be improved by working on puzzles including chess puzzles and I think that this is one of the secrets student can use to improve their math IQ. 

More details, please visit www.mathandchess.com.

Frank Ho


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