2. Attempt heuristics type problem sums

gep screening and selection test

For the Mathematics section, many of the questions are high level (for Primary 3 students) versions of Excess-Shortage, Constant-Sum/Difference, and Making a Supposition type questions. What do these mean? Here’s an example of each.


Adrian goes to a stationery shop to buy pens. A red pen costs $0.90 and a blue pen costs $0.70. If Adrian spends all his money buying blue pens, he will have $0.60 left over. However, if he buys the same number of red pens, he will need another $0.80. How much money does Adrian have?


Constable Acai has 16 badges. If Inspector Dollah gives him half of his own badges, Constable Acai will have three times the number of badges that Inspector Dollah has. How many badges does Inspector Dollah have?

Making a Supposition

Marcus goes to IKEA and buys 16 three-legged stools and regular four-legged chairs. They all use the same type of legs. He has 58 legs altogether. How many three-legged stools did he buy?

If you’re on enough parenting/education Facebook groups, you’ll notice that they look like upper heuristics maths questions. So letting your child try out upper primary heuristics problem sums will be a form of good exposure.

Try and change up the questions a little to make them more enjoyable for your child – use names of family members or friends, and change the items to food or toys. That’ll give them the extra motivation to figure out the answers to those tough Maths questions!

Read part 1

Read part 3

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