Quantitative Reasoning difficulty

by Amy Creswell
(Waxhaw, NC)

My daughter is very bright and scored very well in the Inview test. Her Quantitative Reasoning is exceptionally LOW compared to all other areas. What games, techniques, etc. can help her improve this area?

Doug's Reply. I doubt there are many games that would raise her score significantly. Quantitative reasoning requires understanding basic mathematical concepts and putting them to use. Most games only test knowledge of arithmetic.

There certainly are techniques such as dimensional analysis which are important tools for solving quantitative reasoning problems. It is such techniques that she needs to review and practice.

Here are the basic concepts of quantitative reasoning that she likely needs to master:

* Arithmetic -- Fractions, ratios, percentage, scaling

* Units -- Conversion, dimensional analysis

* Scientific Notation -- Significant digits, rules of exponents

* Linear Equations with one and two unknowns

* Quadratic equations -- factoring, quadratic formula

* Exponents -- Laws of exponents, relation to logarithms

* Logarithms -- Properties of logarithms, relation to exponents

She also needs to understand and utilize these higher-order concepts:

* Problem solving -- Formulate, solve, and interpret

* Models -- Formulate, analyze, predict, linearity, non-linearity

* Estimation -- Reasonableness of results, checking answers

* Reading -- Comprehend and analyze mathematical text

* Writing -- Express quantitative ideas and facts effectively in writing

* Speaking -- Express quantitative ideas and facts effectively orally

* Information literacy -- Access and make effective use of quantitative

source: http://www.asbmb.org/uploadedFiles/Meetings/Small_Meetings/Student-Centered_Education/IncorpMath_Lia%20Margolia.pdf

As you can see, quantitative reasoning covers a lot of ground.

My advice would be to enroll your daughter in a Quantitative Reasoning review course if you can find one in your area. She needs to study and practice this like any other subject.

If she is a motivated self-starter, you could have her work through a book such as "Using and Understanding Mathematics: A Quantitative Reasoning Approach" by Jeffrey Bennett. It's $100 new on Amazon.com, but used copies on Amazon cost much less (get the newest edition possible).

There are also free quantitative reasoning practice questions and tests on the internet that your daughter can use to test her knowledge and identify weak areas. Type "quantitative reasoning practice questions" into a Google search to generate a list.

You may discover that her difficulty lies more with basic arithmetic than with quantitative reasoning per se. If so, there are several math-related games on my website that provide excellent practice with arithmetic. Math Mountain is probably the best.

I hope that helps! Good luck to you both.

Best regards,

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Nov 08, 2010
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the recommendations and overview - I truly appreciate it and am also forwarding it to her teachers.

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