Summary of Week 1
You have reached the end of the first week and we hope that you have enjoyed it and have learned something.
You may have been surprised by how much you already work with numbers and how much they crop up in everyday life and in the workplace. You should now have a better understanding of the numeracy skills that you will need to refresh or acquire to be numerate.
We have looked at the rationale behind psychometric testing and how employers’ numeracy tests are used. If you are taking this course to prepare for a numeracy test, you will have already begun your preparations and have a good idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
You will have started to develop a methodology for answering questions through asking:
- What am I being asked?
- What data do I have?
- How would I do this calculation?
- What data do I need?
- How do I interpret my answer?
You have started to see that questions need to be answered in context and so you will often need to interpret the answer that you calculate. Some questions cannot be calculated as you do not have sufficient data. Many questions are very wordy and you need to read carefully to extract the data you need and ignore what you don’t.
You have seen that different calculators do not always work in exactly the same way. If you needed to, you will have refreshed your calculator skills. If you have attempted all the quizzes, you will have had a chance to check your understanding of rounding and approximating numbers.
In Week 2 we will be refreshing other numeracy skills but in the meantime you can use what you have learned to continue your practice. When you go to the supermarket, try and approximate the total cost of the items you are buying. Check the bill if you go to a restaurant. If you are going on a journey, work out the mileage. Ask yourself how far you would travel in a working week if your commute was a journey of this length. Make an effort to notice and use numbers more. Practice using a calculator and working without one. As Tony Croft says “mathematics is not a spectator sport”. You will only become comfortable with numeracy through doing.
We look forward to seeing you again in Week 2. Please share your experiences of this week in the next step.
© Janette Matthews, Loughborough University 2015