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Half a Million Learners and Counting

23 Jan 2023

by Maurice Tse-Leon, Digital Engagement Manager 

This week National Numeracy celebrates a significant milestone: 500,000 people have now signed up to the National Numeracy Challenge!

But it's not the numbers that excite me when I think about half a million people using our learning site. It's remembering that every one of those learners has their own story and their own reason for using the Challenge. 

You're welcome to try the Challenge too by the way!

man on laptop

There are so many stories we've heard from National Numeracy Challenge users, from someone who was training to become a teacher...

"I am trying to improve my maths skills to train to be a primary school teacher so it helped to show me what stage I am at now."

"This resource has helped me identify the gaps in my knowledge and consolidate the skills that I already had. I have greater confidence when approaching the teaching of mathematics within the classroom." someone who needed the confidence to get back into formal education...

"Once I had completed The National Numeracy Challenge it helped me to decide to go further and to sign up for Maths Functional Skills. Also I gained more confidence at work and at home being able to help kids with homework."

...or someone getting more confident with day-to-day activities...

"Splitting bills in restaurants and volunteering on bookstalls....having to work out bills and change...I often feel ashamed by my lack of ability. I have a chance to improve in private using your website, which does not judge me."

It's also been helpful for those looking to support others...

"I am more confident with numbers and I know I can manage better than I thought. I am not completely useless at numeracy! This new-found confidence has helped me to help other people, like the staff that I supervise, with their numeracy." 

“If I was a learner who didn’t want to come to class, I would be thinking `Wow! This is my way forward!”

...including parents...

"It helped me gain more confidence while helping my child for their school homework."

"I feel more confident to help my children when they need support with homework."

And for some it's taken away a hatred of maths that's been there since school.

"I hated maths at school. I found long problems exhausting to work out. However, I now have the knowledge of how to break things down, the patience to look for the answer and the confidence that a little tenacity will help me get to the correct answer. I no longer hate maths."

All these quotes are from learners who've told us how the Challenge has impacted their lives, and there are now 500,000 stories that the National Numeracy Challenge has been part of.

How has the National Numeracy Challenge changed? 

The Challenge had a big launch in 2014 and at the time it looked like this:  


Challenge 2014

It included our detailed adaptive assessment and some links to resources hand picked from across the internet to help learners improve their skills. It focused on numeracy, not abstract maths, with all our questions focused on the everyday maths we need to get on in life. 

In recent years we've made further improvements to the Challenge so that now it:

  • has a shorter initial assessment, around 10 mins rather than 30 mins 
  • asks you how you feel about maths and how confident you are, with videos to show you that others feel the same way
  • includes branding and messaging inspired by our face-to-face work with learners to be more supportive
  • has individual dedicated learning resources for all of our 300 plus questions, to help you learn how to get the right answer for any questions you get wrong
  • operates on all devices - mobile, tablet and desktop - with a Progressive Web App and responsive web design
  • has resources focused on your motivations for learning, whether that's to support children, improve your money management or to get on at work  

So now it looks like this:


Challenge 2020

Why not join the others and try the National Numeracy Challenge for yourself right now? 

Get started