When Tony found our online tool via MoneySavingExpert he realised he needed to work his mind muscles if he was to get the Essentials of Numeracy
How did you come across the National Numeracy Challenge?
I first saw a numeracy quiz through a link on the MoneySavingExpert website, it was a bit of a taster quiz. It was quite clever because I got a lot of the questions wrong and it made me want to try and put it right, which is why I registered for the main online tool – the National Numeracy Challenge. I suppose that if I was honest, I felt a little embarrassed having got so many questions wrong. So, the next positive step was to sign up for the Challenge even if only to recover a little self-respect!
What are your feelings towards maths/numbers/numeracy?
I think that maths is often considered the 'taboo' subject because it makes people nervous or apprehensive. I guess a lot of people, including me, would have backed away from this topic wherever possible. However, I found that by just trying different questions in the Challenge, slowly but surely, at my own comfortable pace (with no pressure), then it gradually started to make sense. Anyone can do it if you give yourself a chance.
Do you have any tips for others on how to approach the Challenge?
The Challenge is very comprehensive and I would advise having a good look around the site to see how it all works. I spent quite some time doing this because having checked all of the links for online resources beforehand, it saved time and made the whole experience more straight forward. The resources were a gold mine of information and without this type of help it would have been extremely difficult to reach the required level.
For my own experience the one 'major' thing to do besides using all of the resources within the web site is to really read the question properly. I found that apart from my initial lack of knowledge the other major stumbling block was not to read the question carefully, I lost count of the times that I did that, but got it right in the end!
Doing the Challenge was the perfect way for me to refresh my number skills after many years of not doing both simple and harder maths. I think that it's like doing exercise, if you don't do it for a long time it's hard when you start again, and it's the same for maths.
I have to say that when I first did the Challenge it was really quite hard and my first test score was a 'wake-up' call. I found that by re-doing the Check-Up along with the very helpful exercises then I managed to improve my maths knowledge and skills. I have to be honest though and admit that it did take me three attempts before I got to my desired level, but it was well worth it and I am really pleased to have done it.
I do intend to do it again from time to time to refresh my knowledge and keep on top of the learning process.