Just following on from our earlier blog updating the hardest times table questions, we wanted to flag the top 11 in the times table hall of shame!! These are:
And that's an interesting group - a classic mistake for Stephen Byers (who famously answered 8x7 incorrectly), but (as we noted at the time) shameful of George Osbourne to dodge the question. However there is nothing like being put on the spot (by Sky News) to make the heart race.
As we see in the graphic below, it's that central area that causes the problems and thats the reason for the top 11. Of that central area of 16 questions running from 6-9 by 6-9, 9 of them are the hardest questions. That top 11 also includes 4x8 and 8x4 (notable outliers) and after that we see some of the 11x and 12x creeping in. This is core critical to number fact mastery and, given that they are hard to compute, storing them in long-term memory is important for success.
Are there better ways we can focus on this area??