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Singapore Math® and the CPA approach emphasize problem solving, which is central to learning mathematics.

Why Singapore Math®?

Year after year Singapore students demonstrate outstanding math achievement in all international studies. The key to Singapore Math®’s success lays in the use of a pedagogy and educational materials supported by decades of research. Such pedagogy consists of a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach that follows humans’ natural learning progression.

What is the Singapore Math® Approach?

The Singapore Math® Approach is the methodology by which students are able to develop critical thinking and mathematical mastery of their coursework.

Singapore Math® is anchored by a five-pronged approach (Figure A) using a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract learning method in which lessons are taught through scaffolding and students learn how to problem solve with perseverance. This method also enables teachers to convey math concepts progressively from introduction to understanding to fluency. It is where content meets pedagogy.

Singapore Math® and the Common Core State Standards

The development of the Common Core State Standards in education was heavily informed by the pedagogy of the Singapore Math® Approach. Much like the Marshall Cavendish Education products, the Common Core State Standards focus on understanding of the methodology and student mastery. Marshall Cavendish Education uniquely aligns with this approach by allowing students to build a coherent framework encouraging perseverance in solving challenging problems with critical thinking.

Proven Results: Research Findings


Since TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) began in 1995, Singapore has consistently been a top-performing nation. Marshall Cavendish Education, headquartered in Singapore, has contributed to this outstanding achievement as the original publisher of Singapore Math® textbooks. Today MCE’s mathematics content and pedagogy is available to U.S. learners and educators.

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Source: IEA’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study -TIMSS 2011

These tables show the top Performance at the TIMSS 2011 International Benchmarks of several participating countries, including Singapore and the United States.

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Source: IEA’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study -TIMSS 2011

Review the complete report: Performance at the TIMSS 2011 International Benchmark
Review the complete report: International Student Achievement in Mathematics

For more TIMSS reports visit TIMSS and PIRLS website


The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. The assessment does not just ascertain whether students can reproduce what they have learned; it also examines how well they can extrapolate from what they have learned and apply that knowledge in unfamiliar settings, both in and outside of school. This approach reflects the fact that modern societies reward individuals not for what they know, but for what they can do with what they know.

The PISA 2012 survey focused on mathematics, with reading, science and problem-solving minor areas of assessment. All 34 OECD member countries and 31 partner countries and economies participated in PISA 2012, representing more than 80% of the world economy.

Singapore is found among the top performing countries in the PISA 2012 results.

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Source: OECD, 2012, PISA Database.

For more information and reports visit OECD website.