PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

English Also available in: French

Is memorisation a good strategy for learning mathematics?

Fewer 15-year-olds in East Asian countries reported that they use memorisation than did 15‑year‑olds in some of the English-speaking countries to whom they are often compared. In no PISA-participating education system did boys report more intensive use of memorisation than girls when learning mathematics. Memorisation as a learning strategy may work with easy problems, but it is unlikely to be effective if it is the only strategy used when confronted with complex mathematics problems.

English Also available in: French

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