Are you as smart as a 12 year old?

August 18, 2017

Our recent maths and English quiz has revealed that UK adults are struggling to answer questions designed for children from reception up to year 8…

Two students working on the computers


  • 1 in 3 incorrectly answered a question designed for year 3 students

  • Just 8% correctly answered all nine questions!

Over 3,000 Families Online readers in the UK took part in a quiz and only 8% managed to correctly answer a series of nine questions, designed for children from reception to year 8 at school.

We asked a range of maths and English questions which progressed in difficulty based on what UK children answer in class. Despite the questions being aimed at children between 4 and 12 years old, some adults found themselves in a bit of difficulty!

As you’d expect, things started smoothly – for questions one to three, the success rate was 94% and above. However many encountered difficulty when asked to think at a year 3 standard.

When all of the incorrect answers are taken into account, only 8% of the UK had a 100% record!

Test your brain by taking our quiz! 


All of this highlights the difficulties parents can face when supporting children with their education, such as tackling homework.

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning, says: “The results of this survey come as no surprise! The level the youngest generations are working at is more advanced than a lot of people expect and there is no shame in admitting when assistance is needed to support children with their school work. At Explore Learning we have open sessions with parents to give guidance and advice on what they can do at home.”

Here are some top pieces of advice from Charlotte on helping your child with homework:

  • Make sure you’re fully up-to-date with what your child is working on by liaising with your school.
  • Make a plan with your child on where and when homework will be done. Make sure they are involved in the decision-making process – perhaps by giving them three options of when to do so they can fit it around their other activities.
  • Avoid distractions by encouraging them to do their homework in a room with no TV, computer or iPad!
  • Make sure they have all their resources ready in advance so they don’t need to go and find bits halfway through that will lead to distractions.
  • Agree on the amount of time that your child will be working for. If they are particularly young and can’t read a clock yet, use egg timers so they can see how much time they have left.
  • Let your child do the work. Despite these findings, it is often very easy for parents to help them a little bit too much. For example, if you’re doing maths homework do the first question together, so they know what to do, and then let them do the rest. Make sure the teacher can see that they have worked it out for themselves.
  • The way that things are being taught has changed a lot since many parents were at school so if you are unsure of anything talk to their teacher. If you don’t understand anything be open and ask for help.  If your child attends Explore Learning you can receive parent-tutor sessions where our tutors will advise you on how best to help your child.
  • Most importantly, be patient. Doing homework can be a stressful time for both children and parents. Praise the good things and don’t get irritated if they don’t understand straight away.  Make sure you give them confidence and pull out the positives!

Our education experts are on hand to offer support for parents and children! Why not get in touch with your local tuition centre today?



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