Error Analysis on Answering Word Problems of Grades 3 – 5 Pupils

AUTHORS: Kerenza R. Lee, Roselyn R. Obcena

DATE COMPLETED: December 15, 2015



               The study attempted to investigate the common errors made by Grades 3 -5 pupils in solving word problems – arithmetic and algebraic in form classified into two categories: transformation error (comprehension) and computation error. It further investigated the relationship between the types of word problems and the errors pupils commit. Erred responses were gathered and categorized accordingly.  Data were analyzed using the descriptive tools. It further studied the relationship between the type of errors (transformation or computation) in the context of word problem type (arithmetic or algebraic) using Pearson-correlation. By analyzing these errors, it was found out that majority of the respondents commit errors in the comprehension level (transformation error) which is considered the 2nd stage in the process of answering of word problems. This implies that pupils showed difficulty in translating word problems into their mathematical form which is considered by Newman as still part of the process level. In relation to the level of processes in answering word problems, this indicates that pupils were not able to go beyond the process level. It further revealed that between arithmetic and algebraic word problems, it is in algebraic word problems that most of the respondents commit transformation errors despite the fact that Block Modeling Approach is said to help pupils comprehend algebraic word problems. This indicates that there is a need to strengthened the use of modeling approach in helping pupils translate word problems to its mathematical form. Also, it established a significant relationship between these errors with the type of word problems. It is in this regard that the researchers concluded that there is a need to strengthened pupils’ conceptual understanding.

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