Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 123–139 | Cite as

Strategies and performance in elementary students’ three-digit mental addition

  • Csaba CsíkosEmail author


The focus of this study is the relationship between students’ performance in mental calculation and the strategies they use when solving three-digit mental addition problems. The sample comprises 78 4th grade students (40 boys and 38 girls). Their mean age was 10 years and 4 months. The main novelties of the current research include (1) exploration of the relationship between strategy use and response time, (2) revealing the uniformity of the strategies used throughout the series of tasks, and (3) pointing out between-school differences in strategy use, but not in success rate or response time. Although connections between strategy use and success have been demonstrated, about half of the students insisted on one given strategy throughout the series of eight tasks. The results indicate that teachers developed their students’ mental claculation skills in a way such that some strategies became preferred and others ignored. In the discussion a comparison to previous research results and educational implications are provided.


Mental calculation Arithmetic Metacognition 



This research was supported by a grant from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA 81538), and by the MTA-SZTE Research Group on the Development of Competencies. Research assistants were Ágnes Csizmazia, Boglárka Dombi and Zsófia Henn.

Parts of this study were presented at the 36th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Csíkos, 2012), and in Hungarian as a book chapter (Csíkos, 2013).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Assessment and PlanningUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary

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