# Improper Fractions and Remainderrs]]

Discussion in 'Primary' started by OG19, Nov 12, 2019.

1. ### OG19New commenter

Hi

Apologies for this as I'm sure it'll have been covered on here.
Am I right in thinking that an improper fraction is acceptable for any fraction answer on the Sats Arithmetic test? I've had a look at 2019 and they accept improper fractions in the marks scheme.
This was not the case in 2016 for question 34 (2/5 x 140) where 280/5 was not an acceptable answer.
Or is it the case that if the answer can be turned into a whole number, (e.g. 280/5 = 56), a whole number is the only allowable answer?

Also, is it more than coincidence that none of the division answers on the arithmetic tests ever have remainders? If this is policy, is it written down anywhere?

Thank you.

2. ### caterpillartobutterflyStar commenter

280/5 would not be acceptable for 2/5 x 140 as it is only a part calculation. The expectation would be that the division would be completed as well as the multiplication.

I imagine it depends on the question as to whether an improper fraction is an acceptable answer or not.

No idea about remainders on the tests, but I would expect year 6 to be taught how to handle remainders, regardless of the test.

Lara mfl 05 likes this.
3. ### OG19New commenter

I still don't understand why 280 fifths (280/5) is unacceptable but 33 tenths (33/10), which is an acceptable answer on this year's Maths Arithmetic test, is.

I found your second comment ever so slightly patronising. We have covered all aspects of division, including rounding remainders up and down. My point was a specific one: why do none of the arithmetic division questions ever have a remainder and, if this is policy, why has it never been communicated to teachers (unless I've missed something)?

As far as I can recall, there has never been a long division question on the arithmetic paper where remainders were involved. These tend to appear on the reasoning papers where the children need to decide whether to round up or down ( the "how many 52 seater coaches are needed to ensure 632 children get to the football match" type of question.

5. ### OG19New commenter

Yes. There's one in a reasoning test about 980 eggs being put in boxes of 6. We've done all that and are good at it.

It just strikes me as odd that after four years, there has never been a remainder on the arithmetic test.

Both of my questions (remainders/mixed numbers) were asked because I want to give my less confident mathematicians a couple of pointers for when they have to do the arithmetic test. Little things like knowing there won't be a division remainder can make a big difference to a boy or girl who struggles with 36 questions in 30 minutes.

6. ### eleanormsOccasional commenter

You are right. If the improper fraction is arithmetically equal to a whole number, it must be written as such. I teach them to always simplify improper fractions because not all of them will recognise a number divisible by 5, say. We teach remainders as fractions and decimals, but there has never been a division by two digits which results in a remainder.
Year 6. Joy joy joy. (Actually, I quite like it.)