Q:

My son is just completing eighth grade and will be moving on to high school in the fall. I have just received his standardized test scores and see that he is on grade level except in some areas of math where he received very low scores in the 30th percentile. This truly surprised me, as he has always received B or better grades in math. Next year he will be taking algebra. Are these scores a sign of a serious problem in math? Does he need some help in math this summer? -- Wondering

A:

The individual who should have the answer to your questions about your son's math skills is his math teacher. Talk to him or her immediately about your concerns. Find out if the test scores are an accurate evaluation of your son's abilities and if he is truly ready for algebra.

If the teacher believes that your son has weak areas in math, ask the teacher how they can be improved this summer. It could be as simple as doing some worksheets or reviewing certain topics. Or your child might require help from a tutor or learning center. It is very important that his skills be first-rate for him to succeed in algebra. Algebra is the gateway to success in higher math courses.

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