Home > Questions? > FAQ-Primary Mathematics (G1-6)

What is Primary Mathematics?

Primary Mathematics is created by the Singapore Ministry of Education. Singapore 4th grade students who participated in TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) in 1995, 1999 and 2003 scored top place for mathematics. They were using the Primary Mathematics series. Find out more.

Why are there three different editions of Primary Mathematics?

The series has been adapted several times to suit diverse needs.
  • Primary Mathematics U.S. Edition is an adaptation for use in the U.S. It is almost identical to the original edition used in Singapore but has a few added sections for U.S. customary measurements. It uses American spelling and conventions. We will carry this edition indefinitely.
  • Primary Mathematics Standards Edition meets the 2006 Mathematics Contents Standards for California Public Schools issued prior to the writing of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Primary Mathematics Standards Edition was adopted as an approved textbook by the California State Board of Education in 2007 for grades 1-5. It is similar to the U.S. Edition with some added units in probability, data analysis, negative numbers, and coordinate graphing.
  • Primary Mathematics Common Core Edition aligns with Common Core State Standards. Only minor changes were made to scope and sequence, but this edition is not interchangeable with earlier editions. The format for the Teacher's Guides for the Common Core Edition have been updated to include student materials, making them wraparound guides.

Are there answers in the textbooks or workbooks?

No. Answers are in the Teacher's Guides, Home Instructor's Guides, or in separate answer keys.

Do we need both the textbook and workbook? What is the difference between them?

Yes, you need both. Textbooks contain learning tasks that are central to lessons, as well as practices and reviews to be done in class. Workbooks contain additional practice and independent work, which can be assigned as homework.

What is the difference between the Teacher's Guide and the Home Instructor's Guide?

The Teacher's Guide is geared towards class instruction, whereas the Home Instructor's Guide is geared towards teaching one or a few students. The Teacher's Guide has daily lesson plans. The Home Instructor's Guide has flexible lesson plans that can be tailored to suit the individual student. Both have answers to all textbook and workbook problems, but the Home Instructor's Guides have more step-by-step solutions and some alternate solutions. For levels or editions without a Home Instructor's Guide, homeschoolers may use the Teacher's Guides. The format is diffferent but they are still applicable in homeschool settings.
I am using Primary Mathematics to teach my children at home. Do I need a guide?
Using a guide is highly recommended. Guides offer background notes about the concepts, suggestions for introducing concepts, and information about previous lessons. The guide emphasizes topics taught differently from most U.S. math programs, such as bar models to diagram word problems and mental math techniques. Guides also include mental math sheets and suggestions for helping students memorize math facts.

Where can I find more practice exercises?

The following supplementary titles can be used with Primary Mathematics.
  • Extra Practice,
  • Challenging Word Problems
  • Intensive Practice
Other supplementary titles are not designed specifically for the Primary Mathematics series but provide excellent additional practice and content. Find out more.

Can we switch between editions?

Yes, but you should finish the B books of one level before switching to the A book of the next level in a different edition. It is not advisable to switch from U.S. or Core Edition to Standards Edition between grades 5 and 6.

Is the Common Core Edition of Primary Mathematics less rigorous than the U.S. Edition?

No, it is not. It meets the math requirements per grade level for the Common Core State Standards, and maintains the integrity of the Primary Mathematics curriculum.

How do I know where to place my child?

Please look at tables of content (on each product page), samples, and scope and sequence charts to assess which level is most suitable for your student. We also have a forum and the Singapore Math® Curriculum Users Group on Facebook where you can communicate with other parents.

Do we need to purchase additional products such as manipulatives, for use with this curriculum?

This curriculum uses simple manipulatives like flash cards, charts, and 3-dimensional objects. Click here to view a chart listing the manipulatives used in the Home Instructor's Guides, and click here to see Manipulatives we carry.

Can we use Teacher's Guides, Home Instructor's Guides and answer key booklets from one edition with books from another edition?

No. The Primary Mathematics textbooks, workbooks, guides, and tests for one edition are not inter are not interchangeable with those of another edition.

Primary Digital

What is Primary Digital?

Primary Digital is a web-based program that utilizes the proven Singapore approach to teaching and learning mathematics. Built on the Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract (CPA) method, Primary Digital teaches strategies including number bonds and bar modeling to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

What grade levels does Primary Digital cover?

Primary Digital is for grades 1-5.

Is Primary Digital available for schools?
Yes, it is. Schools are encouraged to email for general information and specific ordering information.

What kinds of subscriptions are available for Primary Digital?
There are two types of online subscriptions available.
  • Student Edition subscription is grade-level specific. A Student Edition subscription includes teaching notes, lessons, student practice, and tests. A Student Edition subscription is $99 per year.
  • Educator Edition subscription includes content from each grade level 1-5. An Educator Edition subscription includes teaching notes, lessons, student practice, and tests. It also includes a "Teach" component. An Educator Edition subscription is $360 per year.

Does the program keep track of student progress?
  • The Student Edition records all activities done while logged onto that account and it keeps track of progress and test results. All activities and progress tracking are recorded for a single "student" under the log-in account regardless of who is actually going through the program.
  • The Educator Edition does not record any activities, keep track of progress, or save results of tests. The only way to know how a student (if that student is using the Educator Edition) did if taking the test on the computer is to look at the results before exiting the test activity. Tests can be printed and done on paper.

Is Primary Digital a tutoring service?

No, it is not. There is no additional instruction on what to do if the student does not understand the material as presented in the lessons or activities. There is also no outside help from a live person on how to teach the material.

What browser can we use?

  • For Windows, Internet Explorer 9, Chrome 31.0 and above, or Firefox 26.0 and above.
  • For Mac, Safari 5 and above, Chrome 31.0 and above, or Firefox 26.0 and above.

What are the computer system requirements for running Primary Digital?
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 3 GHz and above
  • Memory: 1 GB Ram
  • Network Connection: 1 Mbps broadband connection
  • Operating System: Mac OS 10.6 and above, or Windows XP SP3/ Windows 7/ Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT is not supported.)

What software do we need?

The latest Adobe Flash Player.

Does Primary Digital work on iPads?

As the program is Flash based, you will need to download the free MCeMath App from the Apple Store to run the Flash-based content.

Does Primary Digital work on other tablets?

Yes, Primary Digital works on tablets that satisfy the aforementioned browser, system, and software requirements.

I just purchased Primary Digital. When will I receive my log-in details?

It may take up to 24-36 hours to receive the welcome email containing your log-in details. In the event that you do not see the welcome email, please first check your junk and/or spam email folders before contacting us. The welcome emails are sent from

What is the return policy?

If you are not satisfied with the program, you can cancel your subscription within 30 days of your purchase for a full refund.

Can we preview before purchasing a subscription?

Yes. If you want to test drive this new program before you commit to purchasing, we offer a free 15-day trial.

Does Primary Digital align with Common Core Standards?

Yes, it does.

How can we reach Sales Support?

How can we reach Technical Support?

You may email technical questions to or call (844) 464-6411, Monday-Friday 8:00 am-8:00 PM EST, or on Saturdays, 9:00-6:00 PM EST.

Singapore Math® is a registered trademark of Singapore Math Inc.® and Marshall Cavendish Education Pte. Ltd.