The Art of Repetition: How Ninja Maths Reinforces Mathematical Concepts

The Art of Repetition: How Ninja Maths Reinforces Mathematical Concepts Ninja Maths

How Repetition Reinforces Mathematical Concepts

There are several educational philosophies that support the use of repetition in asking similar questions. Here’s a breakdown of some key ideas:

Mastery Learning

This approach emphasises achieving a deep understanding of a concept before moving on. By repeating similar questions, students have the opportunity to practice applying their knowledge in slightly different contexts, solidifying their grasp of the core concept.


This method involves providing temporary support for learners as they develop new skills. Repeating questions with slight variations can act as scaffolding, offering a familiar framework while gradually increasing the difficulty or complexity of the underlying questions. This allows students to build confidence and independence in tackling new problems.

Spacing Effect

This psychological principle suggests that spaced repetition, or encountering information at increasing intervals, leads to better long-term memory retention. Repeating similar questions over time, with some spacing between repetitions, can help information move from short-term to long-term memory.

Formative Assessment

When teachers ask similar questions, they can gauge students’ understanding throughout a lesson. This formative assessment allows them to identify areas of confusion and adjust their teaching approach to address student needs. By repeating questions with different wordings and/or numbers, teachers can also ensure students grasp the concept in various ways, not just memorising specific wording.

Differentiated Instruction

Repeating questions can be adapted to cater to different learning styles. Some students might benefit from repeated practice with basic questions, while others might need more challenging variations to solidify their understanding.

It’s important to note that simply repeating the exact same question isn’t always the most effective strategy.

Here are some ways to make repetition more engaging and impactful:

Vary the context

Use different scenarios or examples while maintaining the core concept.

Increase complexity

Gradually increase the difficulty of questions as students demonstrate mastery. This is one of the core principals of Ninja Maths.

Change the format

Present similar questions in different formats (multiple choice, open ended, etc.) to cater to diverse learning styles. This also includes varying between verbal and numeric questions.

Encourage explanation

Ask students to explain their reasoning when answering repeated questions. This helps them develop a deeper understanding and identify potential misconceptions.


    Overall, repetition of similar questions, when implemented thoughtfully, can be a valuable tool in the educational toolbox. It can promote mastery learning, improve long-term retention, and provide opportunities for formative assessment, all contributing to a more effective learning experience for students.

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