Coaches should encourage students to focus on speed and accuracy when competing in the Calculator Applications test. Although this is true about all problems on a test, initially it should be what students work on when they are mastering the number crunchers. After students are taught how to solve number crunchers, coaches should tell students that they must solve each problem correctly. During this period, students should not worry about how long it takes to solve the number cruncher problems. Working the problems efficiently should be the focus.
Students should make use of mathematics knowledge when solving problems. Once they know how to solve all number cruncher problems on a test, students should work on accuracy. During team practices, all students can take “speed” tests. Tests in which the focus is solving all number crunchers quickly, without worrying about accuracy. Occasionally, you might have students do “head-to-head” practices. During these practices, students are paired up with a teammate. They sit facing each other. They must focus on their own tests. This simulates some of the pressure that they will experience when competing at a tournament. If a student wants to work on speed on their own, they can develop a schedule for completing each page of a Calculator test. If a student wants to complete a test in 20 minutes or less and the test consists of 7 pages, they should try and complete the number crunchers in 2 minutes 51 seconds. Students can use a timer to keep track of time. If they complete all of the number crunchers in 20 minutes or less, they can set a new time goal.
Once students have mastered how to solve all number crunchers efficiently and they have been able to solve them within a specified time, they can begin taking number cruncher tests in which they focus on speed and accuracy. After achieving their goal for speed and accuracy, they can focus on memorizing formulas needed to solve geometric drawings and stated problems. During this period they need to master mathematical concepts to maximize their performances on the Calculator Applications tests. At this point they can then work on taking tests in which they do all number crunchers and then attempt as many geometric problems and stated problems as possible. Now they can focus on their scores to see how they are improving.
If you determine any weaknesses in solving any of the three types of problems, practice time can be devoted to minimize or eliminate those weaknesses.