Impact of Order of Data in Word Problems on Division of a Whole into Unequal Parts


  • Jarmila Novotná Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Pedagogická fakulta M.D. Rettigové 4 116 39 Praha 1
  • Martin Chvál Univerzita Karlova, Pedagogická fakulta



Context, “if-clause” formulation, mathematics, order of numerical data, word problems


The paper investigates how the order of numerical data in word problems on division of a whole into unequal parts affects achievement and reasoning of 14-16-year old pupils. The variable was altered in two word problems, in one of which also the context was changed (psychological variable) and in the latter “if-clause” is or is not used (linguistic variable). 182 pupils were involved in the experiment. The solutions were analysed quantitatively using Item Response Theory as well as qualitatively. The data suggest that pupils’ success is affected by the order of numerical data in the statement in an unfamiliar context. The presence of “if-clause” in the statement was studied in a two-level problem. The order of numerical data played its role in case of formulations without “if”. The results of the experiment are of interest for mathematics education as well as for construction of tests. The paper is an extended version of the paper by Novotná (2018).  

Author Biography

Martin Chvál, Univerzita Karlova, Pedagogická fakulta


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    How to Cite

    Novotná, J. and Chvál, M. (2019) ’Impact of Order of Data in Word Problems on Division of a Whole into Unequal Parts’, Journal on Efficiency and Responsibility in Education and Science, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 85-92



    Research Paper