With various national and international-level examinations testing the analytical and problem solving skills of primary and middle school students, there is a growing demand for guides and exercise books for this group.

Chennai-based coaching academy SMART (Science and Mathematics Academy for Real Talents), for instance, has brought out work books along with solutions targeting students of classes V, VI, VII and VIII. It says the books enhance the thinking ability of the students and prepare them for tougher competitive exams such as IIT-JEE.

“The best a student aspiring to learn and sharpen his or her skills can do is test his analytical and problem-solving ability through such workbooks,” says K.K. Anand, founder and director of SMART. The books come with concept-based, application-based and skill-based exercises in Social Studies, English, Science and Mathematics. For details, contact 8056023240 or 8754421227.

Popularity of tests such as National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) and Mathematics and Science Olympiads is another reason why many students utilise such books.

The Association of Mathematics Teachers of India (AMTI), which conducts the National Mathematics Talent Contest for students from class V upwards, this year, for instance, had over 25,000 students taking the exam from classes V to VIII alone. Its Chennai office recorded revenue of over Rs.3 lakh through the sale of its mathematics problem-solving books.

The Science Olympiad Foundation, which conducts Maths, Science and English Olympiads, also brings out study materials. Coaching institutes such as FIIT-JEE launched the ‘Little Genie' batches for students of classes V and VI and the study materials are given to those who are enrolled. AIMS Education also gives the study materials to its students.

The books brought out by NCERT have been the most accepted, but with every exam testing something new there is a need to explore more, say teachers. “Parallel study of books which are not dealt in the classroom is one good way to prepare for such exams,” says M. Mahadevan, secretary, AMTI. Problems and puzzles appearing in newspaper is another way to prepare, he adds. AMTI Ph: 28441523. . K. Jayaganesh, class VIII student of DAV School, Velachery, who has been appearing for national-level exams since class V, says MBD Books and CBSE books two levels higher than his class were his preference. “At times, my father would get books from other cities if it was not available in Chennai by browsing for information,” he says.

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012