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How are stars calculated in Story Mode? (NumBots)
How are stars calculated in Story Mode? (NumBots)

Clarifies the difference between scoring two or three stars on a game

Sarah Parrish avatar
Written by Sarah Parrish
Updated over a week ago

Children are awarded 0, 1, 2 or 3 stars for Story Mode games. They must score either 2 or 3 stars to pass the current level:

Is the difference between 2 and 3 stars based on accuracy?

Not exactly. The number of stars is based on how quickly they can correctly answer the questions

While children don't receive time penalties for incorrect answers, they must answer each question correctly in order to move onto the next one. Therefore accuracy is important - children are unlikely to achieve a fast enough average speed per correct answer if they are having multiple attempts at each question - however they must also answer swiftly.

Therefore, the difference between getting 2 or 3 stars will come down to the child's speed at correctly answering the questions, not just their accuracy.

What speed do they need to get to earn a certain number of stars?

The exact speed required to earn stars changes from one level to the next, as some questions will understandably take longer to answer than others.

(For example, in a number bonds level, where the answers should be recalled instantly, pupils might be required to answer each question in less than 3 seconds, in order to earn 2 stars. Whereas in a more complicated level, where pupils need to calculate the answer, they might be given 7 seconds to answer each question correctly.)

How should I interpret a particular number of stars?

In order to prove they have grasped the current skill and are ready to move on to the next level, children must be able to answer all the questions correctly, quickly enough to demonstrate fluency*:

  • Children who score 0 or 1 stars have taken too long to answer all the questions correctly for us to consider them "fluent" at that skill. (Their average speed suggests that they deliberated for too long and/or took several attempts to answer each question correctly. Either way, they haven't proved that they have fully grasped that skill and are ready to tackle the next level.)

  • Children who score 2 stars have answered all the questions correctly in a short enough time to prove that they are fluent at that skill and are therefore ready to tackle the next level.

  • Children who score 3 stars have demonstrated that they can answer all the questions correctly even more quickly than we require to pass the level.

* What is "fluency"?

NumBots has been created to help children become fluent in the fundamentals of maths. NCETM’s ‘Five Big Ideas of Teaching for Mastery’ defines fluency as “quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics”. Maths bodies globally agree that fluency involves:

  • Understanding

  • Accuracy

  • Efficiency

  • Flexibility

  • Automaticity

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