FAQs For Students

This section is for those wonderful students selected to be on the QuickSmart course at their school and for those chosen to be comparison students. Did you know that over 67,000 children in Australia have been on one or both of the QuickSmart programs since 2001?

I have been selected to do QuickSmart at my school. What does this mean?

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It means that your teachers want to help you with literacy or numeracy. Maybe you find reading a bit tricky, or you don’t quite understand what you read. Maybe you find maths hard. Some kids do only one program, some do both. Either way, your teachers think that with a bit of help, you could improve. The most important thing to remember is that QuickSmart is not for “dumb kids” – it is for students who find some aspects of numeracy and/or literacy difficult, and need a helping hand outside of the classroom.

The standard implementation of QuickSmart at a school is three thirty-minute lessons every week. Each lesson is broken down into six different five-minute components, including flash cards and the computer-based QBSA (OZCAAS) program. The lessons continue for about thirty weeks over the year, with ninety lessons being the goal.

I have been asked to be a QuickSmart comparison student. What does this mean?

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QuickSmart is a basic-skills intervention program for students in Years 4 to 9. There are two programs available: Numeracy and Literacy. These programs are not for “dumb kids”. They are for children who find some aspects of numeracy and/or literacy difficult and need a helping hand outside of the classroom.

As a comparison student, you represent students who do not need intervention in the aforementioned areas. Comparison students are used as a standard against which the students on the program are measured. You will undergo a test at the start of the year and at the end of the year, but you will not attend any regular QuickSmart lessons.

The school has asked to collect and send my data. What does this mean?

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QuickSmart is an ongoing research project run by the SiMERR National Research Centre at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW. We are sent anonymous data from schools every year, which we use to improve the program and show its continued effectiveness. It is also used for reports and publications. Reports are based on groups of students, not individuals.

This is the data the school has requested your permission to use. It includes the following:

  • Your year at school and what level of tests they undertook
  • Your QuickSmart lesson results
  • Your PAT test results
  • Your QuickSmart lesson attendance numbers (this does not apply to comparison students)
  • The answers to surveys asking your opinions on QuickSmart (this does not apply to comparison students)

The data does NOT include the following, nor will we ever ask for it:

  • Your name or contact details
  • Your date of birth (as of 2019)

Only the school’s QuickSmart Coordinator will know you are taking part.

I do not feel comfortable in taking part in the QuickSmart lessons and/or data collection. What can I do?

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You do not have to take part in this research, and you may choose not to take part or to withdraw at any time without explanation.

You may continue in your QuickSmart lessons without taking part in the research project. Please advise your school if this is the case.

What happens my data that is sent to the research team by the school?

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We will keep all your anonymous data sent by mail securely locked within our research office, or password protected on the QuickSmart database in the case of digital data. We will keep it for at least five years after the project finishes and then destroy all copies.

Is QuickSmart ethically approved?

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This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England (Approval No. HE23-191, Valid to 18/12/2026).

Who are the research team behind the project?

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Professor John Pegg, Director of the SiMERR National Centre, is the head researcher of QuickSmart.

The Research Fellows in the centre include:

  • Anne Parnell:Research Fellow – Numeracy Development
  • Associate Professor Eveline Chan: Literacy (Research)
  • Dr Maree Lake: Research Fellow (Numeracy)
  • Martin Trotman: Research Fellow – QuickSmart Social Inclusion
  • Dr Stefan Horarik: Research Fellow

Contact us at SiMERR on 02 6773 5067 or at quicksmart@une.edu.au

I have a complaint about how this research has been undertaken. What can I do?

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If you have any complaints about the way this research is conducted, please contact the Research Ethics Officer at:

Research Services, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351

Tel: (02) 6773 3449 / Fax: (02) 6773 3543 / Email: ethics@une.edu.au

Testimonials from Students

“It is helping in maths by finding other ways, easier ways, to figure out the numbers and answers, instead of spending ages on one. It helps my times tables. When I came to QuickSmart first, I didn’t know a lot about them. Then I improved a lot in my times tables and everything and the speed sheets and the flashcards.”

“With some words… like, I went back and read a book I’d read before, and a lot of the words I didn’t know before QuickSmart, now I know most of them. It’s because of the reading passages that we do. First we learn the hard words, with the flash cards, and then we know them all the time; it’s just in your head.”

QuickSmart is very fun and it has improved my learning heaps. I don’t really like school and school work but I like this because it’s improving my skills and that but it is still fun and normally school work isn’t fun.”

“I have learned all my times tables. I’ve learned all of the work that I’m doing in school is much easier with QuickSmart‘s help. I’ve learned more skills and I have a better understanding of what we are meant to be doing in Mathematics. I use it in class because I sometimes know the answer and no one else does.”

“I can read better in class activities and at home. I am reading more than I used to. I started to read books for ‘fun’ when I started QuickSmart because I could read them a lot better.”

“When asked a question before QuickSmart lessons, I had a sort of blank but now… answers pop into my head… and ways of working out the answers pop into my head too.”

“More people should do it because it is fun. Sometimes you learn a lot more. You learn more than the classroom because you start with easy work and gradually get harder – so you understand better.”

“I use the strategies in numeracy and literacy. I underline the problems and what I have to do in both numeracy and literacy. I’ve gone up a spelling group in literacy. I’m in one of the top groups for numeracy. I read a lot better than I used to.”

QuickSmart is a helpful program. It is the best thing that ever happened to me to help me with my maths. I think QuickSmart should be given to every school in Australia.”

“Definitely got better at maths.  QuickSmart still helps with maths even though I’m in the bottom class, I’m one of the smartest there.”

“Wasn’t really too bright – I’d kind of rush and not think, just try and get through it.  QuickSmart made me stop and think and actually get the right answer instead of trying to keep up with other kids.”

“I know English is something I can do since I had QuickSmart whereas before I was like, I probably can’t do the stuff in there – it made me have more of a positive attitude.”

“I have enjoyed the work on the computer because I can try hard and beat my fastest times and I can also see how far I have come since I started and that makes you feel happy about yourself.”

“It’s been useful to me because it now gives me a lot of confidence in maths.  I now know how to do sums, division, take aways and tables in my head.  I learnt how you do them in a much quicker way.”

QuickSmart has improved me so much.  Before I would take 20 mins to do a speed sheet and now it takes me only 2.15 mins.  Over 15-20 weeks of 3 days a week in maths it helps me so much.  Before I got angry.”