(B) Game seems too fast?

You are here:
< All Topics

Yes, you can change Game Speed, but should you? (watch video above)

a student who does not know her math facts is counting on her fingers.

You can change how fast the student has to answer, but you probably should not.  The main goal of Rocket Math is for students to commit facts to memory, to be able to answer them instantly, from recall.

Recall is instantaneous, but “figuring out” is not.

The fast pace means they don’t have time to “figure out” a fact–they just have to remember it.  If they don’t remember, then the game gives them a LOT of practice on a very small number of facts, until they do remember them. That is exactly the point of the game.  We want them to stop having to “figure out” facts and just remember the answer.   If the students are not used to “recalling” facts they will think that the game is just “too fast” for them.  If they keep playing and learning, more and more facts are committed to memory and can be answered instantaneously.  Almost everyone can do it–if you insist on it.

The danger in slowing the game down for most students-never memorizing.

If you let students play at the slower speeds they may never use “recall” and instead may figure out the facts over and over.  Until I realized the difference, I allowed my students to take their time to figure out facts.  Many of my students never committed facts to memory all year long!  If, as we do in Rocket Math, you only ask them to remember two facts and their reverses at a time, everyone can remember two facts.  It takes just a few minutes to realize that they can, in fact, remember that answer instantaneously.  Once they use recall, they remember the answer in less than a second, and then three seconds to input it, is quite doable.  If you slow down the game speed, they may NEVER realize they can remember the fact, instead of figuring it out each time.

Only students with difficulty scores over 3.0 need an adjustment made.

Students are not used to memorizing, which invariably involves repeating things over and over.  All students should expect to “Start Over” often, but some are upset by even starting over once.  Some are shocked the first time they cannot answer a problem in the 3 seconds allotted.  They don’t realize that persisting in playing will help them learn the fact fast enough to answer in 3 seconds.    Their difficulty score, from the Review Progress screen tells you whether or not the game is too fast for them.

You can sort your class based on their difficulty scores–as the teacher did in this picture.  A difficulty score under 3.0 means the student has to start over on average fewer than 3 times for each part passed.  That is not too difficult.  Some students have difficulty scores under 1.0 and Rocket Math is very easy for them.  Only students with difficulty scores over 3.0 should you consider to have their speed changed–and then only if you know they require accommodations.  On the other hand, students with difficulty scores under 0.1 should be challenged to take on the Faster speed!

Changing the Game Speed

Here’s what the game speed change looks like.


The options for speed are:

  • Normal, at 3 seconds to answer first digit, additional second for each additional digit.
  • Slow, at 4.5 seconds to answer first digit, additional second for each additional digit.
  • Slowest, at 6 seconds to answer first digit, additional second for each additional digit.
  • Fast, at 2.25 seconds to answer first digit, additional second for each additional digit.


Table of Contents
Rocket Math