Inaugural New Jersey Abacus Bee
October 14, 2023
Princeton University

A regional event of the APH Abacus Bee
Hosted by VISTAS Education Partners and Independence Science

Abacus Bee logo shows simulated cranmer abacus with the text APH Abacus Bee over the rods

Commonly Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Blind and low vision students, ages 3 – 21 years who use an abacus, mental math, finger math, counting cubes/manipulatives. 

What skills do participants need to have?

  • Read addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or math problems in large print or braille (type of problem depends on student level). Record their answers in print or braille.
  • Write or braille their first/last name, category name and round at the top of each page (if they can only spell their name, that’s fine!).
  • Write or braille an itemized list (problem letters a, b, c, d, etc.) and answer next to the problem letter.
  • Solve calculations using an abacus, mental math, and/or counting cubes or other math manipulatives.
  • For the optional dictation round, listen to a string of numbers and operations and have to mentally calculate the answer or solve on the abacus and record their answers in the same manner as above.

How does the Abacus Bee work?

Students are grouped in six competition levels that complete three or four rounds of 20- to 30-minute contests. There is an optional, dictation round that is held with parents and other audience members watching. Rovers, participants attending and participating for exposure to the contest, are provided testing materials but are not a part of the competition for Finals.  

The contests are offered in large print, Nemeth, and UEB. Students may use an abacus, mental math, or counting manipulatives to solve problems. Answers are recorded using ea manual brailler, or paper and pen/marker. Calculators and written computations are not allowed. 

Check out these demo videos from different Abacus Bee practice contests:

How does a student know which contest level is appropriate for them?

  • A TVI or parent can administer an Abacus Bee placement test to determine the student’s contest level. 
  • Follow the placement test directions to administer the placement tests linked below. 

Placement Test Directions for teacher
Placement Test Answers for teacher

Placement Tests to print or emboss: Print | Nemeth | UEB 

How can students prepare for the Abacus Bee?

  • Practice calculating math problems using an abacus on their own, with a family member, or with a TVI.
  • Keep their mental math skills sharp with real life practice every day.

How can I learn how to use the abacus?

For more information about the New Jersey Abacus Bee email or call 732-835-667

VISTAS Education Partners
P.O. Box 4214 Highland Park, NJ 08904 | 732-835-6672 |

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