Can you ask me one more similar but different question please?

Sometimes a student will be able to solve a maths question, but won’t be able to solve one almost exactly the same. Why is that?

I think it is in part because at school they have been taught how to solve a specific type of question which might come up in an exam. The problem is, if you add a twist or another step to a question, the student is uncertain how to solve it.

This means it is important for a child to learn how to decode and work around a number of similar but different questions.

This makes them more mentally flexible, which I think helps resolve this.