This study examined the effects of consistency (relational term consistent vs. inconsistent with required arithmetic operation) and markedness (relational term unmarked ['more than'] vs. marked ['less than']) on word problem solving in 10-12 years old children differing in problem-solving skill. The results showed that for unmarked word problems, less successful problem solvers showed an effect of consistency on regressive eye movements (longer and more regressions to solution-relevant problem information for inconsistent than consistent word problems) but not on error rate. For marked word problems, they showed the opposite pattern (effects of consistency on error rate, not on regressive eye movements). The conclusion was drawn that, like more successful problem solvers, less successful problem solvers can appeal to a problem-model strategy, but that they do so only when the relational term is unmarked. The results were discussed mainly with respect to the linguistic-semantic aspects of word problem solving. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.