Careless mistakes can be the bane of every student dealing with math. Here are some ways you can keep those dreaded careless errors at bay during exams.
5 tips to help your child avoid making careless mistakes in math exams!
You’ve noticed that your child comprehends all the math concepts, and gets nothing less than full marks for all the assessment book practices he/she does religiously every weekend. Then, why does your child keep coming home with results that belie that aptitude? If you haven’t figured it out by now, you might want to consider the fact that your child may be dealing with a case of the dreaded ‘careless mistakes’ which might be the reason for him making mistakes in math exams. This is what both parents and teachers call the silent killer. It can be the one thing that trips your child from passing to failing, or barely missing out on an A. But what can you do as a parent to help?
Firstly, you need to understand that in an exam situation your child is in a high-stress environment (as opposed to doing assessment practices at home). This usually makes them prone to careless mistakes naturally. But, don’t worry! There is still hope. There are some things that you can teach your child to help them understand how to avoid and minimize careless mistakes in math exams.
Related: 10 ways to improve your child’s math
Don’t skip too many steps at once
Avoid skipping too many steps at once when it comes to addition and subtraction. Students usually attempt to skip a few steps in problem solving by working it out mentally to save time. However, these mental calculations are not always accurate, which will lead to the wrong answer despite going through all the right steps.
Check calculations and REVERSE-CHECK
Put answers back into the math problem or equation to check for accuracy. Many students skip this especially when they are rushed for time, but this option is often faster than going through and re-working the problem all over again.
Use the correct units
This is a potential stumbling block! Units can be a bane for many students dealing with math. Thus, it is important to be alert of the units presented in the questions, especially when a student is required to convert metres to centimetres or vice versa.
Related: 10 last minute study tips
Yes, students are under a time limit and need to work fast to finish up all the questions when it comes to exams. But at the same time, it is important not to overlook accuracy. Try not to spend the entire time on solving an addition or subtraction problem, when the focus should primarily be on more complex questions.
Keeping it neat
If possible, try and keep all work and equations neat and systematic. This will help to spend less time on checking equations, and will also prevent a child from accidentally copying a different or wrong answer.
Like with anything else, there needs to be constant practice before one can master the art of avoiding careless mistakes. We recommend that you help your child implement these practices above into their daily routine for math, and eventually spotting careless mistakes and remedying it will become second nature.
Share your tips with us on how you helped your child to avoid making careless mistakes in math exams!
Here’s a video with some extra tips on making sure your child avoids any careless mistakes: