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How To Eliminate Careless Mistakes During Math Exams

Does your child demonstrate excellent maths aptitude in their schoolwork but fail to perform well during their exams? In that case, they may be dealing with the dreaded silent killer we term careless mistakes.

For your child, nothing is more frustrating than losing precious marks due to a careless mistake, especially when they have studied diligently for the test. Equally, as their parent, you are also anxious since you do not want your child’s hard work to be wasted.

So is there a way for students to avoid careless mistakes during their maths exams? The answer is a resounding yes! Read on to learn how you can help your child avoid these dreaded errors during their exams, perhaps turning their ‘B’ into an ‘A’.

Tip #1: Practice makes perfect

O-level Math tuition Singapore Practice makes perfect

Learning maths is a lot like riding a bicycle; it is about repetition. This is why our tutors always emphasise the importance of regular practice to the students attending our O-level maths tuition classes. When your child practises their maths skills regularly, the concepts and methodologies are reinforced in their brain, allowing them to recall their knowledge during exams better.

By providing your child with periodic assessments, they improve their skills at solving the common maths problems that appear during their exams, increasing their chances of scoring an ‘A’. Furthermore, it allows them to identify the common mistakes they make during practice so that they can avoid making the same errors during a test.

Tip #2: Ensure your child’s handwriting is legible

O-level Math tuition Singapore Ensure your child’s handwriting is legible

It is natural for your child to feel like they are racing against the clock when taking their maths test. In their rush, they may end up scribbling their calculations on their exam paper. Subsequently, when they move on to the next step, they misread their previous computation, leading to a careless mistake.

In fact, this is an error that our tutors frequently notice when they review their students’ work. Therefore, we always advise students attending our O-level maths tuition classes to maintain legible handwriting – whether it is for their schoolwork or during an exam. This is also for the examiner’s sake. If they cannot comprehend a student’s handwriting, they cannot award method marks even if it is applicable.

Tip #3: Advise your child to check their work regularly

O-level Math tuition Singapore Advise your child to check their work regularly

When students rush through their maths papers, they increase their chances of making careless mistakes. Therefore, we always advise the students attending our O-level maths tuition lessons to check their work after completing the exam questions. And this advice is something your child should keep in mind as well.

Doing so can help eliminate many common careless mistakes. For example, many students make the rudimentary error of failing to present the correct unit of measurement stated in an exam question. If the maths problem requires students to convert their answers from litre to millilitre, failing to comply with this requirement will cost your child precious marks. Such mistakes are easily identifiable upon a review.

Tip #4: Avoid skipping too many steps at once

In their rush to solve a problem, many students opt to use mental arithmetic rather than write everything down on the exam paper to save time. However, it is easy to make a mistake or lose focus midway through one’s calculation, especially if the problem involves multiple steps and equations.

Our tutors do not recommend that the students attending our O-level maths tuition lessons attempt mental arithmetic during exams. Instead, we always advise them to write everything down on the exam paper, even for simple calculations. This also makes it easier for them to check their work and see if their answers add up since every step is meticulously jotted down for reference.

At the end of the day, your child can attend their O-level maths tuition classes diligently and still obtain a poor grade due to careless mistakes. Therefore, it is essential for you to instil in your child a habit of checking their work. Eventually, this routine becomes second nature to your child, which will hopefully minimise the number of careless mistakes they make in their maths tests.

However, eliminating careless mistakes is only one-half of the equation. Your child still requires a deep understanding of the maths syllabus to do well in their exams. If you notice that your child is struggling with the subject, do not hesitate to enrol them in our tuition centre.

At Studious Minds, we offer a comprehensive O-level maths tuition programme in Singapore, covering every level of secondary school maths, including O-level A maths tuition. Do not hesitate to contact us today to enquire about our class schedules.


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