As a student, I gave away my marks doing the most common mistakes one could think of. Did subtraction instead of addition, placed decimal after wrong digits, forgot to mention measurement quantities in the answers or mentioned the wrong one. I basically did what qualifies as the silliest of the mistakes. We have all done that at one point in time. I got few pointers from my maths teacher who helped me minimize these mistakes. I’m going to share those with you today:
- Stay calm: Do not panic when it comes to Maths. Take a deep breath and relax. Solving maths problems is an art that anyone and everyone can learn. A peaceful mind is in a better position to think and do. Believe that you can do well in maths and can solve any question. It’s ok to make mistakes, you will still learn while solving a problem. So, practice more and learn even more because when you make different types of mistakes you learn different aspects of it. Practice is the key.
- Read questions carefully– be cautious while reading questions, keep your focus on what the educator is asking you to do in order to solve it. You can underline the important part in the questions to gain clarity for working on the solution. Think and you will be able to develop the critical thinking/ logical reasoning skills. Doing practice in small groups of friends help everyone to attain the required skills. You also learn to work and grow in a team.
- Read the mathematical signs properly– majority times it’s the wrong calculation sign that we use in one of the steps and rest of the steps & answer gets wrong.
- Read the quantities thoroughly– you solved a problem but forgot to mention what exactly the number means in the question and miss a few marks in the question. Educators do value the exact solutions. They consider both the numbers and measuring quantities as the complete answer as per the problem. Only after losing marks in my term exams that I learnt this lesson to write the complete answers.
- Do rough work in separate columns– I used to mingle the steps and calculations in the rough work column spending few more minutes identifying the steps and answers. You can use a line to separate the questions and do not forget to mention the Question no. in front of it. Or you can also create your own way which is easy to understand by you. Separating the steps in rough work area saved me at least 5- 10 minutes during the exams which helped me to do the step 7 and further helped to minimize my mistakes.
- Explain your answers– avoid doing all the calculations in your mind all the time. Though you will certainly develop the quality and capability of solving questions without using pen and paper, it is advisable to follow a step by step approach especially during exams whether term exams or any other competitive exams. This is because you may not be able to check all the steps correctly in your mind and may to lose marks because of a minor mistake while doing mental calculations. Make sure that you write neatly and all the steps in order. Also, if you use any formulae/ theorems, please do include it in your steps.
- Check if you have attempted all the questions
- Check if there are any half questions or calculations done. Considering a question difficult and consuming more time to solve, you may have left the question to complete it in the end
- Check all the steps written to solve the questions
- Recheck the quantities mentioned in asked in the questions and in your answers are same
- Backcheck your answers by putting it the questions directly
This step requires at least 15 minutes. So, to do this step and score more marks practice, practice and practice.
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