How to avoid silly mistakes in your maths exam

With common exams fast approaching, I would like to share my experiences on dealing with silly mistakes. Silly mistakes could be the difference between an average score and topping the grade. If you haven’t found a way to minimise them under exam pressure, you may find this post helpful.

First, you must identify the cause of your silly mistakes and then take the appropriate corrective measure.


Silly Mistake Reduction Measure

Misreading the question

  • Do not skim read the question
  • Double check all critical information
  • Perform a sanity check

Trying to do too much in your head

  • Slow Down!
  • Always use the calculator

Messy working out / poor handwriting

  • Write neatly and structure your answers

Fail to number crunch

  • Check the input or input the calculation twice

Identifying the cause is the first step to killing those silly mistakes. However, to eradicate them, you will need to start developing good habits of organising and checking your work. By good habits, I mean you need to implement the measures above to both your day to day maths homework as well as during exams (no double standards!).

Remember, intelligence is not a substitute for diligence. Good luck for your exams!