How to stop making mistakes on math?

Every time I do my math homework, I make dumb mistakes. I know how to do it, but I always read the question wrong or I forget to check over it or write done the wrong thing, etc. I don't really like math that much, but I am quick at it. Whenever I take a test I do well, but when doing homework I make mistakes. Math makes me nervous because I am afraid I'll make a mistake and be embarrassed.

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• Ian
Lv 7
7 years ago

Here are some strategies for reducing the mistakes.

1) Pay close attention to details such as negative signs and parentheses. Countless math students make errors with negative signs and parentheses.

2) Get into the habit of finding efficient ways of checking your work. For example, you could do one or more of the following:

i) ask yourself if your answer is of reasonable size or if it is obviously too larger or too small,

ii) if solving one or more equations, plug in your solution(s) and check that every solution makes the equation(s) true,

iii) if finding the equation of a line through two points, plug the two points into your equation and check that they make your equation true

iv) if solving a word problem, check that your answer(s) meet all the conditions stated in the word problem,

v) if possible, find a second method of solving the problem and check that you get the same answer.

If you start understanding the math concepts well, you might even be able to invent other good ways of checking your answers. Seeing problems from more than one viewpoint is useful for checking your answers.

3) Pay attention to words and phrases such as "not", "except", "at least", "at most", etc., since they can change the answer to a problem.

4) Just before finishing the problem, make sure to do what was actually asked for. For example, the answer to a word problem is not always the value of x, but might instead be related to the value of x.

5) Recognize and avoid the common algebra mistakes. For example, countless students think incorrectly that (a + b)^2 = a^2 + b^2. To see that this is a mistake, just plug in some nonzero numbers for a and b. Actually, (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2ab + b^2.

Once you develop these habits of reducing the mistakes, you will find that this extra work does not take long but will be worth it in the end!

May Jesus richly bless you in your mathematics studies!

• 7 years ago

take your time, nobody's rushing you and if it's a test, do the easy questions first then spend the rest of the time thoroughly reading through the hard ones. I make dumb mistakes too, but mostly because i don't pay attention. if the question looks to easy, read it again because there is probably some hidden meaning. Don't be embarrassed! if you make a mistake, who cares? everybody makes mistakes. And for homework, just take your time and once again, don't worry about mistakes. The most important thing is that you do well on tests and that you learn.School isn't really about getting awesome marks, learning something is the best! Good luck! :)

• 7 years ago

Dear Bree,

I myself have and still make my fairshare of mistakes in math, however; I have learned that no matter the discipline or corriculum of math that I take what is learned in one say for example mathematics to algebra the basic concepts are transferable.

1 + 1 = 2

A + A = 2A, etc.

The same thing happens from geometry, to trigonometry, to that of calculus, although it may be a few more steps to obtain the answer, the basic concepts are relatively the same and I know that I canot forget any of that from step to step.

What I suggest if I may, is perhaps a math tutor that can help you in times like this.

I hope that this has been some help to you!

• 7 years ago

It's impossible to not make mistakes. You already understand your problem. So keep that in mind and focus, reread and concentrate. However, you need to take breaks, or you'll tax your mind.

• Irv S
Lv 7
7 years ago

You don't like it, so you try to hurry through it. - Concentrate!

Just make up your mind to do it once, get it right, and be done with it.

• ?
Lv 5
7 years ago

memorize the formulas and practice more.