8 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With Math Homework

Doing math homework can sometimes be very frustrating. It gets even more irritating when you’ve done a calculation over and over and still can’t find the answers. And later discovering the reason you couldn’t solve the question was because of a common mistake.

Why not save yourself the trouble and read on? There are 8 common mistakes to avoid compiled below that could improve your efficiency when you're doing math homework.

  1. Not reading instructions. This is probably the MOST common mistake students make. Many students often assume what the question is asking for skimming it or reading the first few words/lines and then think they ‘know’ the rest of it. Instructions often contain and hint on solving the question along with how the final answer should be. Missing out one, two or a few of those keywords may result in inability to solve the question.
  2. Assuming you know the answer. Many students does this; they tend to assume the answers first before doing the working for it. Especially if it’s a familiar question. Never assume you know the answer. Instead, do the proper working, just to be sure. If you get the answer wrong, then go back and fix it.
  3. Changing answers to match given answers is another common mistake when dealing with math homework. Often, students who are aware of the given answers in the back of the book or from elsewhere, tend to change their original (incorrect) answer accordingly. This is a bad habit to begin with. Checking you answers with the given/known answers isn’t ultimately wrong. But, once you detect you mistake, go back and try to figure out what went wrong. A little goes a long way.
  4. Too much rounding. This is something to be aware of. Students usually do not realize that too much rounding can drastically change the answers. So, be aware of the situation you’re dealing with. Make sure you know and understand the basic rules of rounding.
  5. Misinterpreting parenthesis is actually a serious case. Understand the basic rules that apply to equations with parentheses. Always keep in mind that the parentheses are always to the left of the exponent hence everything within the parentheses has to be squared.
  6. Cancelling. It happens a lot when we’re doing fractions and/or percentages. Always pay extra attention when a cancellation action is involved. It’s one of the very, very common mistakes people make.
  7. Over-confidence. Don’t deny it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all paid very little attention when basic mathematics steps are involved in our equations (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Students usually do these steps without thinking twice, and it usually ends up badly.
  8. Not checking works. The last common mistakes that students do with math homework. They get done with it and don’t bother rechecking. Wouldn’t it save more time to do a second checking then spend a separate day/time, fixing/re-doing a mistake that you could’ve avoided?

Take your time doing your math homework. It’s a form of practice to strengthen your skills, so make sure to make the most out of it.

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