## 1. Misreading the question

Sometimes, mistakes can arise from misreading a number or not paying enough attention to the question itself. There may also be instances in your exams where questions appear familiar but demand a different approach or answer due to a minor tweak. Therefore, it is important to underline key words in the question and read it carefully to ensure accuracy in your answers.

## 2. Unreadable Handwriting

We’ve all experienced moments when our handwriting becomes messy, especially if we’re under time pressure. However, unclear handwriting can lead to deductions in marks, particularly in exams where clear and legible solutions are required.

For instance, zeros (0) might appear as sixes (6) if written hastily, thus leading to errors and lost marks.

Taking the time to write neatly and legibly during exams is a simple yet effective way to avoid losing marks due to these mistakes.

## 3. Writing Down the Wrong Variables

One common mistake students often make during exams is copying variables incorrectly from the question. For instance, if a problem tells you to use a variable set at 70%, but you write down 76% by mistake and use this wrong number in your calculations, it can cause big errors in your work.

This mistake can be tricky because the numbers might look similar, but even a small difference can make your answers wrong. So, it’s important to check carefully and make sure the variables you write down match the values given in the problem to avoid these kinds of problems during exams.

## 4. Mistyping Inputs into the Calculator

Another common mistake students often make is typing inputs incorrectly into their calculators. This happens because the buttons are closely packed together, making it easy to accidentally press the wrong one. For example, if you mean to enter “0.25” but accidentally press “0.35,” it can result in incorrect calculations.

Therefore, when using your calculator, always take a moment to carefully verify each input. Doing so can help reduce these small errors and ensure your calculations are accurate and reliable.

## 5. Overlooking Negative Signs

The mistake of combining like terms with negative signs often occurs when we overlook or misinterpret negative signs, causing errors in our linear equations. For instance, adding together terms like -3 and -5 without correctly accounting for their negative signs can throw off the entire equation, resulting in incorrect answers.

Thus, it’s crucial to be meticulous in taking note of the negative signs to ensure that your equations remain balanced.

## 6. BODMAS Oversight

Adhering to the order of operations, often recalled by the acronym BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction), is essential in maths. However, some people may neglect this sequence during their calculations, which can lead to incorrect answers. For example, failing to perform operations within brackets first can result in inaccurate answers.

So, if you consistently apply this rule in your calculations, you can ensure precise results.

## 7. Skipping Steps

When you fail to provide clear and detailed steps in your solutions, it becomes difficult for examiners to determine if the correct approach was used or if the answer was arrived at by chance or memorisation. Hence, you may lose out on marks which are awarded for demonstrating correct understanding and progress towards the solution, even if the final answer is incorrect.

Moreover, when you write down each step you took to solve a problem, it helps you see exactly how you got your answers. This makes it much easier to find and fix any mistakes when you check your work later. If you skip writing down these steps, it can be really hard to review your work properly and make sure your answers are correct.

To avoid this issue, you should aim to present your solutions clearly and accurately, so as to maximise your chances of earning full marks for each question.

## 8. Rounding Errors

Rounding numbers in maths may appear straightforward at first glance, but it’s surprisingly easy to make mistakes. For instance, neglecting to present answers with the precise decimal places or significant figures required by the question can lead to easily avoidable mistakes. Moreover, rounding numbers too early on in your calculations can also lead to errors.

To avoid these errors, it’s crucial to adhere strictly to the rounding guidelines and apply them consistently throughout your work. By meticulously following these rules from the beginning to the end of your calculations, you can ensure that your answers are not only correct but also compliant with the specified precision standards set by the problem.

## 9. Using the Wrong Units

Using incorrect units can significantly impact your answers. Have you ever solved a question without including units, thinking you could add them later, only to forget entirely? This often happens when we’re rushing to save time, especially during exams.

For example, if a problem provides measurements in centimetres but requires the answer in metres, failing to convert units can lead to the wrong answer. So, paying close attention to units is essential. Always take an extra moment to double-check your calculations and ensure you include the correct units.

## 10. Not Asking For Help

If you find yourself struggling with a particular concept, there is no shame in asking for help. You can ask a teacher, classmate, or friend to help you better understand the concept. By seeking clarification and guidance from others, you can resolve your uncertainties and improve your grasp of the material.

At Blue3 Academy, our maths classes are tailored to support your learning journey. Our teachers are here to help you succeed. Reach out today to boost your understanding and confidence for exams!