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Test Advice

  1. Sep 13, 2011 #1
    I know there is probably not an easy answer to my question but I still wanted to ask.
    Anytime I take a math test I always make a mistake with a minus sign, domain issue, or something small that will lead me to the wrong answer.
    Are there any sure ways to prevent me from doing this? I study math all the time yet I still make dumb mistakes... I think I tend to read over the problem to quickly.

    Anyways advice would be appreciated...
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2011 #2


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    Precision, precision, precision! Math is above all, very precise. All I can say is be very careful to review every step.
  4. Sep 13, 2011 #3


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    When I was a freshman, I used to make similar mistakes. I would rush through tests and finish usually with 5 to 10 minutes left. Then I'd go back and check my work. This didn't work very well because it's hard to look closely enough on the second round to spot minor errors. I decided I'd be better off slowing down and pacing myself to avoid making dumb mistakes. After each step, I went back and reviewed it right then and there to see if I made a silly algebra mistake. It worked. The occasional error would occasionally slip by, but they didn't happen at nearly the frequency as before.
  5. Sep 13, 2011 #4
    Thank you for the advice.. Im going to try and treat my homework as a test hopefully that will prepare me aswell..
    Ill work on my precision and looking at each step carefully while doing my hm

    thank yoiu.
  6. Sep 13, 2011 #5


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    Checking your answers is an exercise in critical thinking. You must not assume that you did anything correctly! Try to be as objective as possible when checking your answers. This is difficult to do when reviewing "routine" concepts/computations, but it is crucial to catching your mistakes.

    Also, you need to be extremely careful with how you organize your work. Write clearly, and have a consistent method for organizing your calculations. I can't stress enough how important being methodical and organized has been for me.

    Lastly, some of my brightest professors have made mistakes, either in lecture notes or problem sets. It's something that will happen from time to time. :smile:
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