I seem to lose most of my marks to slip-up errors. Is there anything I can do to reduce them?
Slip-ups errors (or careless errors) are really frustrating for students since they are errors on math the student knows well.
The following five (5) steps can help reduce slip-up errors:
1. Make sure you read each question carefully. A correct solution to a misread question will get you zero marks.
2. You must show/write ALL your work. Skipping steps is the # 1 reason you will make slip-up errors.
3. Slow down and do all the questions you know how to do first. Yes, there is time pressure on tests but it's best to start by first doing all the test questions you know how to do - and do them correctly - before you tackle the questions you are uncertain of. This is better strategy than rushing through the test in the order it was written in, managing some questions well but really struggling with others (probably making many slip-up errors in the process), and possibly running out of time before you get to the last questions some of which you might have been able to answer well.
4. Check your work. Every time you complete part of a question, ask yourself “Does this answer make sense?” If it doesn’t, check your work right away. This will help you to pick up any slip-up errors immediately.
5. Once you have finished answering a question, go back and re-read the question to make sure you have answered all parts. E.g. What is 5+4 and what does the answer mean? A slip-up error would be writing the answer as 9. Why? Because there are actually two parts to this question.
Important to know: Regarding the five (5) steps above, the only way you will do all these steps during is test is if you get into the habit of doing them every evening when you do your homework. In other words, in order for these strategies to work, they have to become second nature, automatic, instinctive before you get to a test.