Mathematics is a difficult subject for many, which has led to it being one of the most disliked subjects amongst the student population. The principal reason behind the difficulty of maths is the fact that most of the lessons are interconnected: the basis of one unit often lends itself to the understanding of other units. Accordingly, a student who may have missed or misunderstood one unit might easily find him or herself in trouble answering not just questions relevant to that unit, but to other units as well. Therefore, it is important that students understand the connection lessons have with each other in order to succeed and ace maths exams. Below are some of the most common mistakes students tend to make when it comes to mathematics:
Algebra errors – by the time you pass dedicated IB math tutorial, algebra will easily become a common recurrence in all math questions. Thus, any student learning at the high school level should possess a thorough understanding of algebra in order to be able to solve even basic questions. To the contrary of this statement, however, many high school students have trouble with properly differentiating and simplifying algebra formulae and equations. Errors in simplifying algebraic values and formulae can easily impact the overall understanding of a math question and can no doubt lead to entirely wrong answers.
Order of simplification – another very common mistake that occurs among students is mistaking the order of simplification when it comes to equations and formulae. During the early school years, maths simplification was a simple process that started from the left and had students gradually work to the right; however, by the middle school level, students are taught the proper order of simplification by acronyms such as ‘BODMAS’. Parentheses are an easily forgotten inclusion that leads to careless mistakes, for example. If you struggle with simplification orders, an IB math tutorial with regards to this should easily clear up your misunderstandings.
Distributions – together with simplification, math students are also quick to make errors when it comes to distribution – the expansion of values and formulae given within brackets. When it comes to terms and values given within two brackets, a common error is to simply expand the first set of values and to forget the rest. Furthermore, it is also easy to forget or mistake the order in which exponentiation should come when it comes to brackets.
Errors of addition and subtraction – lastly, it might seem hard to believe, but there a significant number of students devote attention to many difficult problems and solve them, only to find themselves making careless mistakes when it comes to easily solved questions or stages that involve additions or subtractions. The reason is often due to the fact that students forget to account for decimal values and the numerical placement of larger values, leading to wrong additions or subtractions.