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4 Proven Ways on How to Avoid Careless Mistakes in Math

How to Avoid Careless Mistakes in Math

Has your child had enough of repeating common mistakes in Primary Math? Try these simple "Math Hacks'' instead. There are 4 critical pointers that will help your child know how to reduce careless mistakes in Math and eventually become an expert in the field.

These suggestions are meant to help your child know how to not make mistakes in Math, improve their Math abilities, and build their confidence, from understanding the order of operations to avoiding careless errors. Be ready to ramp up your child's Math skills with these easy tips and tricks!

1. Incorrect Use of Mathematical Symbols

Incorrect Use of Mathematical Symbols

One typical source of confusion for small kids learning Math is misinterpreting or forgetting the meaning of mathematical symbols. Students may become confused and make mistakes while employing mathematical symbols like the plus sign, the minus sign, the multiplication symbol, and the division symbol.

Incorrect calculations include, for instance, adding when subtracting is required and multiplying when dividing should be performed. These careless mistakes during Math exams can lead to incorrect answers and a lack of understanding of the underlying concepts.


Describe the problem on paper

For example, for ‘more than/less than’ questions, converting words to symbols will help you to solve these sums easily.

Convert ‘More than’ to ‘+’.

Convert ‘is’ to ‘=’.


10 is 2 more than ____.


sample solution to a math problem

Examine the problem twice

To help your child succeed in answering a Math problem, read the question carefully and make sure they understand it before getting started. Verify again if your child is employing the right symbols in his computations.

“Practise, practise, practise”

To improve your child's confidence and ease when solving Math problems, it is important to rehearse and utilise the appropriate symbols. Remind your child to always double-check and revise his work to ensure accuracy. With this, they will learn the tricks and form the routines they need to avoid errors.

2. Confusion in Writing Fractions

Because of the complexity of the procedures involved, students often make errors while writing fractions. Students must first learn what a fraction represents and how to write it.

Also, they must be able to change between different kinds of fractions, such as mixed numbers and improper fractions. Moreover, another skill they'll need is the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions.

A common mistake that students make when writing fractions is failing to simplify them. Instead of writing ½, for instance, they may write 4/8. Similarly, many students fail because they are confused between the numerator and denominator. A simple slip like writing ⅝ instead of 8/5 might cause a Math error.


Make sure the numerator and denominator are in the correct order

When your child figures out the fraction, the number of available parts should go in the numerator, and the total number of parts should go in the denominator. To prevent mistakes, make sure they write them in the right sequence.

Simplify Fractions

Always simplify fractions as much as possible. This can help your child get the right answer in its simplest form and reduce the likelihood of making any mistakes throughout the computation process. Also, you must always remember to leave your final answer in the simplest form to avoid any deduction of marks.

Tip: Start dividing numerator and denominator by 2. If it cannot be divided by 2, try the next number (which is 3) and so on. A fraction is in its simplest form when the numerator and denominator cannot be divided further by the same whole number that is greater than 1.

how to simplify fraction

½ is the simplest equivalent fraction because the numerator and denominator cannot be divided exactly by the same whole number that is greater than 1.

Practice converting between mixed numbers and improper fractions

Both mixed numbers and improper fractions are often used in Math word problems, so it's important that your child knows how to convert between the two. Do the transformations in practice until he can easily switch between the two.

converting improper to proper faction

3. Errors in Multiplying by Two-Digit Numbers

Errors in Multiplying by Two-Digit Numbers

Students often struggle in Primary Math most especially in the multiplication of two-digit numbers. This is due to the fact that multiplying two or more numbers requires a series of operations, especially when dealing with bigger numbers. Learning about place value and how it applies to multiplication is crucial for young students.

When multiplying by two digits, students often make the error of not carrying over the tens digit with the ones digit. To avoid getting the wrong answer in their mathematics exams, it is necessary to examine their answers and make sure they will not make the same type of mistake in the future.

Switching the order of the numerals is another frequent mistake. Students may get the wrong solution to a multiplication problem because they multiply the wrong numbers by mistake.


Break down the multiplication question

Students can simplify the multiplication of two-digit numbers by breaking it down into smaller parts.


What is the answer when 326 × 24?


Breaking down multiplication question

So, 326 × 24 = 7824.

Inspect your child’s effort

When teaching kids to multiply by two-digit numbers, always encourage them to check their final answers. Estimation can help them determine if their answer to Math questions makes sense.

Practise regularly

Multiplying by two-digit numbers is a skill that may be learned with frequent practice. Students can improve their Math abilities and self-esteem via consistent practice. Parents can facilitate practice by, for example, coming up with practice problems or engaging your child in joint Math activities.

4. An Incorrect Interpretation of the Problem

Many mathematical mistakes stem from students attempting to solve the wrong problem or using improper formulas or procedures because of a misunderstanding of the problem.

A student could, for instance, interpret a word problem incorrectly, thinking it requires one answer when it actually requires another. If the student does not carefully check their work, they may use the improper equation or approach to solving the problem, which will inevitably provide an inaccurate conclusion.

Similarly, if a student misinterprets the problem's instructions, they can go about doing it in the wrong method or use the wrong concepts, which would lead to incorrect results. So, how to reduce careless mistakes in Maths?


Identify the key information.

Before diving into a solution, it's important to find out what information is most relevant to the problem at hand. Carefully read the problem and underline anything that can help you solve it, such as numbers, units, or words.


There were 4715 visitors in Sentosa on Saturday. There were 213 more visitors on Saturday than on Sunday. How many visitors were there altogether over the weekend?

Common mistake: Seeing the word ‘more’ and assuming we have to add. Read carefully. What is more?


4715 - 213 = 4502

4502 + 4715 = 9217

There were 9217 visitors altogether.

Restate the problem

Just restating the problem in your own words may help you grasp it more fully. One way to do this is to summarise the problem in a few words or to divide it into more manageable chunks.


Wei Hua has 6 marbles fewer than Aisha but 14 marbles more than Raj. The three children have 145 marbles altogether. How many marbles does Aisha have?

Don’t be confused by long sentences.

Break down the sentences:

Wei Hua has 6 marbles fewer than Aisha.

Wei Hua has 14 more marbles than Raj.

Isn’t the question more manageable now?

avoiding common silly mistakes in primary Math

In conclusion, by avoiding common mistakes in Primary Math, students can build a strong foundation for future success in the subject. Remember to pay attention to proper sign usage, simplify fractions, break down multiplication, and reassess the Math problem again to avoid errors.

Join us at AGrader Learning Centre, where we provide a diverse range of programs to learners such as the Primary Math Programme. This will empower your child to become a Math master and boost their confidence in the subject.

Enrol your child today and witness their amazing Math success story unfold!



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