# How to avoid silly mistakes in Maths

Most of us come out of the examination hall and frantically start verifying our answers with the question paper set and find …

Ouch! How could I mistake a zero for an eight?  OR how can I make a silly mistake and miscalculate 8*7 as 54 instead of 56?

Everyone makes silly mistakes. But if you work on avoiding them, you can increase your score in exams.

## Avoiding Silly Mistakes in Calculation

Nowadays, most of the exams include Multiple Choice Type questions with negative markings. So, such silly mistakes in calculation can cost you not only the dreaded regret syndrome but also the hard work you had put into the preparations.

Here are a few ways to avoid silly mistakes in calculations and score higher than normal:

1. Be careful with minus signs – the single most common source of error.

2. Don’t try to do too much in one step – break it down into smaller steps.

3. If your workings become overly-complicated, check back in case you’ve made a slip.

4. Always feel free to check any calculation using your calculator.

5. In many questions, especially algebra, you can do checks on your answer to make sure you have got it right before moving on.

6. Ask yourself, using estimates and common sense – does this answer look right? If not, then re-check your work.

7. Give answers to the correct degree of accuracy as requested e.g. to 2 decimal places.

8. Make sure you answer the question you’ve been asked – check this before moving on.

9. If you have enough time, recheck all steps and your final answer.

Remain calm and tension-free while solving problems as it will save your time and frustration. Sometimes, overthinking slows you down and makes you feel stuck. So, with a little conscious effort and common sense, you can easily reduce the frequency of silly mistakes and improve your score.