How to minimise careless mistakes


Ever look at your child’s examination papers when they get it back and realise that they did not score as well as you thought they would have?  If you believe that your child had comprehended all the concepts, the loss of marks would be due to careless mistakes. Such a case is not surprising as careless mistakes are usually the result of the stressful examination conditions your child faces.

Careless mistakes are mistakes that cannot be attributed to one’s competence or effort. Hence, it may make one feel regretful when they lose marks due to them. Here are some tips to reduce your child’s careless mistakes made during examinations:

Be neat

Sometimes with limited time in examinations, one may tend to scribble or write in a way that may be illegible. In this case, one may get confused quickly, resulting in them making careless mistakes. Thus, by developing a habit to be neater and more systematic, it can help to curtail carelessness in the work.

Show all workings

Some students tend to cut short on the intermediate workings by doing them mentally. Such a process may help them save time, but it can also lead to them committing careless mistakes. Thus, one should cultivate a habit of showing all workings, which can help them to track back and see where they went wrong. Moreover, even if their final answer is wrong, writing down all the workings would give them method marks as well.

Reverse-check all answers

Teach your child to develop a habit to always reverse-check their answers. For example, in Mathematics, one way can be to substitute their final answers into the equations given in the question. If the resulting equation is not correct, it means that there may be a mistake made in their calculations. As such, if students have written down all their methods, it would aid them in their checking process, and they would be able to spot their errors swiftly.

Highlight relevant keywords

The process may seem to be trivial but having this habit may be useful in decreasing careless mistakes. By highlighting keywords in the question, it helps one to focus on the crucial points and facts in the questions. It can also help to reduce transfer error to their workings.

However, it is important to note that all these tips should not be done only in examinations. By allowing your child to develop these habits regularly during practice, careless mistakes can then be minimised.


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