Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.

    Thanks
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.

    Thanks
    I haven't actually overcome mine but, I think, I'm halfway there. The advice my teachers give me is to check every single detail, not just read it but actually think it over and never forget the subtitles. Those are ridiculously important cause if you substitute in the wrong number or arrange it in a diff. way, you'll get it wrong.

    Although, what really works with me is to actually re-do the entire question when I have time. I usually only do it with a few questions cause, it's an exam and you don't have time but, when you actually re-do it, you'll be surprise when you actually solve it in a diff. way than before... (It doesn't mean that it's correct though, sometimes first time's the charm)


    P.S.

    Sorry for the horrible grammar
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    What I find is that you can only reduce them (silly mistakes). Even my previous teachers and lecturers still make silly mistakes even with their degrees and PhD's. Really it just comes down to practice makes perfect, but as we know perfection is unobtainable, so just get as close as possible.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.

    Thanks
    Work at a slower pace and identify consistent silly mistakes - usually they are either minus numbers, complacency (e.g. 4x4=8) or flawed mathematical things (e.g. 4x0=4, or cancelling algebraic fractions incorrectly).
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.
    The two keys are practice and checking your work.

    Checking doesn't just mean looking back over what you've done - check that:

    Your answer corresponds to what they were asking (make sure you don't give a volume when they ask for an area etc).

    Your answer seems reasonable. (If you have a -ve area, you've probably done something wrong).

    If possible, check backwards. e.g. if you're asked to solve x^2 -5x + 6 = 0 and you get x = 3, x = -2, check that if you put these back into your equation you really do get 0.

    If calculators are allowed, they are often useful for checking even in "non-calculator" type questions. e.g if you're asked to rationalise the denominator of \dfrac{3-\sqrt{2}}{5-\sqrt{7}} and you end up with \dfrac{15-5\sqrt{2}-3 \sqrt{7}+\sqrt{14}}{18}, it's easy enough to plug both expressions into your calculator and see if they match.

    [Many people (who post on TSR, at any rate) are very lazy about what checking their work. There are lots of things you can do that people don't think about]
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.
    1. Try explaining to an imaginary third party how your argument works, in detail. Imagine said third party is pretty dim, and requires lots of help.

    2. Write out a proper argument when you write down your solution. This will help you keep on track. By "proper argument", I mean an explanation of what you are doing at each step.

    You will see vast numbers of solutions to problems posted here that look more like rough notes than arguments, with apparently disconnected statements littering the page (i.e. no use of "so", "therefore", "let", "We can see", \Rightarrow). People who do that are omitting the most important part of their work. It is the argument that is important, not the details of the working; if you know the argument, you can always supply the details.

    To supply an argument requires that you write some English; most students seem to think that they are legally required to use only (a very few) mathematical symbols, and that a long gaol term awaits if they use actual words.

    3. It's very hard to give a cookbook approach to solving maths problems. However:

    a) draw lots of pictures; a good picture can be drawn for almost any mathematical problem; develop your geometric intuition.

    b) if you're not sure how to get from the start of a problem to the end, think about what you would want to be true in the step immediately before the final result; can you see how to get to there from the start? If not, do the same thing for the 2nd-to-last step, etc.

    c) practise algebraic manipulations till you can do them in your sleep; if you are stumbling over algebra, you won't have time to think about the big picture that you need to solve the problem.

    d) learn by rote as many exam cheat sheet results as possible; yes, they give you a bunch of formulae, but you don't really want to be looking these up in an exam - that wastes time; you need to be on first name terms with all of the standard results.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you very much for all of these replies, they were really helpful! I'm also worried about making these mistakes in the exam, and in exams I will do a number of ways of solving a problem and get many answers, but I never know which one is correct, how do I overcome this?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you very much for your help I was also wondering if exam papers are really the best practise, are there any other good tips for practise?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, it has helped me very much!
    (Original post by atsruser)
    1. Try explaining to an imaginary third party how your argument works, in detail. Imagine said third party is pretty dim, and requires lots of help.

    2. Write out a proper argument when you write down your solution. This will help you keep on track. By "proper argument", I mean an explanation of what you are doing at each step.

    You will see vast numbers of solutions to problems posted here that look more like rough notes than arguments, with apparently disconnected statements littering the page (i.e. no use of "so", "therefore", "let", "We can see", \Rightarrow). People who do that are omitting the most important part of their work. It is the argument that is important, not the details of the working; if you know the argument, you can always supply the details.

    To supply an argument requires that you write some English; most students seem to think that they are legally required to use only (a very few) mathematical symbols, and that a long gaol term awaits if they use actual words.

    3. It's very hard to give a cookbook approach to solving maths problems. However:

    a) draw lots of pictures; a good picture can be drawn for almost any mathematical problem; develop your geometric intuition.

    b) if you're not sure how to get from the start of a problem to the end, think about what you would want to be true in the step immediately before the final result; can you see how to get to there from the start? If not, do the same thing for the 2nd-to-last step, etc.

    c) practise algebraic manipulations till you can do them in your sleep; if you are stumbling over algebra, you won't have time to think about the big picture that you need to solve the problem.

    d) learn by rote as many exam cheat sheet results as possible; yes, they give you a bunch of formulae, but you don't really want to be looking these up in an exam - that wastes time; you need to be on first name terms with all of the standard results.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Thank you very much for your help I was also wondering if exam papers are really the best practise, are there any other good tips for practise?
    THEY ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS

    (no joke)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you very much, and just one more thing; would self-belief help to get higher grades in exams?
    (Original post by jamestg)
    THEY ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS

    (no joke)
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Thank you very much, and just one more thing; would self-belief help to get higher grades in exams?
    Partially.

    If your teachers are saying you'll do very well and your work is at the standard of the higher grades, then self-belief wouldn't go a miss.

    But if you're nowhere near these higher grades, self-belief will simply make you delusional and you of course won't achieve them.

    Good luck and I'm sure you'll do great!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you very much for all your help.
    (Original post by jamestg)
    Partially.

    If your teachers are saying you'll do very well and your work is at the standard of the higher grades, then self-belief wouldn't go a miss.

    But if you're nowhere near these higher grades, self-belief will simply make you delusional and you of course won't achieve them.

    Good luck and I'm sure you'll do great!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    Hi, I've just started my AS levels this academic year, and we're about to finish C1. I was just wondering how anyone overcame the difficulty when making silly mistakes in maths, or finding it hard to initially apply knowledge to maths problems. It would be much appreciated if someone could help me with this.

    Thanks
    Wow you almost completed C1?!

    I'm only halfway through it , but i'm doing C1 and S1 together. On course to completing both units before january.
    C2 is very challenging i heard.

    Past papers is the key to success. The more practice the more you will be experienced in not doing silly mistakes.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm worrying about c2 because my 6th form is going through c1 so quick with m1 at the same time, and c1 is the foundations for c2
    (Original post by Elehin)
    Wow you almost completed C1?!

    I'm only halfway through it , but i'm doing C1 and S1 together. On course to completing both units before january.
    C2 is very challenging i heard.

    Past papers is the key to success. The more practice the more you will be experienced in not doing silly mistakes.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozzie-xx)
    I'm worrying about c2 because my 6th form is going through c1 so quick with m1 at the same time, and c1 is the foundations for c2
    Not necessarily, me and a lot of my friends found C2 easier than C1 (the paper and the module itself)
    It's down to personal preference I guess.. But if I were you, I wouldn't be scared of it.

    Good luck!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you
    (Original post by edothero)
    Not necessarily, me and a lot of my friends found C2 easier than C1 (the paper and the module itself)
    It's down to personal preference I guess.. But if I were you, I wouldn't be scared of it.

    Good luck!
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: October 29, 2015
Poll
Do you like carrot cake?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.