Common Math Mistakes To Avoid

No matter how well-prepared you are for an exam, silly mistakes are inevitable. Practice surely makes a student perfect, but for a subject like Math, most of us struggle with finding the right answers within the given time-frame and often commit errors in calculations on the answer sheet. When the student becomes aware of his mistake, his morale is negatively affected and if not corrected on time, he may form a habit of continuing to make errors as– One Silly Mistake, Leads To The Other! Here are a few common Math mistakes that students need to take care of:


#1 Order of Operations

Solve: 30 – 7 × 2

Incorrect Solution

30 – 7 × 2

= 23 x 2

= 46

Correct Solution

30 – 7 × 2

= 30 – 14

= 16

#2 Using Unit Conversion

Solve: What is the height in meters of a student who is 4’9” tall

Incorrect Solution

4 feet 9 inches

1 feet = 0.3048 meters

4 feet = 4 x 0.3048 meters

= 1.219 meters

= 1.219 + 9

= 10. 219 meters

Correct Solution

4 feet 9 inches

1 feet = 0.3048 meters

4 feet = 4 x 0.3048

= 1.219 meters


1 inch = 0.0254 meters

9 inches = 9 x 0.0254

= 0.2286 metres

So, 1.219 meters + 0.2286 metres

= 1.4476 metres

The student is 1.4476 metres tall

#3 Estimation Problems

To cut 8 pieces of blocks, the carpenter takes 10 minutes. How much time will he take to cut 12 pieces?

Incorrect Solution

8 x 12 ÷ 10 = 9.6 minutes

Correct Solution

8 pieces -> 10 minutes

12 pieces -> ? minutes

Let’s assume ‘x’ minutes


8 pieces -> 10 minutes

12 pieces -> x minutes

8 x x = 10 x 12

X = 10 x 12/8

X = 120/8

X = 15 minutes

#4 Place Value

Write the place value of number 9 in 176.409

Incorrect Solution


Correct Solution



#5 Comparing Fractions

Which fraction is greater?

Incorrect Solution


Correct Answer



How to Stop Making These Mistakes?

#1 Learn From Your Mistakes

It’s okay to make silly errors while solving Math problems, however, don’t just shrug it off saying it won’t happen again. Take time to understand where you faltered and what should have been the correct step, so as to avoid this mistake again. Was the word problem not read correctly? Did you happen to miss a step while doing rough work calculations? Was the decimal point not copied from the sum correctly? Break the chain of repeating the same error. Review your old test papers and resolve the questions, for sake of practice.

#2 Read The Word Problems Twice

Understanding the language behind the word problem is a little tricky, and thus it must be read twice before proceeding with the solution. The most important step is to look for keywords in the question. Some keywords are important, while other sentences or wordings are redundant. So, to avoid errors, one needs to know which keywords to focus on, and that happens only with practice.

#3 Re-check Your Work

Some students feel re-checking is a waste of time! When you revisit your solution, you may spot errors that you made in the first place and get a chance to correct them, rather than regret losing marks. A good Math student always writes neatly, draws a separate working column for calculations, and double-checks the ‘negative’, ‘positive’, ‘multiplication’, and ‘division’ signs used in the solution.

The Mathseeds platform is designed for Gen Z kids who find it boring to use the pen & paper format to study, but rather fiddle on laptops and iPads. Schools in Dubai and all-over the Middle East recommend Mathseeds as an after-school recreation-cum homework activity for students. If you reside in GCC or UAE, head to our website to learn more about Mathseeds <link>

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