1. Misread Direction Errors
These errors occur when you skip directions or misunderstand directions but answer the question or do the problem anyway.
To avoid this type of error, read all the directions.
2. Careless Errors
Mistakes made which can be caught automatically upon reviewing the test.
To avoid this type of error, watch for simple mistakes carefully as you review the test.
3. Concept Errors
Mistakes made when you do not understand the properties or principles required to work the problem.
To avoid this type of error in the future, you must go back to your textbook or notes and learn why you missed the problems.
4. Application errors
Mistakes that you make when you know this concept but cannot apply it to the problem.
To reduce this type of error, you must, learn to predict the type of application problems that will be on the test.
5. Test Procedure Errors
Mistakes that you make because of the specific way you take tests, such as:
- Missing more questions in the 1st-third, 2nd-third or last third of a test. If you find that you miss more questions in a certain part of the test consistently, use your remaining test time to review that part of the test first.
- Not completing a problem to its last step.
To avoid this mistake, review the last step of a test problem first, before doing an in-depth test review.
- Changing test answers from the correct ones to incorrect ones.
If you are a bad answer changer, then write on your test “Don’t change answers.” Only change answers if you can prove to yourself or to the instructor that the changed answer is correct.
- Getting stuck on one problem and spending too much time.
Set a time limit for each problem before moving to the next problem.
- Rushing through the easiest part of the test and making careless errors.
If you do this often, after finishing the test review the easy problems first, then review the harder problems.
- Miscopying an answer from your scratch work to the test.
To avoid this, systematically compare your last problem step on scratch paper with the answer on the test.
- Leaving answers blank
Write down some information or try at least to do the first step.
6. Study Errors
Mistakes that occur when you study the wrong type of material or do not spend enough time studying pertinent material.
To avoid these errors in the future, take some time to track down why the errors occurred so that you can study more effectively the next time.
By Paul D. Nolting, Ph.D., Winning at Math, 1997