Many students come out of taking the SAT or ACT thinking it was easy, only to see a not so great score six weeks later. Students will often times automatically fault their intelligence, but for the typical student this is not true.
Let’s take the Math section of the SAT as an example. In my experience the two most prevalent types of math mistakes are: 1) due to content that the student honestly does not know, and 2) silly mistakes that are often times avoidable. In my next few blogs I am going to cover some of the most common simple mistakes made by students.
On average, about 50% of all the errors I see my students make are all from silly mistakes. That is HUGE. In most instances, if students just stopped making silly mistakes then their resulting score would usually be higher than their desired score increase.
Think about that. The student doesn’t have to learn new math, new methods, or new concepts. They just need to stop making silly mistakes. While it is a relatively simple concept, it’s easier said than done. Silly mistakes are often made because of bad habits or low confidence that students have acquired over the years, such as bad mental math or poor equation solving.
How to stop making silly mistakes:
In my experience, one of the best ways to fix this is through constant practice. When I say constant practice, I do not mean that the student cram for a day or two. They should be doing 10-20 problems per day or every other day, constantly getting reps. The reps are important because they train out the bad habits and can help students to develop better ones.