Oh S%#*! How many times have we heard that when someone realizes that they made a silly or stupid mistake?
In this post you will find ways to avoid making silly and stupid mistakes.
But before we get started with the solution to the problem, let’s first define what these mistakes are.
What is a Silly / Stupid mistake?
Our Definition: If you know how to get the correct answer to a question but end up reporting the wrong answer, you have committed a silly / stupid mistake.
Some examples of Silly / Stupid mistakes…
- Simply misread the question – like, read ‘and’ instead of ‘or’
- Missed performing the right step – like, added instead of subtract
- Ignored the sign – like, missing the minus sign
- Got the correct answer, but marked the wrong choice – like, marking ‘B’ instead of ‘D’
- Got the correct answer, wrote the correct answer, but the teacher could not read your answer correctly – like, ‘28’ appears to be ‘26’
So, how does one avoid making silly and stupid mistakes?
By following the following rules…
- Be prepared – before you go
You prepare before you cook. Just like that, be ready before the test. Get a good night and restful sleep the night before the big day, prepare your ammo – pens, pencils, erasers, books, etc. Going unprepared is a guaranteed way to lose any battle.
- Stay focused – stay clam
Be still. Agitation causes delusion and delusion causes destruction. Take a few deep breaths with full consciousness and see you mind relax. With a still and relaxed mind, you will be able to see clearly, think thoroughly and act intelligently.
- Read the question – again – read the question
Yes, it takes an extra few seconds to read the question again, but it is a worthy investment of those extra seconds if you are able to clearly understand the question before you embark on the quest of getting the answer. This is even more important in this day and age of fleeting short lived focus
- Check your work – reverse – check your work
Many students claim to check their work, but they simply gloss over the mistake they have made in the work, so make sure to reverse check your work. Which means, go from the solution to the question or equation. If you answer is correct, going from the answer upwards should lead you to the question. If you answer is wrong, it will most likely not lead you back to the question and will get caught. With this, you cannot ignore the mistake.
- Stay organized – follow the steps – be neat
Leap frogging steps will get you a few seconds, but will cost you much more marks. Follow the steps and write neatly, even if it is on a scratch paper. If you cannot read your own writing, how can others?
- Be aware – not distracted
Be aware of what is being asked in the question. Be aware of how many questions are still left to answer. Be aware of the time left to finish the test. By being fully aware of what you are doing, you can avoid making mistakes in the first place. With distraction, you are almost certain of making an error.
- Stay Alert – throughout
When you are at the final stretch of the test, don’t lose guard, don’t slack off, stay focused, and certainly don’t rush