This video goes through the five most common mistakes that students make, and how to fix them! Avoid these mistakes and your grades will improve right away.

Not showing work: If you don’t show work, your MATH IS SLOWED DOWN, and your MATH IS LESS ACCURATE! Instead, show work to raise your grade, speed up, and be more accurate.

USE IT OR KEEP IT: I use the expression “use it or keep it” because, when solving math problems, all operations have to be either used or kept. Nothing becomes something else. Nothing disappears. If you are doing a math problem, and you think something should disappear, figure out how to use it, or you have to keep it.

The distributive property: The distributive property is the bane of your existence! I know. But if you follow the basic rules of the distributive property like I show you in the video, you’ll get more problems right than your friends do.

And don’t forget to do the operation you wrote down! Many problems end up being wrong because the student wrote down the correct operation, but combined things incorrectly. Use your calculator if you need to, and make sure that the math that you write down or the math that is written down for you is what you do.

Finally, check your answers! You might feel like checking your answers is a waste of your time, but the students who improve the most are the students who check their answers. The reason for this is, if you do math problems and you make a mistake, you’ll never catch the mistake, and you’ll lose the opportunity to find a pattern in the kinds of errors that you make.

Hint for process of elimination: Taking test values such as and and carefully using order of operations will help you eliminate most or all answers. If your own choice of values of and do not eliminate all choices, making a second choice (or in very extreme cases even a third choice) will finish off all remaining incorrect answers.

Another hint is, variables are never being multiplied with other variables, this eliminates choices D and E. Also, there is nothing in the original expression which can combine with and eliminate the number 2 from the expression. This eliminates choices A and C, leaving you with the correct answer, B.

Have a solution? Hint? Question? Drop it below. We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on February 1st. If you would like to learn how to enter fancy math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.

Hint for process of elimination: Taking test values such as and and carefully using order of operations will help you eliminate most or all answers. If your own choice of values of and do not eliminate all choices, making a second choice (or in very extreme cases even a third choice) will finish off all remaining incorrect answers.

Another hint is, variables are never being multiplied with other variables, this eliminates choices D and E. Also, there is nothing in the original expression which can combine with and eliminate the number 2 from the expression. This eliminates choices A and C, leaving you with the correct answer, B.

Have a solution? Hint? Question? Drop it below. We’d love to hear from you. A full solution will be posted on February 1st. If you would like to learn how to enter fancy math formulas into this blog, visit the WordPress LaTeX tutorial page.