(written by Mr Prem, Maths tutor of BrightMinds Learning Centre)
As a tutor who has been teaching Maths for many years, the most common question I've received from concerned parents is "How can my child avoid careless mistakes?" Therefore, I hope that this SUPER approach will be of great help to those who always make careless mistakes in their Maths problem sums.
The SUPER Methodology to Math Problem Solving
Understand the problem:
· What is the problem about?
· What information do I have? It is crucial to underline or highlight the important keywords from your question.
· What am I asked to find out?
Plan a solution
· What method should I use?
· Have I solved similar problems before?
· What information should I consider first?
· What information should I consider next?
Execute the plan
· Write down the steps of my solution
· Show all working clearly and neatly!
· Do not skip too many steps or depend too much on mental calculations.
Review the answer
· Are my units correct?
· Does my answer make sense?
· Have I answered the question? If you have time, you may put your answers back into the math problem or equation to check for accuracy.
Time Management is also crucial in a Mathematics exam. Do not spend too much time stuck on one question; move on to the next question and return to that challenging question when you have completed the other questions. Also, try not to spend too much time solving questions with only 1 to 2 marks; your focus should primarily be on more complex questions (ie: 3 to 5 marks questions).
Most importantly, all pupils must constantly practice before they can master the art of avoiding careless mistakes. By using the above SUPER approach in solving problem sums, I hope that all pupils will become more confident in their Mathematics, which is important for a high-pressure Mathematics examination situation.