Reducing Careless Mistakes in Science MCQ

August 18, 2017

” Practice does not make perfect,

Perfect practice makes perfect.


So its not about how many sets you do, its about how perfectly you do it. ‘ 

      This is what I always tell my students. You realised that your child is always stuck at the 40+ mark and can’t get past it? Or if not, they just can’t seem to score full marks.

      This is why. They are making the same mistakes over and over again. During mid terms, I looked through one of my A* attitude student’s file. She is really hardworking and practice lots and lots of past year papers. (FYI – 2016 stack is already all done). However, she is still not scoring full marks. Something must be wrong. So I flipped through her papers and files and I realised one trend, she gets the same type of question wrong again and again. For her, its the graph on gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy kind of questions. She knows the concept and she could point out which is the correct answer.

      Why is it that she doesn’t get that question correct then? Simply because for that question, no working is done. 

     Doing things mentally is not smart.  Not for Science exams. Doing things only in their head is the birth of careless mistakes.

Example of students’ work below: 

His answer is 4 because he did not link what the question wants to the information in the graph. For instance, the question is asking for final length of spring Q and the graph is on extension. The working for himself is not clear enough.

Question should be worked out in this way:

What is the difference? The working is clear and that aids in checking of answer too.

Nevertheless in exams, I wouldn’t expect my students to write in this way. There is no time. How they will present their answer is with short form.

  1.  Extended length = EL

      Original length = OL

      Total length = TL

They have to remember this as well: TL = OL + EL 

So, do show this to your child, working is a MUST! It’s not a good to have.

This is the attitude to have when conquering MCQ!


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