- Analyze your performance on a math exam
- Identify strategies to improve your performance on future math exams
Refer to the six types of test-taking errors for this exercise:
- Misread Direction error. You skipped over or misunderstood directions and as a result you did the problem incorrectly.
- Careless error. You lost focus on the question and made a silly error (like changing a sign or inventing a new rule of algebra).
- Concept error. You did not understand the properties or principles required to work the problem.
- Application error. You understood the concepts involved, but did not apply them correctly in the context of the specific problem presented.
- Test-Taking error(s). You made one of the following kinds of mistakes: not completing the problem to the last step, changing a correct answer to an incorrect answer, getting stuck on one problem and spending too much time on it, rushing through the easiest parts of the test and making careless mistakes, leaving answers blank (no partial credit), leaving early and not checking all of your answers.
- Study error. You studied the wrong material, or did not spend enough time studying the relevant topics.
Study the results from the most recent math-based test or exam you have taken. Look over each problem that you got wrong. On a separate sheet of paper, complete the following steps.
- Copy the problem exactly as it was stated on the test. Include the problem number.
- Identify the type of error (or errors) from the list above that caused you to lose points. Write the name of the error AND be very specific about what your particular error was. For example, if you did not understand a concept, identify it in detail.
- Write a complete, corrected solution for the problem. Include explanations of the logic of your solution – why does this lead process lead to the correct answer?
When you have completed correcting all the questions, answer these additional questions to reflect on your thinking and learning.
- Look back at all of the categories of errors you made. What patterns, if any, do you notice?
- What strategies do you need to adopt in order to avoid your most common errors?
- Overall, are you satisfied with your score? Why or why not? Explain.
- Describe what you think you need to do or change in order to improve your score to a level you want. If you feel you did well, describe what you think you did that helped your performance. Be specific. The idea is here is to deeply reflect on what is working and what is not so you can adapt your study habits moving forward.