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Handling the Habit of Making Careless Mistakes

 Many students have the habit of making careless mistakes at the time when it matters most. They feel that it happens due to nervousness. But, you will notice people doing so even when they are confident, peaceful and in full control. If left unattended, it becomes a habit. It harms much more than making forced error.

Kaumon (an imaginary name of a student) is brilliant in his studies, does smart study, understands concepts and is quick in applying them. His relatives, friends and he himself feel that he is a good candidate to excel in his studies and clear some of the toughest competitions  like IIT-JEE.

While practicing at home or in his schools, he has been able to solve all the questions correctly. In the examination too he answers all the questions in time. But, when the results are declared, or when he compares his answers with correct answers, he finds that quite a few answers given by him are wrong due to carelessness in his part. It damages his prospects of excelling in the field of his choice very badly.

We find this a very common habit in majority of the students. Not able to score from a question which one can solve easily is unpardonable in many situations. If only this habit is checked, many students can increase their chances of success drastically. But, it is easier said than done. People are not able to overcome this habit even after several counseling and attempts.

If we analyze the stages of question answering where careless mistakes usually happens, we find three common stages. The first one is in which the student doesn't read the question carefully or completely. Or before reading the question completely, understands that the question is same as some question already handled by him earlier and starts answering it. Even though his knowledge is good, he lands up answering a different question than asked or he answers the question partially.

Another stage in which a student feels that he has already done the tough part and now it is a routine task to finish the answer. He starts thinking about the next question and continue completing the answer of present question. In Mathematical subjects this routine task normally involve some numerical calculation, which the student does wrongly because of lack of concentration on the question being answered.

Another stage may be where one applies a wrong concept in hurried way. In all these cases, he feels that he is answering correctly because he knows how to answer that correctly. If a student is able to understand himself and identifies the stages where he is most vulnerable, he can practice being careful in those stages of question answering and with conscious effort can overcome the habit of making careless mistakes. He should practice to answer the questions correctly in the first comparison of answer itself. If he finds that his answer is wrong and then immediately knows the mistake and gets the correct answer, he should not count that as correctly solved because in the examination one doesn't have chance to compare and correct. One should practice on those questions that have potential to trigger the kind of careless mistakes he does most.

There are such questions that have potential to trigger different types of careless mistakes. We are providing such questions to help students improve in this area.


Kaumon (an imaginary name of a student) is brilliant in his studies, does smart study, understands concepts and is quick in applying them. His relatives, friends and he himself feel that he is a good candidate for clearing IIT-JEE

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