Say you made a multiplication mistake.
- Was it because you were trying to perform the calculations mentally?
- Were you doing your calculations in a tiny corner of an already messy rough sheet?
- Were you skipping steps to try and save time?
You do realise what we are trying to achieve here? Yes, we are trying to drill down to the root cause.
This step is perhaps the most important stage. For any problem, if you identify the root cause correctly, the solution is often intuitive.
Action step 1: Take Quiz ‘Match silly mistakes with root causes’ below
Match silly mistakes with root causes
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Question 1 of 1
Drag and drop the ‘Root Causes’ next to their relevant ‘Silly Mistakes’
- Performed too complex calculations mentally
- Bad handwriting
- Mental fatigue/ Pressure of time
Silly mistake: Multiplication error
Silly mistake: Read a '7' as a '1'
Question asked for value of B, I calculated A and stopped
> Resume from this stage after the quiz
How did you do? Now, the root causes I have mentioned in the quiz are the ones that I came across in my experience. Of course, they may be very different in your case.
It is not important what the root causes are, it is important that you figure them out.
Action step 2: In your Silly Mistake log that you started in the last lesson, add another column: Root Cause. Fill up this column now onwards for all your practice.
Once you have identified the root cause behind the silly mistake, figuring out ways to eliminate the root cause is comparatively easy.
For example, your made the calculation mistake because you had done your calculations in a tiny corner of an already filled sheet.
Solution: Stop being messy.
You cannot change your handwriting overnight, but you can make a conscious effort to not be messy. Do not be sparse with rough sheets. Use as many as you need. Don’t be shy to ask the invigilator for more. It is your right. Leave empty spaces between questions. Use rough sheet the way you would a fair sheet. Write in a sequential fashion, maintain the lines. Do not criss-cross.
Making habits out of ways to eliminate root causes takes time. Yet, I am betting on the fact that if you are aware, you would make an effort to improve your test taking habits.
Action step 3: Quiz: Match root cause with way to eradicate
Action steps 4: Add column ‘Solution’ to your log
By now you should: