Parents sometimes believe that their children may not know the content and that they are behind school, while the reality could be something different. We find that many times the students know the content and can get to the right answer, but other factors are getting in the way of them not being able to come to the correct answer. These factors include:
- Having a scattered thinking process
- A desire to get to the answer too quickly without following all the steps to get to the answer
- Skipping steps
- Not writing down the work
- Getting lazy and seeking to get to the answer quickly
There are subject specific issues that we, at Prepsmart Tutoring, have seen in working with our students.
For Math, we typically find that students take the following shortcuts, which results in them not getting to the correct answer:
- Want to get quickly to the answer, without necessarily completing all the steps or writing the calculations down. In the process, they may jump over steps or make mistakes doing mental math.
- Not read the questions carefully enough and make a mistake as they answer one thing, while the question may be asking for something else.
- Make careless mistakes such as getting the +/- sign wrong.
- Not check over the answer and the calculations
It is of course possible that students do not know the concepts. However, many times, we find that students understand the concepts but they still make mistakes or come to the wrong answer. Avoiding the above mistakes can help.
For English, we find that students:
- Read the passages too quickly
- Do not take the time to ensure they understood the passage and the key message before moving on to the questions
- Do not reference the passage when answering questions. Students come to answers as they wish, sometimes drawing on points from outside the text, when the question is specifically for responses from the text.
- Do not develop their thoughts fully when answering questions
- Sometimes forget to write in formal language, using proper grammar and punctuation
Avoiding these mistakes and shortcuts can help students develop their thoughts more thoroughly and develop cohesive, thoughtful responses to questions.
At Prepsmart, we take a methodical approach to helping our students develop the right thought process that helps them avoid these mistakes. You can learn more about our program Here and our teaching style Here.