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Why Students Find PSLE Algebra Challenging

A young boy has a math exercise on the whiteboard with a blank answer, thinking about it.

PSLE Math can be a challenging exam for many students. Without proper guidance and consistent, effective practice, PSLE Math can be a tough hurdle to overcome. There are great online resources that you can include in your revision for your success.

Many newer and more complex math concepts are introduced in the bigger classes. These can be confusing and tough to master. Algebra is one concept that leaves many students in a quandary. Teachers and tutors have observed that the most common mistakes in Algebra occur for three reasons:

  • students hurry through the problem
  • they don't pay enough attention to what they're doing
  • they get too lazy to work it out right and use all the information

Which of these are you guilty of?

In this article, we will look at the three most common mistakes students make in PSLE Math Algebra. Steer clear of these mistakes to score well.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes in Algebra According to PSLE Maths Online Experts

Algebra is a concept that requires implicit and explicit understanding at every level of progression. Some numerous rules and factors govern the workings of this concept. Many students can be put off by the numerous details to be taken care of for every Algebra problem. Consistent practice is the only way to keep yourself ahead with Algebra. That's why regular PSLE Maths online practice may be required for students attempting the PSLE Math exam.

There are numerous pitfalls that Algebra poses to the student. Only careful study and performance can save you from these pitfalls. Below is a three-point list of students' most common mistakes in the PSLE Math Algebra exam. Make sure you practice PSLE Maths questions to learn how to avoid these and other common mistakes that could cost you a lot of marks.

1. Adding unlike terms together

Beginners are taught about "terms" in Algebra. You will deal with "like" terms and "unlike" terms. Many problems come with a combination of like and unlike terms, and students make the unfortunate mistake of performing math operations on these together.

With consistent practice, you will be able to understand that numbers and letters are "unlike" terms. For example, 5x is different from 20 and a problem like this: 5x + 20 cannot have the solution 25x. 5x + 20 does not have a simplified solution and must be left as such.

Consider the following problem:
3b + 2 + 5b + 9

Here you can add the like terms together to arrive at a simplified answer. The numbers 2 and 9 can be added together, and also terms 3b and 5b. These are like terms.

You would thus arrive at:
3b + 2 + 5b + 9 = 8b + 11

8b + 11 is your final answer and cannot be simplified further.

2. Incorrect bracketing

It is very common for students to make improper use of brackets or parenthesis in Algebra. It can be very frustrating to find that the wrong solution has been given because of improper use of brackets or laziness in using them at all. Consistent, effective practice of PSLE Maths questions will help you understand these concepts well.

Brackets are a critical part of Algebra. The placement of a bracket set can determine how a problem must be solved. Look at the following examples to see how brackets can change the way an Algebra problem is solved:

Question: Square 2x

Correctly done: (2x)2 = (2)2 (x)2 = 4x2

Incorrectly done: 2x2

The function of the bracket is seen in this example.

3. Inappropriate distribution

Here's the last common mistake we discuss in this article, though there are a lot more!
Using the property of distribution can get confusing for some students. They sometimes fail to apply the distribution completely and end up with mistakes. Let's look at how this looks.

Question: Multiply 2(4x2 - 5)

Correctly done: 8x2 - 10

Incorrectly done: 8x2 - 5

As stated before, this is far from a comprehensive list of mistakes students make when tackling PSLE Math Algebra. Consistent practice of PSLE Maths questions can help you identify your areas of weakness and formulate an effective revision plan to help you ace the exam.

How to Ace PSLE Maths Algebra Section

Many experts and teachers state that students have a bad experience with Algebra because they tend to avoid their problems and get lazy. Here are a few factors to take care of so that you don't have to have such a bad time with Algebra:

1. Practise constantly

Consistent, effective practice is the key to learning a new skill. If you get lazy with the practice sessions, things will quickly build up, and you will lose touch with the basics.
A small boy is studying lesson by seeing a notebook and a pen in his hand.
2. Clear your doubts instantly

Kids tend to keep Algebra and everything related to it till the last minute. If, instead, you solve doubts the moment you get them, you make sure that your basics are strong. Your progress will be a lot more consistent.

3. Tackle Algebra with hard work, focus, and a calm mind.

One of the first things to avoid is laziness. Shake yourself out of lazy hazes and make sure you're giving the work all your attention. Also, make sure you don't hurry through the problems.

In Conclusion

PSLE Algebra can be challenging, but taking care of a few mental blocks and attitude issues can help you do well.Using resources available of PSLE Maths online is a great idea to get some extra practice and professional help. If you're looking for online help, check out Studysmart, the best PSLE app for students in Singapore!

We also recommend our readers to check our GMB website for the recent updates and news regarding Study Smart Learning Platform.

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