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Tips on how to stop making stupid, careless errors?

hannah2010hannah2010 Posts: 411Registered User Member
edited November 2013 in SAT Preparation
I keep making a few careless errors each practice test that keeps me from getting that 2400. As soon as I look over the ones I miss, I always find it was some careless error. any ideas??
Post edited by hannah2010 on

Replies to: Tips on how to stop making stupid, careless errors?

  • magiscodermagiscoder Posts: 95Registered User Junior Member
    I have the same problem, particularly in the math section. Since you're approaching in on 2400, I imagine you're pretty bright. That being said, I suggest you race through each section, and then literally do it again. You might make more mistakes the first time around, but after you redo every problem, you'll probably catch everything.

    And seriously, a perfect minus 2 or 3 questions is nothing to laugh about, so don't stress out too much.
  • ArachnotronArachnotron Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    Don't you already have like a 2330, hannah2010?
  • hannah2010hannah2010 Posts: 411Registered User Member
    no...where did you hear that?
  • ArachnotronArachnotron Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    Oh, must've been some other poster.
  • blackbelt22blackbelt22 Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    I've got two strategies for you, which both helped me get a perfect on the math.

    On the PSAT I underlined all of the important information and exactly what they were asking in the question. This especially helped when they wanted something like 2x and I gave the answer for x.

    On the SAT, I tried to do the section in about half the time. And then I redid every question all the way through on my calculator. You'd be surprised how many stupid mistakes you catch the second time around.


    Give either/both/combination a shot, see if it helps.
  • hannah2010hannah2010 Posts: 411Registered User Member
    Ok, so I used the same strategy you did blackbelt last time I took the SAT for the math sections. I got an 800, but I'm having more trouble with careless errors on the reading and writing sections...I guess I'll just apply the same thing to those sections...?
  • lotf629lotf629 Posts: 703Registered User Member
    BlackBelt has a very good idea: on the Math, try to work fast enough to do the same problem two different ways.

    I was recently having the same problem as you (although I was taking the GRE, not the SAT): perfect scores on the Verbal except for occasional dumb mistakes. What I did that helped me a lot was to have little rituals and mantras that forced me to double check my work and my answer choices. I had sentences that I recited under my breath as I finished questions and selected answers. For example, I would silently mouth my reasoning to myself for each question, and then I would mouth the words "I meant C; I chose C" to double check that I was selecting the right answer, and move on.

    This sounds really dumb, and I imagine that anyone in the center with me thought I was a lunatic, but I also got an 800 out of 800 on the Verbal, which I really wanted for graduate school. So I recommend it.

    One last tip for Writing: always always identify all verbs and pronouns and then check all verb and pronoun agreement before moving on. Those are the easiest silly mistakes to make, I think.
  • hannah2010hannah2010 Posts: 411Registered User Member
    Thank you so much loft! you always give great advice!
  • lotf629lotf629 Posts: 703Registered User Member
    Hey Hannah! Glad to help. :)
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  • PrecociousMePrecociousMe Posts: 91Registered User Junior Member
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  • Senior0991Senior0991 Posts: 2,379Registered User Senior Member
    It's all about attention to detail. Judging by the inconsistent (and incorrect) syntax seen in your posts, you could use some.

    Members of the military tend to have strong attention to detail, but they go through extensive training to achieve it. You don't have that "luxury."

    Instead, you can do some simple things that have corollaries in today's military practice. Wear a smart, clean outfit to your test. Make sure your primary supplies (writing utensil, eraser, watch, calculator) are all clean and in working order. Come to the test over-prepared (don't count on a clock, or a working drinking fountain, or scratch paper, for instance) and bring backups of everything. Approach the test as if the test writers are trying to trick you on every question (on some, they actually are). Aim to finish a section with enough time left to review every single question, even ones you thought were easy. Alternatively, you can pace yourself so that you have enough time to do a through review of every question directly after answering it, which could work better for the reading section especially.

    Attention to detail is a sum of the parts-- you cannot just follow my last rule (finishing sections early and reviewing) and expect to have the same attention to detail as someone who follows every rule every time.
  • thecompgamethecompgame Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    I just try to read the questions at least 2 times and underline. Usually i miss something important the first time and so reading it the second time really helps you understand what you need to find. Also another thing that's important is being focused and not feeling sleepy. Especially on SAT day I would drink some energy drink or coffee to make sure that I don't start daydreaming or get distracted.
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