Stupid Errors

By far and away the majority of the errors I make at this point are what I’d call “stupid errors.” Things like forgetting to carry a negative sign down when writing the final answer. Or (the one I hate the most, probably) forgetting to write the units. That one really perturbs me because it really matters.

Anyway, currently I’m marking every little error as a straight-up wrong answer. Because it is wrong. If it’s not really an error, such as writing the answer in a different but not incorrect format, I don’t mark it as wrong–heck, Saxon explicitly states that they’ll record the answer in different formats to emphasize that some things are up to the individual. However, if the format for the answer is stated in the problem, such as “Write exponents in the denominator” and some are written in the numerator, I definitely mark the entire problem wrong.

My theory behind doing this is that it hurts. “You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you penalize.” This is a penalty. A self-imposed one, but a one I care about. But the upshot is that when I really get a problem set completely correct (only 3 times, unfortunately), it really feels good. And I can tell it does change things. I used to struggle with that whole units thing; I don’t think I’ve missed that in a while. My current bugaboo is not noticing an answer stipulation, like mentioned above with exponents in the denominator. But I figure if I keep marking it wrong, I’ll pay closer attention and be better off in the long run.

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One Response to Stupid Errors

  1. Jake says:

    Didn’t realize that “more of what you subsidize” was a quote from my pastor (dougwils.com). I figured he was quoting someone else, but he comes up repeatedly when I Googled it.

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