How to revise mathematics: Tips and common mistakes

To avoid maths errors and sharpen mathematical skills, it is essential to learn the basic concepts of the subject. This article explains various tips regarding when to revise and how to revise effectively to excel in mathematics.


Majority of the students confirm that mathematics is not only difficult but tiring subject. They are finding it difficult because they are studying it in the wrong way. To learn it, one has to get to the basics. There are numerous beneficial tips for students to learn mathematics. Every mathematical problem is based on concepts. If a student gets the concept, within no time he will be able to learn all the problems that are based on that concept. It is not just important to learn mathematics. It is equally important to revise it now and then. It is because without revision most of the concepts will be forgotten, and consequently, the student will not be able to recall and solve the problems in the exam. Thus, revision of mathematics is as important as learning it. Below-mentioned is a few tricks and strategies that help students to quickly revise the subject and not lose out on the precious concepts which are learnt after putting in so much effort and patience.

When to revise and sharpen mathematical skills?

  • The revision has to be done frequently. Many students learn mathematics but fail to revise it from time to time. Consequently, they keep learning new concepts, but when asked to recall and solve the problems, they fail at it. The reason is lack of revisions. Thus, every student should spend time to revise the subject regularly. For this, prepare a timetable. Pick five days a week to learn new concepts and the remaining two days to revise the previously learnt problems.
  • Either student can pick a few days a week and revise the learnt concepts or do it on daily basis. For example, they can devote half an hour to one hour every day on revising what is learnt. It is important to follow the timetable. Most of the students think that they will revise a few days before exams. Too much pressure around exams will ruin everything, and students may not be able to recollect everything that is been learnt previously. Spending some amount of time on an everyday basis is a useful way of remembering the formulas, methods and equations.
  • Do not spend too much time on revision. Focus is not only important to learn mathematics, but also necessary to recollect what is learnt to sharpen the mathematical skills. When a student spends too much time revising mathematics without any breaks, it drains out the energy and exhaustion is not good for revision. Within a few hours, they will realize that they are not able to recollect the major part of the subject. Consequently, they will get disheartened. Thus, choose a few hours daily to revise instead of spending the whole day on the revision of the subject. Also, take frequent breaks to relax. It also increases concentration.
  • First revision should be on the same day of learning. For example, suppose the teacher has covered fractions in the morning class. Students should make it a point and revise the entire unit in the evening after school/college hours. This way, they will make the most out of what they have learnt and also, if they are coming across difficulties, they can write it down, and on the next day, they can seek help from their teachers or batch mates.
  • Students who are not motivated enough to revise on their own should seek help from others. For this, they can join tuitions. In coaching classes, they not only repeat what is taught in the classroom but make students revise the concepts. Also, they teach different methods of solving the same problem. Knowing different techniques help students to gain more clarity and get to the root of the problem.
  • Some prefer to revise alone. However, revising with a companion such as a friend or a batch mate is more beneficial. It is because one of them will be good at a certain concept while the other one will be good at some other concepts. Thus, while revising, both of them will be able to teach each other what they know. Explaining and teaching will be equivalent to revising for the subject. As a result, one will be able to complete revision, and the other one will benefit by learning the new concept.

Useful tips to revise maths

  • Do not make haste in revising mathematics. Before starting for revision, choose which particular unit has to be revised from the book. Revision should cover every method, equation and formula that is present in that particular unit. This way, the student will be able to revise that particular unit in an organized manner leaving nothing behind and also, he/she will be able to differentiate every mathematical problem from the rest. This type of organized revision will help them to have an upper hand as they will be able to differentiate the problems and know the concepts and equations or formulas that are required to solve them. This way they will never pick a wrong method or formula to solve the sums in their exams.
  • Mathematics is not a subject that can be revised by reading textbooks or by listening in the classroom. It has to be practised. To learn it, students have to practice sum after sum. The more they practice; the better will be their understanding. The common mistake most of the students commit is that while revising it, they do not solve the problems. They just have a look at the problems, and their solutions and feel that their work is over. It does not work that way. They need to solve the problems without looking at them, and later check whether they got the answer right. It is difficult to solve every problem during revision hours. For that, they need to pick at least one problem from every concept and solve them. In this way, all the concepts will be covered.
  • Make use of technology to revise mathematics. Gone are the days when learning and revising mathematics was limited to book and pen. The internet has made learning and revising easy and interesting. Also, young students spend more time on the internet than anyone else. Why not use this time for revising mathematics and score good marks in exams? Young generation likes to play games on the internet. Why not play maths games which will sharpen the problem-solving skill and help in better understanding of the subject? Why not look for simple tricks and strategies on the internet to quickly solve mathematical calculations?
  • The best way of revising mathematics and testing knowledge is to solve question papers. Select one particular day. Sit in silence just like appearing for the exam and solve the paper in one flow. Solve previous years question papers. Students can set question papers for themselves and solve them. Or else, they can ask someone such as parents, teachers or friends to do the same for them. There are websites on the internet which will do the same and even give marks or grades and let the student know how much did they get right in the paper.

Common maths errors and mistakes in revisions

  • Cover everything in revision. Usually, the majority of the students revise what they know and do not cover the topics which they find not so interesting or difficult. However, they have to understand that they need to cover everything because, in exams, they have to face all sorts of questions. Revise those topics more frequently which seem difficult. The topics which students find interesting and they are good at can be revised once in a while. The ones which are difficult to solve and are based on complex solutions should be picked again and again for revision purpose. Also, revise those topics more frequently which are top favourites and get repeated in the exams.
  • Revision of mathematics is different from the revision of other subjects. Students should never memorize the steps. It is of no use because there are various problems in the entire syllabus, and each one of them follows certain concepts. After memorizing a few problems, students will start confusing themselves as they will not be able to remember every memorized step. They will start solving the problems by wrong formulas and methods. Make sure to understand the concept and logic behind the problem. They should not memorize the theorems, formulas and equations. If they do, they may get confused and while recollecting the information, write them wrongly. They should always try to understand them which makes remembering them easier.
  • Mathematics is a subject in which problem is solved step by step. If there is an error in one step, it is for sure the answer will be wrong. Usually, students create silly maths errors, and consequently, they lose marks because they get their final answer wrong. Thus, while revising make sure to thoroughly check the step before moving on to the next one. By following this type of systematic solving, they will cultivate the habit and solve the problems in the same way during the exams. Consequently, they will avoid mistakes and score good marks


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