**Unlocking the Secrets of PSLE Algebra: Demystifying Common Mistakes**

Have you ever wondered why algebra appears to instill fear in the hearts of many young students, even those in primary school?

**Did you know that algebra accounts for just about 5% of the PSLE paper?** Despite its relatively small share, why do so many students find themselves grappling with this topic, often fearing it?

One of the reasons could be, some schools only teach it in Semester 2. Since algebra is a new P6 topic, the students probably felt the lack of practise and familiarity with the question types, hence losing confidence in the topic.

It tests students basic understanding of how to present algebraic expressions.

But here’s the thing – there’s no need to be overly anxious about this topic. In this article, we’ll delve into common mistakes made in algebra and how to help your child tackle them with confidence. So, let’s unravel the mysteries of algebra together!

**Here are 3 common mistakes for algebra. Make sure your child avoids them.**

**1.** **Adding or subtracting unlike terms together**

**4x + 2 = 6x**

**This is one common mistake that students tend to make.**

Mistake: Students mix up letters (Variables) and numbers.

They tend to add 4x and 2 and write the answer as “6x”. This is incorrect because 4x and 2 are different types of terms.

**Correct Method:** **Add the terms together only if they are “like” terms.**

Example 1

**4x + 2x = 6x**

**‘4x’ and ‘2x’ are similar because they both have the letter ‘x’**

Example 2

**3x + 5 + 4 + 2x**

Now let’s simplify 3x + 5 + 4 + 2x

First group the similar terms.

Group the ‘x’ terms together and the numbers together.

Hence 3x + 2x + 5 + 4.

Then you simply further by adding the “x” terms: 3x + 2x = 5x

Finally, you add the remaining numbers: 5 + 4 = 9

The simplified expression is 5x + 9, and this is the final answer.

But when you have “4x + 2”, you can’t simplify it any further because the “s” term and the “ 2” term are not similar. You leave it as it is.

** 2. Failure to express Division as a fraction**

Example:

Taking 5x divide by 3

**Mistake**: 5x ÷ 3

**Correct Method**: (5x / 3) expressing the final answer as a fraction.

**3. Failure to put brackets with Units**

Example:

Add 5 kg + 3y kg

**Mistake**: 5 + 3y kg

**Correct Method: **(5 + 3y) kg

It is important that a bracket is used to group the 2 terms together.

**By helping your child avoid these common algebra mistakes, you can ensure they secure every precious mark in their exams.** Algebra may seem intimidating at first, but with the right guidance and practice, it can become a subject your child not only understands but excels in. Encourage them to practice regularly, seek assistance when needed, and most importantly, stay confident. Algebra, like any other mathematical concept, is conquerable with dedication and effort. With this newfound knowledge and awareness of common pitfalls, your child is well-equipped to excel in algebra and, by extension, their mathematics exams.

**>> click here to download your Free Algebra Practice Question**

**click here to download your Free Algebra Notes (PART 1)**

**click here to download your Free Algebra Notes (PART 2)**

Read Also: Primary Math: Let’s Learn About Angles! (PSLE 2021 Q7 & PSLE 2021 Q13)