This page provides links to websites and articles that focus on mathematical misconceptions.

Math Mistakes

This website is about compiling, analyzing and discussing the mathematical errors that students make. The site is edited by Michael Pershan, a middle school and high school math teacher from New York City.

Classic Mistakes

A large collection of 'classic mistakes' and associated resources. Most mistakes have been drawn from marking exam scripts and observing which mistakes were most prevalent. This website includes a set of posters which are particularly useful for GCSE revision.

Diagnostic Questions

Diagnostic questions are designed to allow the teacher to get a quick, accurate feel for the whole class understanding of a given concept. Importantly, incorrect answers reveal key misconceptions. The website now allows teachers to set questions online. Students provide explanations with their answers and these explanations are incredibly revealing. This video shows how to make use of the website's analytical features to help us identify and understand misconceptions. Follow @MathsDQs for updates.

Nix the Tricks

This fantastic book features the tricks and shortcuts prevalent in maths education. It discusses the misconceptions that arise from the use of these tricks and offers alternative teaching methods.

Count On

A series of PDFs elaborating some of the popular misconceptions in mathematics.


"Real Mistakes from Real Student Work and Math Facts Students Should Know". Another useful collection of common maths mistakes, including corrections and explanations.

Further Reading
Misconceptions and Errors
Misconceptions in Geometry
Misconceptions with the Key Objectives - NCETM
CIMT: Misconceptions
NCETM Secondary Magazine - Issue 92: Focus on...learning from mistakes and misconceptions in mathematics
Pupils' Misconceptions in Mathematics (extract below)

Please let me know of any other useful links for this collection.

"Frequently, a ‘misconception’ is not wrong thinking but is a concept in embryo or a local generalisation that the pupil has made. It may in fact be a natural stage of development." ~ Malcolm Swan
Source: http://www.calculatorsoftware.co.uk/classicmistake/freebies.htm

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