Showing work in math exams helps improve organization skills. It ensures the necessary steps are taken in the proper order to arrive at an accurate solution. Showing work allows instructors to intervene during a math problem at the precise moment the student’s thinking has strayed.
It is important to document the steps taken in a math exam to provide documentation for going back and checking the solution. Instructors may award partial points for incorrect answers if part of the process is correctly performed and shown. Requiring work to be shown on math exams encourages solving problems by writing them down. This increases calculation accuracy, as use of mental math may not be an effective approach to the problem.