Many pupils are not sure when to use equal and arrow symbols in Math questions.
Precious halfmark can be deducted whenever the arrow or equal symbol is used wrongly in a Math exam paper.
This article shows you some examples on how to use the symbols correctly.
Percentage
Wrong examples  Correct examples 
50% = 24  50% → 24 Reason: 50% converted to fraction is 1/2 and 1/2 is not equal to 24. These are two different values. 
50% = 24 ÷ 100 = 0.24  50% → 0.24 However, the equal symbol is used correctly when it is used as follows: 50% of my savings = $24 
Rate
Wrong examples  Correct examples 
5 painters = 25 hours  5 painters → 25 hours Reason: Number of painters is not equal to number of hours. These are two different variables. They cannot be equal. We can only use arrow to represent.

1 painter  1 painter However, the equal symbol is used correctly when it is used as follows: Number of hours spent by 1 painter = 20 hours 
Fractions
Wrong examples  Correct examples 
1/2 = 24  1/2 → 24 Reason: 1/2 is not equal to 24. These are two different values. They are not equal. 
1/2 = 24 ÷ 100 = 0.24  1/2 → 24 ÷ 100 = 0.24 However, the equal symbol is used correctly when it is used as follows: 1/2 of my savings = $24 
Units
When it comes to units, it is recommended to use the equal symbol. For example, 5 units = 50 
About the Author
Teacher Zen has over a decade of experience in teaching upper primary Math and Science in local schools. He has a postgraduate diploma in education from NIE and has a wealth of experience in marking PSLE Science and Math papers. When not teaching or working on OwlSmart, he enjoys watching soccer and supports Liverpool football team.