Senior high school students’ understanding of mathematical inequality


  • Evangelista Lus Windyana Palupi Mathematics Education Study Program, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, East Java
  • Sylvana Novilia Sumarto SMAK St Albertus, Malang, East Java
  • Mayang Purbaningrum Mathematics Education Study Program, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, East Java



inequality, inequality error, students’ mistake


Mathematics inequality is an essential concept that students should fully understand since it is required in mathematical modeling and linear programming. However, students tend to perceive the solution of the inequalities problem without considering what the solution of inequality means. This study aims to describe students’ mistakes variations in solving mathematical inequality. It is necessary since solving inequality is a necessity for students to solve everyday problems modeled in mathematics. Thirty-eight female and male students of 12th-grade who have studied inequalities are involved in this study. They are given three inequality problems which are designed to find out students’ mistakes related to the change of inequality sign, determine the solution, and involve absolute value. All student work documents were analyzed for errors and misconceptions that emerged and then categorized based on the type of error, namely errors in applying inequality rules, errors in algebraic operations, or errors in determining the solution set, then described. The result shows that there were some errors and misconceptions that students made caused by still bringing the concept of equality when solving the inequalities problem. It made them did not aware of the inequality sign. Students are still less thorough in operating algebra and do not understand the number line concept in solving inequalities. The other factor was giving “fast strategy” to the students without considering the students’ understanding.

Author Biography

Evangelista Lus Windyana Palupi, Mathematics Education Study Program, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, East Java

Jurusan Matematika


Agung, M., Hidayah, I., Lestari, T., Oktoviana, L., & Hasanah, D. (2021). First year undergraduate mathematics students error analysis on solving rational inequality. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Mathematics and Mathematics Education (ICMMEd 2020), 550, 471–474.

Almog, N., & Ilany, B. (2012). Absolute value inequalities: high school students’ solutions and misconceptions. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 81, 347–364.

Amalia, E., Surya, E., & Syahputra, E. (2017). The effectiveness of using problem-based learning (PBL) in mathematics problem solving ability for junior high school students. Ijariie, 3(2), 3402–3406.

Anggoro, A., & Prabawanto, S. (2019). Undergraduate students’ conceptual understanding on rational inequalities. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1211(1), Article 012064.

Arseven, A. (2015). Mathematical modelling approach in mathematics education. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(12), 973–980.

Booth, J. L., Barbieri, C., Eyer, F., & Paré-Blagoev, E. J. (2014). Persistent and pernicious errors in algebraic problem solving. Journal of Problem Solving, 7(1), 10–23.

Botty, H. M. R. H., Yusof, H. J. H. M., Shahrill, M., & Mahadi, M. A. (2015). Exploring students’ understanding on ‘inequalities’. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(5S1), 218–227.

Curtis, M. A. (2016). Solving absolute value equations and inequalities on a number line. [Unpublished Master Thesis]. California State University.

Daud, Y., & Ayub, A. S. (2019). Student error analysis in learning algebraic expression: a study in secondary school Putrajaya. Creative Education, 10(12), 2615–2630.

El-khateeb, M. M. A. (2016). Errors analysis of solving linear inequalities among the preparatory year students at King Saud University . Journal of Education and Practice, 7(12), 124–133.

Garfunkel, S. A., Montgomery, M., Bliss, K., Fowler, K., Galluzzo, B., Giordano, F., & Zbiek, R. (2016). GAIMME: Guidelines for assessment & instruction in mathematical modeling education. Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

Jupri, A., & Sispiyati, R. (2020). Students’ algebraic proficiency from the perspective of symbol sense. Indonesian Journal of Science and Technology, 5(1), 86–94.

Li, Y., & Schoenfeld, A. H. (2019). Problematizing teaching and learning mathematics as “given” in STEM education. International Journal of STEM Education, 6(1), Article 44.

Mokh, R. A., Othman, A., & Shahbari, J. A. (2019). Mistakes made by students with logical connectives when solving equations and inequalities, and how teachers assess these mistakes. International Journal of Research in Education and Science, 5(2), 421–428.

Moon, K. (2019). Graphs of two variable inequalities: alternate approaches to the solution test. Mathematics Enthusiast, 16(1–3), 107–126.

Musafir, R. R., & Susiswo, S. (2021). The strategies and errors of high school students’ in solving logarithmic inequalities. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2330(1), Article 040020.

Panaoura, A. G. & A. (2014). A multidimensional approach to explore the understanding of the notion of absolute value. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 45(2), 159–173.

Pratiwi, Y., & Rosjanuardi, R. (2020). Error snalysis in solving the rational and irrational inequalities. Proceedings of the 7th Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science Education International Seminar.

Saputro, B. A., Suryadi, D., Rosjanuardi, R., & Kartasasmita, B. G. (2018). Analysis of students’ errors in responding to TIMSS domain algebra problem. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1088, Article 012031.

Taqiyuddin, M., Sumiaty, E., & Jupri, A. (2017). Analysis of junior high school students’ attempt to solve a linear inequality problem. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1868, Article 050033.

Widana, I. W. (2021). Realistic mathematics education (RME) untuk meningkatkan kemampuan pemecahan masalah matematis siswa di indonesia [Realistic mathematics education (RME) to improve students' mathematical problem solving skills in Indonesia]. Jurnal Elemen, 7(2), 450–462.

Yuwono, T., Rambu, Y., & Sumadji, S. (2021). Analysis of student errors in solving story problems based on Newman’s stage in class VII. Journal of Education and Learning Mathematics Research (JELMaR), 2(1), 59–67.




How to Cite

Palupi, E. L. W., Sumarto, S. N., & Purbaningrum, M. (2022). Senior high school students’ understanding of mathematical inequality. Jurnal Elemen, 8(1), 201–215.




Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.