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To avoid the misconception that variables store unresolved equations, remind students that variables always resolve expressions to a value or an object.

  • Students may believe that variables can store unresolved mathematical expressions.
  • When we have the assignment var1 = var2 + var3, they assume that a change to var2 or var3 after this assignment will change var1 change without explicitly reassigning var1.
  • This is because they think var1 holds the expression var2+var3 not the value of the result.
External Source: 

"Visual program simulation in introductory programming education" by Juha Sorva, from Appendix A: Misconception Catalogue

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