Mistakes to Avoid in an Exam

Mistakes to Avoid in an Exam

Date Published: November 20, 2020

Exams can be a stressful time for most students. Often when we get into the exams, the nerves may get the better of us and mistakes are made. 

Whether you are worried about time, knowledge or just have general examination anxiety, it is easy to find yourself flustered and confused. 

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in your examination to ensure that you get the best marks possible.

  • Reading the question 
  • Answering carefully 
  • Avoiding distractions
  • Bad time management
  • Check your exam when you are finished

Reading the Questions

In the exam, you might read the question quickly and miss elements of what is being asked. If you do not read the question thoroughly, you will miss important details and lose easy marks.

In a pressurised examination environment, this is a very common mistake made by even the top students. 

Take a few deep breaths before you open your paper to calm the nerves. This way you might be a little less anxious and will tend to read the questions with more concentration. 

Try reading the question four of five times before attempting the answer. This way, you can be sure that you have not missed any details that will lose you a few marks. 

Here are a few terms that you should learn before going into the exam to better understand the questions being asked.

Answering Carefully

In some exams, you will get a choice between sections or questions that you will need to answer. For example, in a history exam, you might be asked to choose between writing an essay on Cuba or The Cold War. You can only choose one.

In this instance, you need to be sure that you answer the question that you know the most about. Take a few minutes to jot down the points you would make in each choice question to make sure of which one would be the best choice for you.

Can through the paper before you begin to answer questions. This way, you will notice which questions you will be able to answer quickly and efficiently and which ones will take you a bit more time and thought. 

Always go for the easy-to-answer questions first, that way you can secure some marks before you tackle the harder questions like essays or application.

Avoiding Distractions

Yes, distractions are possible even when you are in an exam environment. You might notice that other students are writing more, or that they are starting to draw diagrams or something that you yourself may not be doing.

Maybe a few students are asking for extra paper when you have not even finished your own booklet.

This will often grab your attention for way too long and have you looking around the exam room in a bit of a fluster. 

Avoid this at all costs. It will only give you more anxiety and take time away from you answering your questions. Instead, keep your gaze firmly between your paper and the clock to keep track of your time.

Have faith in yourself and know that you have prepared well for the exam. In any fact, what they are doing could also be incorrect.

Bad Time Management

Bad time management will be the reason that you are unable to finish your paper. As soon as you get your paper, read through it and do the questions that will be the fastest and the easiest to conquer. 

Plan your time in such a way that you know when to move onto the next section. For instance, if you have three hours for your exam, set aside an hour for each section. Give more time to sections that require more work and tackle those later. 

If you find yourself spending too much time figuring out a low-mark question, move on to the next one to ensure that you have enough chance to answer them all. 

Check Your Exam When You Are Finished

It can feel like a relief to have finally finished your paper but do not forget to use the time left to check what you have written. Here are a few things you need to check when you are finished writing:

  • Have you answered all the questions? 
  • Have you left out any important information?
  • Have you filled out your compulsory personal details?
  • Were there any questions you needed to review or redo once you had finished?

In Closing

Remember to breathe and believe in yourself before you start with the paper. You have studied hard and can get through this exam. 

Put your head down and focus on your progress. Read each question carefully and believe in your answers.

Author: Andrea Frisby