Mistakes students make during an exam and tips to avoid them

Teacher helping kid in solving their query in the exam at the classroom

An Examination System is designed to evaluate a student’s ability to learn and to test their knowledge and understanding of the topic in order to help them improve. Exams are commonly misunderstood as the only medium to prove their potential. Students prepare to master the test and not the subject. In order to perform better in exams, they feel a lot of pressure on themselves and end up making silly mistakes in exams. Making mistakes in exams can cost some precious marks which you can gain by planning carefully and following the right technique. 

Here are some common mistakes that students make while writing their exams and tips to avoid them.

1. Misunderstanding the question –

First, ensure you understand the question and the expected answer. Be sure to read the question a few times over to make a mental note of dos and don’ts for the question. Reading the question paper properly will ensure that you attempt the right questions. It helps you analyse the easy and tough questions and also plans the time needed for each question. Usually, exams are designed to allow for 10-15 min of reading time. Utilise that time to get the best understanding of the questions that you are going to attempt. During this high-pressure environment, the mind can skip the important details in a question which can cause you to write an incorrect answer, or misinterpret the question, even. . 

  • It is crucial to read the question twice.
  •  Underline the important keywords present in the question and frame your answer in that direction. 
  • Trust your first response, especially when it comes to producing responses that require you to rely on your memory recall.

2. Leave the easy questions for the last –

Leaving questions that are easy to answer at the last minute is not a good strategy. Answering easy questions first increases your odds of scoring higher as you will spend time efficiently on the answers that are more likely to be accurate. Finishing a bunch of questions gives you a sense of accomplishment, and confidence because the response time is faster. This relaxes the mind and can help you remember the answers of some of the challenging questions which were not easily accessible due to pressure, nervousness, and stress. Once the easy questions have been answered, the tougher ones are easier, you might be surprised to find. 

3. Running out of time –

Spending extra time solving the first half of the question paper can leave you feeling rushed during the second half, missing some crucial points and marks. Time management and distribution are essential during exams. 

  • Prioritise your responses based on the marks allotted for each question and divide the remaining time accordingly. 
  • Spending extra time writing the wrong question is common when you have plenty of information stored about a  topic. 
  • If you are running out of time, try writing the answer in points format.

Students try to include everything they know about the topic in each answer while ignoring the marks and details that the question is actually asking. Filling the answer sheet with wrong or needless information will not get them a good score. So, it is important to read the question carefully and write the answer correctly.

Some additional tips to maximise your grades:

  • Start your preparations early.
  • Practise mock tests to get a good understanding of the exam format.
  • Revise the topics thoroughly before the exam.
  • Analyse your mistakes and keep a check on them while writing the exam.
  • Recheck your answer sheet.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the examination.
  • Take deep breaths if you feel you do not know the answer to some questions.
  • Have a healthy breakfast.