A few typical blunders that students make during exams cause them to lose marks and score poorly, despite having prepared well for them.
Arriving late on the test day
On test days, the majority of students are pretty punctual. However, some people tend to be late practically every time. Because of the delay, you may not take the exam. Even if you are authorized, your mind will not be quiet enough to begin writing your assignment right away. It is thus recommended that you arrive at the exam venue sufficiently in advance so that you do not lose those valuable minutes.
Beginning your paper with the most challenging question
When the bell rings, the majority of pupils begin writing their papers. They don’t even look at the entire question paper. This implies students may start their paper with the most difficult question first. It stresses them out mentally. If the quality of the answer is poor, this might leave an unfavorable impression on the examiner.
Not only that, but students waste time and discover later that they have a minimal time left to finish the rest of the work. Because the student’s mind is concentrated on the difficult question, they may find it difficult to answer the easier ones.
Incorrectly interpreting the question
Human minds tend to perceive just what they want to see, which happens in high-pressure situations. If you don’t read a question closely enough, your brain may easily fool you into believing it’s asking you something it’s not, causing you to write an entirely new essay that doesn’t address the question you’ve been given. The essay you write might be excellent, but if it doesn’t address the question, you won’t get many points for it. Read the question thoroughly, and then reread it. You can circle or underline key terms to help you fully understand what the question is asking.
Saving simple questions till the last minute
It may appear logical to attempt to get the more complex questions out of the way first, leaving the simple ones as a treat to end with, but this is not always a bright idea. If you’ve picked questions that you believe you can answer quickly, tackle them first. This allows you to pick up marks ‘upfront swiftly.’ If you begin with the tough questions, you may not answer them as well as the simpler ones, resulting in fewer marks, and you may wind up spending too much time on them, resulting in insufficient time to answer the ones for which you could have received more marks. So, work your way through the exam paper to gain as many points as possible.
Leaving multiple-choice questions unanswered
If wrong answers do not deduct points, always guess if you are stumped on a multiple-choice question. Multiple-choice questions are the simplest types since they have a limited number of possible responses. This means that even if you don’t know the answer, you may deduce it by determining which options are less likely to be correct. However, some students waste simple scores by failing to respond to questions they do not know the answer to. You will not be penalized for an erroneous response, and one out of every four (or as many answer alternatives you have) will be accurate.
You’ll mostly be able to rule out some of the choices, narrowing your decision down to one of two possible responses – so there’s a 50/50 possibility of getting an additional mark, which is well worth taking!
Other multiple-choice question conundrums
It’s all too easy to ignore the fact that you’ve previously answered a multiple-choice question and respond with a different response, leaving two boxes ticked and an examiner who has no idea which answers you meant to mark as correct. You get no marks for the question. It’s also simple to circle one response when you know you meant to circle another. If you’re taking a multiple-choice exam, make sure you leave enough time, in the end, to go through all of your answers and circle the correct ones. If you change your mind and wish to remove an answer, be sure it’s not already marked.
Answering the question you want to answer, not the one assigned
Even if you understand the question, it’s all too simple to write the answer you want to write rather than the expected answer. This is especially problematic if you’ve over-revised a specific topic area and know it like the back of your hand, but it doesn’t come up in the test. You want to show off all you’ve studied, and it might be tempting to squeeze it into an answer whether it’s relevant or not. While it’s understandable that you’ve had to master a lot of information that hasn’t even been covered in the test, you must stay focused on the question and select the correct answer.
Running out of ample time
Keep an eye on the clock and try not to run out of time. It’s a common student blunder to spend too much time on the first few questions and not leave enough time to finish, resulting in an unfinished final essay. In a test, timing is critical and must be rationed appropriately since you will have a lot to go through in a brief period. You’ll have probably seen some past papers before the test (if you haven’t, make sure you do! ), so you’ll know how many questions to expect. There should be a clock in the exam room, so pay close attention and adhere strictly to the time allotted for each question. If you finish answering the question before the end of the allotted time, go on to the next one. This offers you greater freedom when answering more complex queries.
Leaving the room early
Even though it’s tempting to depart early, your celebrations can wait an extra half hour. If you worked quickly or found the exam simple, you may be able to breeze through it with plenty of time to spare. Some students make the mistake of leaving the test room at this moment. It’s too late after you’ve left — you can’t go back in for anything you might have thought of including in retrospect. So, even if you finish early, make use of the extra time, in the end, to go over your answers and ensure that you’ve answered them to the best of your ability.
Follow Miles Smart Tutoring for more such articles on avoiding mistakes in the exam, reducing stress, balancing exam anxiety, and much more. We are a renowned online tutoring service. We cater to students who want expert tutoring in Math, Science, and other subjects. We also have customized test prep plans to ace competitive exams like the ACT, SAT, HSPT, and GRE. Our teachers are esteemed professionals with years of experience in teaching diverse students. Book a session with us to know more.