Excel In Exams Blog

The 8 Silliest Mistakes People Make in Exams

All the knowledge in the world won’t get you your grades if you’re too tired to focus or in a panic when you come to sit the actual exam. With the immense amounts of preparation and revision required for exams, it’s all too easy to mess up at the last moment.

Here’s how to avoid making the 8 silly mistakes that will prevent you from making the grade in your exams:

  1. Not being organised: trying to gather up everything you need on the morning of the exam will leave you flustered and more likely to forget something. Avoid this exam blunder and prepare all of your books, notes, pens, calculators and other equipment you need ready the night before the exam.
  2. Eating the wrong foods: skipping breakfast, not keeping hydrated or filling up with sugary snacks will leave you unable to focus properly throughout the exam. Fuelling up with the right foods will ensure your focus is razor sharp when you’re sitting in the exam hall. Try these 10 brain food swaps and you’ll instantly see the difference in your concentration levels.
  3. Last minute revision: desperately trying to go over the entire subject the night before the exam will burn you out before you even walk into the hall. Instead, put the books down and get an early night – you’ll feel refreshed and ready instead of panicked and tired.
  4. Panicking: if you tend to suffer with nerves before you enter exam halls then we recommend you try using live-ualisation – breathing techniques and positive self-talk as you enter the exam room to calm those nerves.
  5. Not knowing what’s expected: do practice exams and read marking schemes so you understand what the examiner is looking for in each question – these are readily available online through the exam board and on the Smartivate programme. Know what parts of the paper you need to answer if there are multiple modules. Every year there are students who try and answer every essay question when they only need to answer one. Or they panic when they see an unfamiliar topic when the next question down is on a subject they’ve studied.
  6. Mistiming the exam: watch the clock! If the paper is two sections and you’re still on the first half way through, finish it quickly and move on – you can always go back at the end. This is why practising entire papers and not just one question at a time is vital.
  7. Reading the question wrong: take a moment to re-read each question and pick out the key phrases to ensure you know exactly what the examiner is asking you to do. Plan your answer so you don’t go off on a tangent or miss parts of the question.
  8. Worrying after the exam: once it is done, it’s done. Worrying about it won’t change anything except the grades in your next exam. So clear your mind and get ready for the next one.

For a comprehensive exam preparation programme, check out SmartivateTM

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 10:31 am and is filed under Exam Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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