How to avoid common exam mistakes

Every year, thousands of students across the country take their exams, with at least one person making a mistake that could have been avoided. However, given the stressful situation of taking an exam, sometimes you lose your cool and a little mistake occurs, you might not even realise you’ve made it.

As humans, mistakes are unavoidable, everyone makes them. You just want to ensure you make less of them than other people in the exam room. One way you can do this is by knowing exactly what mistakes are made most often, so you can avoid falling into those traps. Here are the most common exam mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Not reading the question properly

This is an error your teachers have probably been drilling into you since you started learning your GCSE subjects. It’s easy to get caught up in the panic of sitting an exam but don’t rush into giving any answers before you’ve clearly read the question.

Properly reading the question is the way to make sure you write down the right answer. So, no matter how stressed or in a rush you are, once you’ve read the question once, read it again and again, maybe underlining the key parts to check you understand what is being asked of you. With the help of an online GCSE tutor, you can learn how to master your nerves and keep a clear head when reading every question during your exams.

Answering a different question to the one being asked

This is a similar type of error to the previous one. It involves seeing the question written down but answering the question you would have preferred they asked. So, the question is twisted slightly to more comfortable ground for you, and you end up writing something you think is relevant, but in reality, it isn’t.

Of course, this is only possible in specific types of questions, in multiple choice exams for instance it won’t be likely to happen. However, for essay questions that ask for a longer response, it is a very easy mistake to make after a lot of intense revision into specific topics.

To avoid this mistake, you should check you have read the question properly, understand what it’s asking of you and re-read what you have written in relation to the question. If it doesn’t sound like what the exam board is looking for, take it out and steer your answer back on track.

Last minute cramming

Trying to cram a lot of information in the night before an exam is a bad idea. Writing out your flashcards and going through your study guide are great ways to revise, but not five hours before your exam on zero hours of sleep. Keeping your brain active ruins any chance of a restful sleep. If you’re hoping your adrenaline will help you power through, you’d be wrong.

Taking an exam on no or minimal sleep will result in poor recall and a greater chance of you panicking. One of the most important exam and revision tips is to get a good night sleep the day before. A comprehensive programme of online tutoring will help with your revision leading up to your exams and maximise your full potential.

Running out of time

Good time management is one of the most vital steps to exam success there is. You might be able to write the most amazing answer to a question, but if you can’t do it in the allotted time, it won’t be worth anything. You should always make sure you leave enough time to answer all the questions on an exam. A lot of people don’t and end up throwing away marks by wasting too much time on the earlier questions.

Not planning your answers

This goes hand in hand with the previous error as not planning your answer is one of the main reasons why students run out of time. They don’t know what they’re going to write and so end up rambling and take up a large chunk of time trying to get to a point that answers the question.

Planning your answers is a good way to be more focused and efficient in the way you answer the question. As well as this, it gives you enough time to look ahead and check how long you have left on the exam.

Not checking over your work

Another big mistake that a lot of people make is not checking their work after finishing an exam paper. It could be a number written down wrong or an important word spelt incorrectly but finding any of these little errors could make all the difference to your final grade.

If you run out of time so you are unable to check your work don’t worry too much about it. Not checking it because you don’t have time is one thing but choosing not to check your answers won’t do you any favours when it comes to getting good marks on the GCSE exam paper.

Where can I find private tutoring near me?

Our GCSE tutors offer a knowledgeable and friendly approach to helping students prepare for their exams. Thanks to being based fully online, you can access a fully qualified and specialised tutor in the subject you want from anywhere. The process is simple and efficient, you just need to find the experienced teacher you want from the profiles listed and you can start planning your online tutoring journey.