As most college students should know by now, taking an exam can be a nerve wracking experience. Even if you have spent hours studying to prepare yourself, it can be easy to make simple mistakes.
There are some pretty common exam mistakes students make and that can be avoided:
1. Rushing To Finish
It’s pretty standard to be constrained to a time limit when taking a test, but you shouldn’t get too caught up on the time. If you spend a few seconds every minute or so to check the clock, all you are doing is wasting valuable time and possibly stressing yourself out. And when you are stressed about time it causes you to rush and miss things. You will read questions less carefully and could miss important instructions detailing how to answer the question. Additional instructions could ask you to explain your answer, or answer by drawing a diagram rather than explaining. It won’t matter what you write if you don’t follow the directions.
2. Not Moving On
Conversely, it’s also easy to spend too much time on a question. If you are stuck on a question that you just don’t know the answer to, it’s best to move on to answer the ones you do know so you can get those out of the way and return to the ones you don’t later.
3. Not Planning Ahead
When writing an essay, make sure you take the time to outline it before you write it. This is a situation where taking the time to prepare beforehand really pays off. Because if you really know what you are talking about it shouldn’t take anymore than 15-20 minutes for you to write a page-long essay.
4. Leaving Questions Unanswered
Even if you don’t know the answer to something, it’s always better to guess and fill in something than to leave it blank. You would lose the points for not answering anyways, so you might as well try for it. Who knows, maybe you could get partial credit? Especially if the question is multiple choice and you don’t know the answer, just circle one and maybe you’ll get lucky!
I know plenty of people who have cheated and have gotten away with it, but that doesn’t mean you will be better off if you cheat. For starters, if you are cheating off of someone else’s information or answers, you better pray they have the right answers. If they don’t then you will get a reduced grade and similar incorrect answers may raise some red flags. And getting caught usually means you will receive a 0 and possibly further disciplinary actions like getting kicked out of the class or even the school! Cheating is considered immoral, but the biggest reason not to cheat is because you’re just cheating yourself in the long run. Putting in the work to succeed on your own is not only character building, but feels great when it pays off. Plus, the point of your class is to learn the material, not just pass the class.
6. Not Reviewing Your Answers
If you still have at least 5 minutes left, you should go back and check all of your answers. This is the best way to ensure that you haven’t made any mistakes and followed all the instructions.
As long as you pace yourself, read through the questions carefully, and study – you should do just fine!