This time I’ll make a bet. I bet that you leave at least a third of your lost points in the exam due to strategic and organizational mistakes. Rather even more.
Sounds Like A lot? It Is.
That’s why I’ve put together the seven most common mistakes during an exam for you. Avoid the following missteps and your next exam result will be significantly better than expected.
Mistake #1: You Just Start
After the processing time is up, many students start writing like crazy. They don’t want to waste time and want to make the most of the few minutes they have. But with this approach, they achieve exactly the opposite. They harm themselves because they approach the matter without a proper plan and throw themselves blindly into the fray.
It is much smarter and more sensible if you first get an overview of the exam. How is the exam structured? How many tasks are there? And which topics are addressed? Skim the exam, understand the structure, and then decide on a strategy for completing it. You should also observe the exam rules and comments from your examiner. These are usually on the task sheet or on an additional document. Sometimes they are also communicated orally. You can only ensure an optimal result if you know the general conditions of your exam.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Allocate Your Time Properly
Anyone studying today knows how important solid time management is. Without clever time management, modern courses can hardly be mastered. Oddly enough, many students forget this as soon as they sit in the lecture hall before their exam. After the reading time, they start answering the questions and fight their way through the exam. But in most cases, they don’t make it to the last task – because they don’t have the time to do it.
During your exam, you have to manage the available time well. You have to ration them strictly, schedule your exam and always keep an eye on the remaining minutes. Otherwise, you spend too much time on a task, set the wrong priorities, and lose valuable reserves for the rest of the exam. Therefore, at the beginning of your exam, set fixed time limits for each sub-task and use them as a guide.
Mistake #3: You’re Not Reading The Assignment Correctly
I’ve been working at a university for over five years and I’ll vouch for it: Many mistakes can be avoided if the examinees (and that includes you) read the instructions and background information from the assignment correctly. Many students overlook important clues or relevant information and therefore provide an incorrect answer or forget necessary aspects in their proposed solution.
Especially with longer word problems, you can only recognize valuable hints if you read the task carefully, underline it and take notes. If, on the other hand, you only skim the problem, you are much more likely to make careless mistakes that you will have to correct later, which would take a lot of time. In the worst case, you get completely bogged down, get confused, and can completely forget the points of the task.
Mistake #4: You Choose The Wrong Order
Before you start the exam, you have to clarify one question: Do the questions in your exam build on each other, or can the tasks be worked on in any order? In the first case, you should proceed chronologically, but don’t dwell too long on tasks that are giving you trouble. Skip these sub-steps and come back to them later when you have time.
If you are allowed to set the processing order yourself, you should first tackle those subtasks that you can answer quickly and safely. In this way, you collect the most points and can then approach the difficult tasks. This approach is a kind of risk management and prevents you from wasting your time with unclear or too difficult tasks.
Mistake #5: You Are Overly Perfectionist
Perfectionism can break your neck on an exam. Many students get stuck on tasks they have already solved for far too long because they are still working on the text, want to win a calligraphy contest, or need ages to sketch. Ultimately, none of this earns you any more points – it just costs you time. And you don’t have time.
You can’t afford perfectionism during an exam. However, make sure that your solutions are of such high quality that no points can be deducted for the style. Depending on the subject and course of study, partial points are awarded for this, which can be decisive for your grade.
Mistake #6: You Don’t Consider The Context
As soon as the exam begins, many students put on tunnel vision. They read the task and stupidly answer the question – until they get stuck at some point. The most common reason is: that they are unable to make transfer payments because they do not see the big picture. They do not recognize the connections within a subject area, even though they always had it on their screen while learning.
Therefore, do not write down your exam blindly. Try to place the individual tasks and problems in a broader context and in the context of the overall material that you have studied for the exam. If you bring this foresight and keep an eye on the global picture of your lecturer, you can understand the idea behind the tasks faster and get more points.
Many mistakes during your exam are not based on a lack of knowledge. They are strategic mistakes that result from poor planning and insufficient organization. These mistakes are unnecessary like nothing else – but with the knowledge of these point-destroying units, you will be able to approach your exams better in the future.
Keep calm at the beginning of your exam and get an overview. In order to enter the exam at your calmest, consider using an essay writing service to deal with the distracting academic load you have weighing on you. Manage your time wisely and keep an eye on the distribution of points. Read the task carefully, pay attention to connections and choose a sensible processing sequence. Don’t be too perfectionistic and adapt your planning flexibly depending on the exam.
If you avoid these mistakes, you will earn more points and suffer less from exam stress. You can work your way through your exam more calmly and retrieve more of the knowledge that you have previously trained yourself.