Top Ten Common Mistakes Made In Exams

Exams can be daunting so if you've got one coming up whenever, take these tips from me about the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. I've been through this as well so I know about these mistakes. I haven't made them all but that doesn't mean that I don't know them.

The Top Ten

1 Attempting the question before reading it thoroughly

Yeah. Failed my test last time doing this.

My maths teacher gave out M&Ms to the two highest scorers and the two most improved since our last exam. I would have been the second highest scorer if I had noticed that on one of the probability questions the spinner had two red segments - nathano

What's the 9th answer to this algebra sequence:

4, 8, 12, etc

16 (the one I chose)

I didn't even LOOK at the other options, this is me. 100 percent. - Swiftdawn

2 Leaving a question blank

Especially in maths. If you try you may get a point or two for steps, but none for no answer. - MChkflaguard_Yt

I always do it - Kangaroo1145

One time, I forgot to answer a whole question and just skipped it, but the teacher still gave me points because she said she knew I could have done it! Yay!

I forgot to do a whole page once. The teacher counted it as everything wrong, but I probably would’ve gotten everything wrong if I actually did it anyways, so it’s a win win! - sadical

3 A lack of time management

I'm not trying to brag, I literally am great at time management. - Swiftdawn

At my school, we do not have time limits.

Make sure to have time at the end of the exam to look back at your answers. Make sure to not spend too much time on a question. Utilise the time given in the exam to give yourself the most efficient method of answering the questions. Keep a balance between speed and carefulness. - Cazaam

That's a really big problem... I either write my exams quickly and do mistakes or I'm just running out of time! - Fan_of_Good_Music

4 Accidentally picking the wrong answer in a multiple choice question


Use pencils then. - MChkflaguard_Yt

Then you have to make a poor attempt to erase the mark, which will probably smudge all over, or is just there to stay - Haumea

Make sure to look which answer you're choosing to avoid the mistake of picking "C" instead of "B" for example. Checking your answers after may help you find these little but costly mistakes. - Cazaam

5 Overthinking a question

Story of my life!

You look at a question, answer it and then think something doesn't look right. Sometimes it might be that you haven't read the question properly so in that case read it properly and answer the question. Other times it may be the exam panic getting to you and it makes you think that you answered a question wrong when you didn't. This leads to the overthinking and retraction of correct answers for the inclusion of wrong ones. - Cazaam

I hate this. The answer that I'm after is always right in front of me but I always plunge too deep. - PositronWildhawk

I hate this. Sometimes I take fifteen minutes on a problem that should take everyone else three minutes. - DogsUnleashed

1 Comment
6 Not reviewing your answers

My English teacher gives me the death stare if I don't check my answers on a test a least eight times. - Swiftdawn

What does santa do after making his list? He checks it twice, just like you should once finishing all the questions. If you don't check your answers over, who knows what mistakes you've made? You never know, you might have missed a whole page because they stuck together... Trust me, this has happened to me. - Cazaam

After I take a quiz or test I review at least 3x before turning it in.

This should be in the Top 3.
You do the question, you maybe check it once too fast to actually find mistakes, move on.
You then finish the exam.
86% of students check it once WHILE they're doing the question and don't check the whole paper after they've finished it.
If you're Asian like me and you get a SLIGHTLY bad grade, boy are you dead. - UsernameDoesNotBotherMe

7 Too much revision


Too much is just as bad as not revising at all. If you revise too long it may turn you into a procrastinator or a perfectionist and whilst you've been spending so much time on the first two questions trying to perfect them, you've only done 2 out of 15 of the questions and used up half the time already. - Cazaam

8 Not knowing the meaning of key words

By this I mean the "Explain" questions especially. Many people just describe for an explain question and pick up only 1 or 2 of the marks when there's 6 available. For an Explain question use PEE. (I have no idea why it's called that) Make a point, point out some evidence to support the point and then add an explanation for why this is the case. It's that easy but we all fall into the trap of key words. - Cazaam

9 Not putting your name on the exam

And finally we have this failure. If you do this, all that effort you've put into the questions is probably going to go to waste because that invigilator who marks the exam papers doesn't know you just by your handwriting. Even if your handwriting is as bad as mine, the invigilator will still not know and you will fail because you made this stupid mistake. - Cazaam

So me, just me all over, 100%

My old teacher used to give zeroes if you didn't put your name on tests

In my class for every grade,if you do not put your name on I think it is minus five points (minus five percent) - mathguy37

1 Comment
10 Bad spelling and grammar

I just can't with this one. I almost never do incorrect grammar and spelling because it is my biggest pet peeve and it's annoying as crap. - Swiftdawn

Ok grammar know it alls.

Some questions, especially those with more marks will want good English to be used. This means no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors as if these are included, the chance of getting full marks on these questions becomes very hard if not impossible. - Cazaam

I personally do not know how I could make a bad spelling error because I normally check myself over

1 Comment

The Newcomers

? Handwriting a question that is supposed to be typewritten

The Contenders

11 Revising stuff that doesn't even appear on the exam

But your not supposed to know what's gonna be in our exams in our school

But how you ever know that specifically?! - Ananya


12 Changing your answer from the correct answer to the wrong answer
13 Not showing your work

If it didn't show my work, they would make me do it again or it's a referal

You: I have found the cure for cancer!
Teacher: Referral you didn't show my your work - 0w0uwu

At my school, if you don’t show your work, you get no points!

14 Skipping the first question and realising the next one is based on that question

BRUH, don't even get me started...

15 Not putting the correct unit of measurement on your answers

Gets me every time

16 Circling the correct answer, but picking the wrong one on the scantron

Sometimes, we're not allowed to write directly on the tests. Only the scant ron.

MY LIFE - Swiftdawn

17 Looking at an idiot's paper to copy them
18 Always doing C and true on everything also see instead of c for sentence parts
19 Thinking you have a question right, but you don't

You leave the exam room with confidence - unknown-soldier


20 Trying to speed a test
21 Underlining / boxing / circling an answer to understand what that word is used for and forgetting why you marked it
22 Looking around during the exam

This is literally the worst - you're stuck on a question so you look up to see the stressful environment that completely throws you off your thoughts

23 Forgetting to indent
24 Writing answers without considering the marks

Should consider the mark of each question before answering the questions.

25 Forget to put your name on the test

My teacher makes us pay 20 dollars

26 Do not use margins
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List StatsCreated 8 Nov 2014
Updated 1 Dec 2019

100 votes
27 listings
5 years, 29 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. A lack of time management
2. Not putting your name on the exam
3. Overthinking a question
1. Attempting the question before reading it thoroughly
2. Leaving a question blank
3. Changing your answer from the correct answer to the wrong answer
1. Accidentally picking the wrong answer in a multiple choice question
2. Leaving a question blank
3. A lack of time management

View All 5

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