5 Common Exam Mistakes Students Make

Meritnation|Sep 11th, 2015 06:08pm

5 common exam mistakes by studentsYear after year students are subjected to a series of exams. Examiners and checkers too go through the same drill while checking the submitted answer sheets. It has been observed that students do not always lose marks due to a lack of knowledge. “Silly Mistakes” account for a larger share of lost marks as per checkers and examiners. Experts have created a list of top 5 common mistakes that students tend to make in their exam papers. These mistakes lead to marks that are lost not because of lack of knowledge but because of errors in strategy or just simple overlooks. These are highly preventable! Go through the list below to ensure you do not make the same mistake ever!

1. Not Scanning Through The Questions Before Starting The Exam

Most schools distribute the question papers 15 minutes before the start time of the exam. One of the most useful things that a student can do is to go through the question paper once. Even if the paper is not distributed 15 mins earlier, please try and spend 5 minutes going through the paper.

What Questions To Answer First?
Identify the questions you know the answers for and find easy to attempt, and add a mark against them. Add another kind of a mark against questions you find difficult or are unsure of the answers.

We suggest answering easy questions first. Try and leave the difficult questions for later.

• Answering difficult questions first will lead to you spending a lot of time on them, and tiring your minds at the very beginning of the exam. Then in the leftover time, you might rush through the easy questions thus spoiling your chances of scoring full marks in those questions as well.

• So starting with easy questions helps ensure that you would have answered most of the questions in the paper in case time falls short. You are assured of scoring in these questions. It will also give you more time for the difficult questions. Moreover, you feel good and confident!

“It (getting your question paper 15 minutes before the exam starts) helps in mentally calming down before the big test and even recalling answers. In that time frame I get to read the entire question paper and start making mental notes on which questions to tackle first.”
– Nandita Rajan CBSE Topper Class 10


time management for exams2. Mismanagement of Time

Time management is one of the most critical factors required to ace an exam. Determine how much time you spend on each question depending on:

• Its weightage in terms of marks
• Word limit recommended for a question in terms of marks
• Question Type – Very Short Answer, Short Answer and Long Answer
• Whether it requires a graph or a diagram
• If you realise that you are struggling too long on a particular question, move on to the next question, and return to answer if you have the time.


3. Copying Incorrect Data

In numerical questions it has been found that students copy the data incorrectly from the question paper, or from one step of the problem to the next. Sometimes they make mistakes with units. So double check all numerical values once. Just spending a few seconds doing this will prevent a lot of trouble.


difficult questions in exam4. Jumping Into a Question Without Planning

Some students just read the question and start writing away. Although you may know the answer, but it is always more prudent to spend a minute or a half in thinking through the question. Mentally organize the points you want to cover. Underline the keywords in the question and ask yourself what kind of answer the question demands. This prevents you from running into situations like:

• Realizing that you missed something that should have come at the beginning of the answer
• Mixing up or missing points you wanted to cover
• Realizing halfway through your answer that you understood the question incorrectly


5. Forgetting To Attempt Unanswered Questions

Strangely this has been found to be a very common error found in exams. Sometimes students leave a question for later and end up forgetting to attempt it.

• To avoid this, always add a checkmark / circle / highlight every question you complete, and check at the end of the exam that none are missed.
• Also, you can mark or highlight specifically the questions you choose to answer later so that you can double check them.


We hope that the checklist above can help you avoid these common mistakes in your half yearly exams and SA1 exams.

We wish you all the best! If you like what you read, please take a moment to share with your friends who can also benefit from this information! 🙂


Very Important Resources for SA1 Exams

> 3 Ways to Pack More Punch Into Your SA1 Revisions


> Important Topics and Tips for SA1 Exams


> Want to Remember EVERYTHING that you Study? Know How the Brain Works!


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Add Comment Total Comments (89)

  • 1. mansi kaushik  |  March 31st, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    very useful tips ! thankyou meritnation !

  • 2. mansi kaushik  |  March 31st, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    very useful tips ! thankyou meritnation !

  • 3. muthumani  |  April 4th, 2017 at 9:41 am

    These tips are extremely helpful to me.

  • 4. Satish  |  April 1st, 2017 at 9:32 am

    i am sure this will help me alot……
    Thankyou for your advise

  • 5. Nandhini  |  March 25th, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    5th one is wt i did in my sci.exam:(

  • 6. Iram  |  March 22nd, 2017 at 10:58 am

    It’s good wanna

  • 7. priyal  |  March 21st, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    good one

  • 8. Siddhant Bhardwaj  |  March 6th, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you maritnation its really great……

  • 9. Reshma  |  March 4th, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Nice tips

  • 10. Aaqila Siddiqa  |  January 15th, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    really thankkk u soooo much meritnation for helping us and because of these tips our tensions are also reduced

  • 11. sweta supkar  |  January 11th, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    really helpful

  • 12. Rudraksh Nandwana  |  January 4th, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Thenks a lot maritnation of all the useful tips

  • 13. Ananya  |  December 23rd, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you Meritnation. I often did these mistakes and lost my marks but now I’ll surely follow your tips.Thanks a lotttt

  • 14. Pradnya  |  December 23rd, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Now i understood why all students make tese types of common mistakes ☺☺☺

  • 15. waashifa  |  November 25th, 2016 at 10:43 am

    really very nyc tips

  • 16. Nikita  |  October 15th, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    very nice tips and thanks for your tips.

  • 17. VEMULA MANI AISHWARYA  |  August 24th, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    It was really helpful…
    thanks for Posting …meritnation blog!!!

  • 18. zarina  |  August 23rd, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    This is very important information you share with your students lot of thanks
    Team meritnation

  • 19. Vinnu Cutie  |  July 15th, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    It’s really nyc of u meritnation. u hve provided wid dis much gud n easy tips fr our students xms n preparations. We r all thankful 2 u a lot.

  • 20. shruti  |  June 15th, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    thanks meritnation for these tips. these are very helpful. I am proud to join meritnation

  • 21. Nidhi Baghel  |  June 7th, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Thanks a lot for the tips. In this way, please meritnation, always help us.The tips were very useful.

  • 22. Lavanya Arya  |  June 4th, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I liked this very much
    Even I do some mistakes but from now onwards i will b careful 🙂

  • 23. Hrishikesh Dhakane  |  May 15th, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    its very nice advice… too good! thanks meritnation .

  • 24. niharika gupta  |  May 11th, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    actually true!!!!!! and thank u so much….

  • 25. Triveni Bondre  |  May 10th, 2016 at 9:56 am

    It is very helpful to me as I am doing same mistakes in exam.

    Thanks meritnation

  • 26. Dheeraj Kumar  |  April 29th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Want To Easy Your Study Pls Add 7210085531 Whats App For 24*7 Help For All Classes 1 To 12 And Who Prepared Their AIPMT And IIT Examination

  • 27. vanshika  |  April 20th, 2016 at 11:18 am

    thnxx a lot..these tips are very useful

  • 28. r.murugavalli  |  March 26th, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    it’s very useful for me thanks very very much thanks.

  • 29. Subhajit Banerjee  |  March 18th, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks a lot, Meritnation.
    It is very very useful for me.
    In future also, this type of tips is requested.

  • 30. Niharika  |  March 18th, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you so much

  • 31. bhuvana bhuvi  |  March 18th, 2016 at 10:40 am

    thank youuuuuuuuu
    it is very nice

  • 32. Maanasa  |  March 14th, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Thank you. These tips were indeed very helpful to us and shall try not doing those mistakes

  • 33. Chetan  |  March 13th, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks this helped me a lot in preventing silly mistakes during exams.:):):)

  • 34. Aayush  |  March 7th, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for these tips

  • 35. Tahseen  |  March 7th, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you meritnation for these wonderful tips. Now that I have come to know the mistakes, I will try my best not to do the same!.
    Thank You again. This was a great help!

  • 36. nithish pandiyan  |  March 4th, 2016 at 8:49 am

    thanks experts.all these tips r very useful to us.hereafter we make sure of.these mistakes.

  • 37. isha  |  March 2nd, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Thanks all these tips are very useful.

  • 38. Rishita agnihotri  |  February 27th, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    awesome tips i am glad i have joined meritnation……..:-)
    keep on posting such blogs…

  • 39. shivangi  |  February 20th, 2016 at 9:35 am

    i am sure this will help me alot


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