1. Not reading the question properlyI wonder how many marks have actually been lost because of this? Be sure to read everything carefully and read it twice if you have to!
2. Not planningPlanning and time management is so key (in exams and in life). Make sure you read through the entire paper before you start answering anything and divide your time based on how many marks each question is worth. And if you have an essay question, make sure you do a quick essay plan first!
3. Quantity over qualitySome people get way too hung up on the word count or filling all the available lined space. Don't write for writing sake - be sure that what you're putting down adds value to your answer.
4. CarelessnessIt seems like an obvious one but you can easily lose marks for bad grammar, bad spelling or use of the wrong tone. Make sure you're paying attention to detail throughout the exam!
5. Not utilising material from the courseYou didn't do all that reading and revision for no reason! Make sure to refer back to any key texts and weave any relevant points in where you can.
6. Or relying on it too heavilyEqually the opposite is no good either. Don't just spew out the entire textbook that you've spent the past 9 months studying from - only include anything that enhances your answer.
7. CrammingWe've all done it; it's the night before your exam and you suddenly realise you've spent way too much time over the past few months watching Netflix instead of revising. Cramming is not a smart way to go; you won't absorb much information and you'll make yourself tired for your exam. Little and often is better so create yourself a revision timetable now!
8. Not preparingYou know what they say; fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Do as many past papers as you can and be sure you're familiar with the format of the exam you're about to take so you know how to get the maximum marks and how long to spend on each section.
9. Focusing on other peopleSo everyone around you is still writing long after you've finished or they look more like they know what they're doing or they started writing straight away and you took ages to think of what to put. Stop. Focus only on your own exam, everyone has their own pace and way or working so don't get distracted by other people.
10. Eating the wrong foodsIt may sound silly but if you fill up on carbs before an exam then you'll be feeling sluggish while trying to concentrate. Instead, pack up on the protein and foods like blueberries, salmon and broccoli which are all known brain-boosting foods!
11. Or not drinking enoughDrinking water is pretty much the answer to all of life's problems; feeling bloated, having a headache, losing weight - you name it, drinking more water can probably fix it. So make sure you stay hydrated so you don't lose concentration!
12. Not knowing when to move onIf you get stuck on a question, the best thing is to move on and come back to it later. don't waste time that you could be using to gain marks on another question!
13. Not reading your answers backOne you've finished, don't just close your paper. Read your own answers back and make sure that you're happy with everything - you might think of an extra point or remember part of your revision from the other night that may help you gain extra marks by adding it in!
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