5 Common Mistakes in Exam Preparation

Regardless of their previous experience with examinations, students often experience a significant amount of stress as important test dates approach. Engaging in practice tests is one of the effective methods for comprehensive review of knowledge. Moreover, it can contribute to the rapid improvement of test-taking skills. However, without proper skills in effective study techniques, students may find themselves confused and struggle to avoid common mistakes. This feeling can hinder them from achieving the desired scores. The failure in having a good grade after being well-prepared can have a detrimental impact on children. It can create a negative perception of the value of effort and lead to a sense of apathy. Consequently, students may believe that exerting effort yields no meaningful results. This can hinder student’s motivation and discourage them from striving for success.

To excel in exams, we invite families to identify 5 common student’s mistakes in exam preparation. By recognizing these mistakes, students can adopt appropriate study solutions. This will help them equip themselves with a solid foundation to conquer upcoming exams successfull. This proactive approach also helps students develop effective study habits and improve time management skills. It also allows them to gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. With this comprehensive approach to exam preparation, students can confidently face their exams, perform at their best, and strive for outstanding results. We believe that these strategies will better prepare students to achieve their academic goals and maximize their potential.

1. Having the fear of getting low grades and correcting mistakes in the wrong way

One common mistake that most students fall into is the fear of receiving low grades. With this mindset, after completing a practice test, many students immediately compare their answers to the provided solutions to see how many points they can score. Subsequently, they only review the answers to the wrong questions and conclude the session without actively revisiting those questions. This approach leads to a continuation of making mistakes on similar questions or being unable to tackle previously encountered challenges.

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To address this issue, the advice for students is not to overly focus on the scores during the practice test phase before the actual exam. Instead, when students encounter a difficult question, it is recommended for them to independently seek a solution or refer to answers provided by teachers or peers. Afterward, patiently redo the question, exploring alternative approaches to identify the gaps in the previous problem-solving methods. Do not hesitate to receive low grades during practice tests, as properly correcting mistakes will ultimately enhance effective and efficient test-taking skills.

2. Overindulge in challenging exercises

Students often set goals to achieve high scores in each examination, inadvertently creating pressure on themselves to tackle difficult questions. Some students invest a significant amount of time in advanced problem-solving tasks and neglecting foundational knowledge. As a result, they may lose points on straightforward questions due to minor and avoidable errors. A piece of advice for students is to practice solving exercises that cover content from various levels and avoid an excessive focus on overly challenging problem types. This approach helps students prevent from a decline in motivation, and unintentional neglect of fundamental knowledge if not regularly practiced.

>>> For further reference: How to Help Children Set Realistic Goals

3. Selecting inappropriate practice tests

Choosing low-quality practice tests during exam preparation is a common factor that students can not  improve their skills and problem-solving abilities even though they extensively focus on practice. In reality, completing numerous practice tests does not necessarily yield better results compared to focusing on a smaller number of high-quality tests that cover a wide range of topics and closely resemble the actual exam. This approach helps students consolidate and enhance their knowledge most effectively.

The first step in selecting suitable practice tests is self-assessment, in which students evaluate their own abilities and identify specific topics or content areas that require focused review. They can then search for, filter, and practice with high-quality practice tests. It is advisable to start with easier-level test sets and gradually progress to more challenging ones over time. This selection process helps students avoid the frustration of encountering test questions that significantly differ from what they have learned. For example, when seeking practice tests in English, students should pay attention to choosing tests that include vocabulary related to the everyday classroom curriculum, set time limits, and regularly engage in solving practice questions.

At Everest Education, in order to facilitate students’ successful admission to international schools, we organize weekly practice tests for INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAMS every Thursday and Saturday. Through these practice sessions, students can assess their current abilities, identify areas that require improvement, and better prepare themselves mentally for the actual exam.

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4. Last-minute cramming

Have you ever witnessed the sight of students clutching their study materials and desperately cramming knowledge right before entering the exam room? While holding onto their materials until the last minute may provide some sense of reassurance, it harbors potential risks that students may not be aware.

Firstly, imagine that Student A is reviewing their notes and feeling confident about the content they have revised. Another student, Student B, approaches and points out some important information that Student A had missed in their notes. This sudden realization causes Student A to panic because of fearing that the missed content will appear in the exam. Approaching the exam room with such heightened anxiety can erode confidence and hinder the ability to recall the previously revised material.

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Secondly, through various studies, psychologists have observed that our brains tend to better retain the information presented at the beginning and end of a learning session compared to the content in the middle. If students attempt to cram new knowledge or poorly reviewed material at the last minute, they risk forgetting other crucial information. Instead, it is advisable to allocate sufficient time for studying in advance, ensuring comprehensive coverage of all the subject matter. Additionally, before the exam, students can summarize the key concepts they have learned on an A4 paper and calmly review it once before entering the exam room. This approach helps students organize their knowledge, enhance retention, and instill a sense of confidence during the exam.

5. Lack of detailed exam preparation plan

Regardless of the exam being prepared for, students need to allocate time to review a substantial amount of knowledge. They must know how to divide their time appropriately for different study materials. It is important to identify the crucial areas that require focus and ensure a solid grasp of those topics. Students should strive to cultivate a sense of self-discipline in daily study and maintain a consistent pace without procrastination.

Find a companion, whether it be a friend, parents, or teachers, who will remind and encourage you to maintain enthusiasm and determination in your preparation, giving your utmost effort before the actual examination. Moreover, when facing difficulties in solving problems or needing to enhance exam skills, actively seek out supportive individuals who can provide assistance.

At Everest Education, we also offer after-school support programs that help students overcome challenges encountered during the study process, equipping them with comprehensive knowledge and skills for upcoming tests and crucial exams. Furthermore, students are given early preparation through high-quality practice exams, allowing them to familiarize themselves with the exam structure, assess their current proficiency, and extract essential lessons for the actual examination.



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