What to Avoid When Writing an Exam

Writing an exam can be a stressful experience for anyone. Learn What to Avoid When Writing an Exam right here! The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to make mistakes.

Wondering What to Avoid When Writing an Exam? We have got you covered. With all the hard work that goes into exam preparation, the last thing you need to worry about is making a mistake when writing. Luckily, there are some things you can do to put your mind at ease. 

What to Avoid When Writing an Exam 

Exams can be stressful for any student. But if you are well prepared, writing your next exam should be easy. This is your last hurdle. Don’t let silly mistakes that could’ve been avoided put everything at risk. Learn What to Avoid When Writing an Exam below: 

Skipping Questions 

Leaving a question unanswered means no marks. Make sure you read the question fully and that you understand what is being asked. Try not to prepare set answers to certain questions, as there is no guarantee that it will be asked in your exam. Rather learn your subject well. 

Wasting Time 

Not planning your time well during an exam is the worst mistake you can make. Before you start writing, spend the first five minutes reading through your paper. This will give you an idea of how long you should spend on each question. Use the mark allocation as a guide. 

Ignoring Instructions 

Before you answer any question, make sure you read through the instructions properly. The way a question is structured can tell you how you should answer it. For example, the word ‘define’ indicates you need to provide a definition. Misreading a question can cause you to lose marks. 


It’s easy to panic when facing an exam. This is especially true when you don’t know how to answer a specific question. Take a deep breath and slowly count to ten. Once you are calmer, start with the questions you do know and go back to the harder ones later. 

Not Checking Your Paper Before Handing in 

It’s important to read through your paper once you are done. There’s always a possibility that you missed one question or feel like you can add more to an answer. If you planned your time well, you should have some time to check. 

A student sitting with her books and laptop trying to figure out What to Avoid When Writing an Exam

How can I Reduce my Exam Anxiety?

You’re not alone! It’s common for students to feel anxious before an exam. It takes more than just good study habits and time management to calm your nerves. You need to have a plan of action for the day and the days leading to it. 

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle 

Finding a good balance between eating, sleeping and exercising is a good way to start. It’s important to keep your body and brain healthy so you can be at the top of your game. 

  • Get a good night’s rest 
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated 
  • Do some form of exercise, eg. yoga, aerobics 

Prepare Well in Advance 

Nothing causes anxiety as much as feeling completely unprepared. This is why it’s important to prepare yourself beforehand. Don’t wait until a few days before an exam to start studying, even if you are a fast learner. 

Get Accurate Information 

Knowing the correct information well in advance can help put your mind at ease. Make sure you know exactly what date and time you are writing, as well as the venue. It’s also important to find out what the format of the exam will be. 

Arrive Early on Exam day 

The worst thing that can happen is arriving late to your exam. Plan your day well to avoid having to rush to the venue. This will only add to your anxiety. Getting there early allows you to take the time to breath and calm your nerves before writing. 

Check Your Attitude 

A positive attitude can go a long way. Remind yourself that feeling anxious is normal and that you have done all you can to prepare yourself. If you are really struggling with your anxiety, reach out to a counsellor or trusted family member.

A math book, paper and pen. Having the right materials can help you learn What to Avoid When Writing an Exam

What do I Bring to an Exam? 

Not having all your exam materials can also add to your anxiety. That’s why you need to make sure you put all the essentials together the night before. This beats running around the morning of your exam, looking for your stationery. Important things you might need include: 

  • Your ID 
  • Pens 
  • Pencils 
  • Eraser 
  • Ruler 
  • Math set 
  • Calculator 

How can I Prepare for an Exam? 

Studying and preparing for an exam is vital to your success. Not sure how you should get started? Our study tips and tricks are bound to help you make the study preparation a little easier on you. 

Organise Your Study Space – Wherever you choose to study, make sure that it’s organised and has enough space. You will be able to work better and think clearer. 

Practice on Old Exam Papers – There’s no better way to prepare than practicing on past papers. If you are one of our matric students, you will receive copies of the relevant papers. 

Take Regular Breaks – Studying for hours on end is not at all productive. It can cause you to lose concentration. Make sure you take regular short breaks every hour. 

Limit Distractions – Social media and video games might seem more fun than studying, but they won’t help you pass your exam. Study first, reward yourself later. 

Drink Plenty of Water – Being hydrated helps keep your brain in working order. Be sure to drink water throughout your study sessions as well as on the day of your exam. 

Learn How to Ace That Exam With us!

Interested in studying with us? You have a range of distance learning courses to choose from, including getting your matric. Contact our friendly course experts by using one of the methods below: 

Last Updated: 3 December 2021