Common Mistakes Made on a Test

exam

We all know that tests are not much fun and when we take a test and make a stupid mistake we can be really upset – especially when it is something that could have been easily avoided. So what are some of the common mistakes that are made on tests that we should try to avoid whenever possible?

- Failing to put your name on a test – How could you possibly forget to put your name on a test? You would be amazed at how often that happens and usually those are thrown out immediately by a teacher so the person gets a failing grade on the exam.

- Not following directions – That are a number of words used in directions that have very specific meanings and if misunderstood or not read correctly, it can cause you points on that answer and worst case – it can make you fail the exam. See our Post on Following Instructions.

- Circling the wrong multiple choice answer – This happens more often than you think and many times the person knows the right answer and was looking at it and then circled the answer right next to it or above or below it.

- Answering a question twice – This usually happens in a multiple choice question where two answers are circled – making it a wrong answer.

- Leaving an answer blank - This often happens when you skip a question because you want to come back to it – but you forget to do so. Anything left blank is always a wrong answer.

- Transferring the answer incorrectly from scratch paper – This can happen easily if you are trying to hurry and write down 1/2 when you meant 1/4 – thereby giving an incorrect answer.

- Ignoring the clock – In a timed examination many students lose track of the time and don’t have enough time to complete the test.  See our post on Working with Time Limits,  and Beat the Clock

- Thinking too much – Self doubts often occur especially when you are not really sure about the subject matter but you should usually stick with your first answer.

- Unpreparedness – Running out of ink and not having an extra pen or pencil is not an excuse that is usually tolerated – it’s up to you to be prepared.  See our post, The Ultimate Guide to Test Preparation Strategy



About the Author

Brian has a BA in Economics, and an MA in Psychology. He lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has traveled widely and has written extensively on education, testing and tests.

Comments (3)

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  1. kate says:

    i once completed an exam and forgot to add my name. i only discovered the error when i did a final cross check. so always do a final cross check before you submit. nice points

    • Brian says:

      I did that on a quiz and the Prof was good enough to allow me the paper – he quizzed me on it to make sure it was my paper but he did give it to me. Scared me tho and after that I always remembered.

  2. danny says:

    i agree totally. One has to be extra careful not to prepare for an exam and then lose out because of a mistake

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