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10 Things You Should Never Do Before Exams

Tests and examination are not just crucial parts of the academic journey of students, they are inevitable. In other words, it is mandatory that you write exams if you are a student. And this has nothing to do with whether you are a brilliant, intelligent or average student. Writing exams is a way of assessing students to verify whether learning has really taken place and to what extent.

In order to excel in exams, it is very important to prepare well. And when it comes to preparations, different students have their different methods of studying. Some prefer studying at night when the environment is calm and quiet. Others prefer reading with their MP3 player on and giving out their favorite tunes. And so on.

But regardless of your preferred study method or choice of study environment, there are certain pitfalls you must avoid if you wish to excel in the exam you are preparing for. In this article, I will give you 10 things you should never do before exams

You can look at them more like the commandments you must keep while preparing for any examination.

10 things you should never do before exams

1. Don’t Depend on Friends

There are several ways students preparing for exams can depend on their friends. One is relying on friends for study materials. As a student, ensure that as much as possible, you have the study materials necessary for your preparations. Because at such periods, everyone needs their own materials to study and they may disappoint you if you hope to use theirs.

Another way students depend on their friends when preparing for exams is studying their perceived easy topics and leaving the difficult ones with hope that their friends will study them. They do so hoping to sit next to their friends in the exam hall.

Friends, this kind of mindset is a recipe for failure because you don’t even know what the sitting arrangement will be. More so, you can’t guarantee that the friendly you want to rely on would read and understand the topics enough to save you two in the exam hall. When preparing for an exam, read every topic in your syllabus and never rely on a friend for help during exams.

2. Don’t Use The Social Media

Students that passed through school few decades ago didn’t have the Social Media. Today, the Social Media is here with us with its many benefits and unfortunate disadvantages.

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Social media is the apparent ease with which students get addicted to them. And when that happens, they become a major source of distraction.

When preparing for exams, do not waste your valuable study time scrolling through your feed or chatting with friends.

Social media can be a major distraction. Scrolling through your feed or chatting with friends can waste a lot of your valuable study time. Even if you are addicted to any social media, you need to discipline yourself and log out of your apps for few weeks. Then focus on your exam preparation and write your papers without distractions.

3. Don’t Try a New Book at the Last Minutes

There are studious students who like to study a particular topic using different textbooks. If you are one of such students, I wish to commend you because you have formed a fantastic habit for yourself. Consulting and comparing different authorities over a topic can be quite enriching and make learning easy.

But it is never advisable to introduce a new book or material in your collections at the dying minutes. The simple reason is because doing so may confuse or destabilize you especially if the new material is discussing the topics from different perspectives.

It is more effective to revise familiar content than to try to learn new information at the last minute.

4. Don’t Procrastinate

Procrastination means to keep delaying something that you must do, especially because you consider it unpleasant or boring.

Procrastination is one of the major problems that many students are battling with. For one reason or the other, they keep delaying and postponing their study time, forgetting that the exam date is getting closer.

When the exam timetable comes out, such students begin to do last-minute cramming, which can be very stressful and ineffective. And at the end of the day, they enter the exam hall with fear and anxiety.

That’s why you should avoid procrastination as a student. Create a study schedule and stick to it. If you can develop the habit of studying consistently, you will unlock your ability to understand and retain information better.

5. Don’t be Disturbed by Anybody’s Study Method

Fundamentally as human beings, we are all wired differently. We see things differently and we approach situations using different methods. This is also true about students.

Every student has their own way of studying. Some carry big textbooks around and are always seen ‘reading’. When you see such students, don’t feel intimidated or disappointed in yourself. Don’t ask anybody how many hours they have studied or how many books they have read. You don’t need that.

Yours is to ensure that you have enough discipline to create a study timetable. Focus on your timetable and consistently study at your own pace.

6. Don’t Change your Timetable at the Last Minutes

This counsel is important even if your exam timetable is out. Stick to that timetable you have set for yourself and continually study and prepare with it. If you change your study schedule at the last minute, it can lead to confusion and anxiety.

7. Don’t Eat Anyhow

As a student, you must realize that the kind that food you eat can affect your concentration and energy levels. So you must ensure that you eat healthy meals that provide you with essential nutrients and sustained energy.

Listen my friend, the fact that you are preparing for exams does not mean you should resort to junk foods. Eat balanced diet in order to keep your mind and body in good shape for studying.

8. Don’t Deny Yourself a Good Sleep

There are students who are not good at studying during the day time when the noise level of environment is high. Such students believe that they can understand and assimilate information better at night when everywhere is quiet.

If you are one of such students, please note that studying at night is very good if that works well for you. But you must avoid the temptation of studying all night, especially when your exams are around the corner.

Adequate sleep is essential for cognitive function and memory retention. If you rest your body and mind very well, you will perform better in your exams.

9. Don’t Compare your Preparations with your Friends

I have already said one or two things about this and by now you should understand.

It is possible that your some of your classmates or room mates may have the capacity to sit and read for hour at a stretch. Some may have the ability to cover several handouts in few hours and fully grasp the information in them. On the other hand, you may need several days to cover the same volume of materials.

Whatever it is, don’t compare yourself or your progress with others. Everyone studies and prepares for examinations at their own pace, and you must learn to focus on your own study plan and progress. What is important is being consistent, and understanding and retaining what you read at the end of the day. Avoid unhealthy comparisons and competition.

10. Don’t Ever Consider Cheating

Cheating during an exam undermines the very value of your education. But beyond that, it carries severe consequences if you get caught.

So don’t ever think about cheating or plan how to engage in examination malpractice as part of your preparations. Don’t plan to copy stuffs on pieces of paper, or your palms or thighs before you enter the exam hall.

Yes, there may be topics or concepts you don’t understand. But you can always ask your friends to explain to you before the exams. You can understand what you could not grasp during lectures by gisting over it with friends.


On this post, i have been able to arm you with the 10 things you should never do before exams. They are more like the pitfalls you must avoid in order to foster effective preparation which is the only thing that guarantees self-confidence in the exam hall. Whatever method or approach you choose to prepare for your exams, ensure that your body is healthy, and your mind is calm and focused. Those are your best assets.

Best wishes from yours sincerely,
Henry Divine.

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About Henry Divine

Henry Divine is a passionate educator and seasoned blogger with a strong commitment to providing valuable insights and resources to the education community. With over 6 years of experience in the field, Henry's articles are well-researched, authoritative, and tailored to meet the needs of teachers, students, and parents alike. Through his blog, Henry aims to empower readers with practical tips, innovative strategies, and evidence-based practices to foster lifelong learning and academic success. Follow Henry for the latest updates and expert advice on all things education.

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