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Reasons why pupils may fail in their exams

Updated on April 30, 2012

All students would definitely want to succeed in their examinations, whether they are just continuous assessment tests or final examinations. However, not all do pass in their examinations as they intend to. This may be due a number of reasons, some of which are best known to the individual while others are totally unfamiliar to them. There are things which the student may or may not do, and he/she knows them very well, that may make him fail or succeed in his/her examinations. There are also certain things which a student may or may not be doing, and he doesn't know that they have a reasonable amount of effects towards his failure or success in a particular examination.

Some of the reasons that may cause a student to fail in his/her examinations are;

1. The inability to pay attention to key words.

The key words in a question may be easily identified in that they may be written in capital letters, they may be bold or they may be underlined.

The key words are important in that they tell the student of what exact answer is required for the question. If they are ignored, the chances are high that the student will not answer the question as required and hence may end up failing in that question.

2. Having a negative attitude towards the subject and/or teacher.

Negative attitude is one of the main reasons why students fail in a particular subject. Having a negative attitude will mean that you will not pay attention to the teacher and the subject taught. In turn, this means that you will not understand the contents of the subject well and you know very well what this will do when exams of that subject are due.

3. Dozing or sleeping in the exam room.

This mainly happens due to the student sleeping late or waking up very early. In other words, getting inadequate sleep.

Some may get inadequate sleep in that they do the last-minute preparation and extend the study time to time that was meant to sleep.

Some may just be having fun up to late in the night when they are supposed to be having a good night sleep.

Dozing or sleeping in the exam room will mean that time may or will run out before you finish answering all the questions and in the end, your paper will be marked out of less than the total marks of the questions.

4. Having fear for examinations.

This is another factor which can result to failure in an examination. I know of a person who used to fear examinations so much that he used to urinate on himself before he sat for an examination. Having fear for examination will affect your mind and may make you forget a lot of what you previously knew.

5. Not going through the paper after you have finished answering the questions to see the mistakes that you may have made.

Some students never go through their paper after answering the questions. They just do the answering and after that they forget about the question. This is not the way to go as a slight mistake may have been made while answering the question, which would have been corrected if you would just have gone through your paper again.

6. Being too slow or too fast in answering the questions.

In answering the questions you must ensure that you are not too slow or too fast. You should ensure that you are moderate. Being too fast may cause you to make slight mistakes in answering the questions while being too slow may result in time running out for you before you finish answering the questions.

7. Inability to follow instructions

Instructions should be followed to the latter as the tell the student what he/she is supposed to do. If they are not followed then the chances of getting the possible marks that you were targeting may be reduced to minimal


8. Studying or reading new material on the examination day

The day before the examination or on the actual examination day, care should be taken not to read any new material as this will tend to lead to cramming and may also make one forget some of previously read topics.

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