It is not easy to prepare for an External Examination. But avoiding poor performance? That one is more difficult.

A few years ago, you were in primary school and avoiding poor performance wasn’t an issue for you.

Now that you have started writing competitive examinations, avoiding poor performance is a must for you.

For the past few years, the rate at which students perform poorly in external exams has grown exponentially. This trend can be seen in results released by:

  1. Various departments in Universities.
  2. The West African Examination Council (WAEC).
  3. Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB).
  4. National Examination Council (NECO) and
  5. Various entrance examination bodies, etc.

To scale through in all these exams, you will agree that avoiding poor performance is the key. Let’s take a look at the 10 Reasons You Perform Poorly In External Exams and What To Do…

Top 10 Reasons For Your Poor Performance

1. Your Writing Is Too Poor:

Writing is the most important element. It is the first thing people see. You need to give examiners impression that you understand what you are doing or risk losing his attention. Your writing sets an expectation for the reader.

A great writing can be a positive or negative sentiment, but above all is that it is not very easy to ignore.

Make your writing more readable. Let there be little spaces between words. Make the sentences short and simple as well.

Note: This point applies only to those who sit for paper and pen examinations.

2. You Writes Out of Point (OP):

Yes, you want to impress the examiner-but there’s no excuse for writing off the point.

“You were asked to list 10 parts of the body, but you drew and labeled. I really commend your effort, but it was not necessary”.

That was not what you were asked to do. You may be telling people that you “killed” the exam. In reality, the exam “killed you”.

Go straight to the point. Write something that separates you from competitors and helps you stand out. I think this is a good way to avoid poor performance.

3. You are too Slow:

One of the major factor that sponsors poor performance in examinations is the time factor.

I have been in a situation where I had to attempt 100 “mighty” questions in about forty minutes. Before I knew what was going on, they had already started collecting scripts. That was when I realized that it is not just about being a “FlashLearner”, but attempting questions in “FlashStyle”.

Learn through practice. Time yourself while practising likely examination questions.

You may want to start with at most 5 minutes per question. As time goes on, reduce it to about 40 or 20 seconds as the case may be. It is time to start solving in seconds so as to overcome poor performance.

4. You Never Cross Check:

Don’t submit your answers immediately. Cross check it multiple times for all possible sources of error.

For example, you may have forgotten to include S.I Units. And for those writing exams with multiple choice questions, check if the answer you picked has the correct unit. You will be amazed at the mistakes you corrected while cross-checking.

5. You Never Prepared Well:

The old idea that reading only begins a night to the exam has been thoroughly debunked.

You won’t become a magician overnight. The exam you didn’t prepare well for will gladly present you with poor performance.

No matter the nature of the exam, never overlook or under-rate it. The course may carry only one unit but, it is capable of making you “carry-over”.

I have written many articles that will help you prepare better for exams. Check some of them out here

6. You did not Understand the Questions:

The key to answering questions correctly is the ability to understand the questions. Before you attempt the question, do a thorough analysis. Know:

  • What you are asked to do.
  • The method you are required to adopt
  • What you are not asked to do.
  • Why you arrived at your answer.
  • Why you think other answers are wrong.
  • The focus keyword in the question.

Just understand the questions and as well use the right approach.

7. You never used the Recommended Texts:

Until you begin to use the recommended texts, your performance will not be recommended.

Questions always come out from recommended texts. You were using the textbooks that never represented your scheme of work. This resulted in your poor performance.

Advice: Always use the right and recommended materials to prepare for exams. You can as well have other good ones. If you find the recommended text difficult to understand, then you may want to read the ultimate guide to understanding student.txt.

8. Your CTRL+C and CTRL+V attitude:

You always copy and paste people’s work. How are you sure that they are correct? Who told you that the answer they will text expo to you in the next Jamb is correct?.

One important way to avoid poor performance is to study very hard for the exam. Avoid relying on others for answers. Work hard and say no to examination malpractice.

9.  You forgot 90% of what you Read:

This is a very important factor responsible for poor academic performance. If this is the case, then you don’t have to worry.

10. You don’t have a Strategy:

You should be able to develop personal exam answering strategies (PEAS). This will help cover up for your weakness.

Remember, You do not have anyone to blame for your poor performance in school.

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