Avoiding Careless Mistakes on Exams

avoiding exams mistakes

You’ve spent countless hours studying, pulling all-nighters, and surviving on a diet of coffee and/or instant noodles. The last thing you want is to lose points on your exam due to silly mistakes. 

Proofreading is not just about finding spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. It’s about making sure your answers are clear and ensuring that you haven’t missed any key points or misunderstood the question. Here’s how to turn your good exam paper into a great one.

Proofreading Techniques

Eyeballed your essay for the tenth time but still worried about typos and wonky sentences? Don’t sweat it! Here are some proofreading tricks to catch those sneaky mistakes before they mess with your exam grade. 

First, ditch the speed reading. Grab a pen (or imagine your finger tracing the words) and read super slow, one line at a time. This forces your brain to actually see each word, instead of filling in the blanks.  Next, try reading your work backward, sentence by sentence. It sounds wacky, but it throws your brain off autopilot and helps you spot awkward phrasing and typos you might otherwise miss.  

Common Mistakes to Watch For

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. There are some common mistakes that students often make on exams. These include misreading the question, writing incomplete sentences, and forgetting to include crucial information. 

Avoiding exam mistakes

Misreading the question is a common mistake that can have disastrous consequences. Always make sure you understand what the question is asking before you start writing your answer. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for clarification. Next, it’s easy to skip over prepositions and other smaller parts of writing, go back through, read your sentence, and just make sure it makes sense.

The Wrap-Up

Proofreading might not seem like the most exciting task, but it’s essential. By taking the time to check your work, you can avoid careless mistakes and improve your grades.

Remember, exams aren’t just a test of knowledge, but a test of carefulness and attention to detail. So next time you’re sitting in an exam, don’t rush to hand in your paper. Take a few extra minutes to proofread your work. You might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Need some more exam tips? Check out our blog to study smarter, not harder.


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.