“School sweet but na exam spoil am” is a common aphorism among students particularly undergraduates to express their frustration about exams. At times, frustration could border around the rigorous process of preparing for exams or on the other hand, the disappointment that often comes with the results. Oftentimes, students are quick to put the blame of their failure on lecturers as well as other external factors which we can say with certainty are all surmountable.
While unwary students are engaged with the business of shifting blame and complaining, the objective ones take their time to assess, analyse and address the factors that have led them to fail, and by so doing, prevent further occurrences of failure in their exams. We have divided these causative factors into two viz: pre-exam and mid-exam factors and we have already discussed the former. You may read *“WHY UNDERGRADUATES FAIL EXAMS (PRE EXAM FACTORS)”*. While the pre-exam factors are largely attitudinal, the mid exam factors are more of psychological problems, and they include:
- LATENESS TO EXAM VENUE
This factor comes first on the list. Apart from having limited time for the exam having arrived late, students are disoriented and in most cases, find themselves unable to write up to their own expectation. So much for all the preparations for the exam.
This is a psychological battle students must overcome. Fear is such a complex factor that drags with it other problems such as unnecessary mistakes, oversight, memory loss, etc. Whether it is fear of exams or fear of lecturers, you must understand that it is unreal and that it does no good whatsoever.
- FAILURE TO READ/OBEY INSTRUCTIONS
Overconfidence or sheer refusal to read instructions inadvertently makes you violate them. It is not often safe to assume that you are demanded to answer all questions. It would do no harm to read through instructions because, yes! Instructions are parts of exams.
- FAILURE TO READ QUESTIONS PROPERLY
You must have heard students cry out almost immediately after submitting their exam scripts. The reasons are not far fetched: they have only just discovered that they misunderstood a question or failed to see one or more questions. This very problem has been traced to unnecessary tension or fear, and you could possibly avoid it by carefully reading through your work before submission.
- POOR TIME MANAGRMENT
Inability to appropriate the given time in a particular examination leaves you working without guide. It is possible to spend too much time on a particular question, and by consequence, you deprive yourself of valuable time which should have been better harnessed on answering other questions. To curb this, you may go into the exam hall with a wristwatch since mobile phones are not often allowed. Allot time to given questions based on your understanding of the question and the marks awarded to each( if stated). You should not spend more time on a question of fifteen marks than a 30-marks question. You should also plan the given time to allow room for an overview of your work after all because it is very dangerous to submit your script without reading through it.
- EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE
Having tried all lawful means to equip themselves for the exams but to no avail, desperate students resort to cheating in the examination hall. If they are caught, the consequence is often more preferable as failure than expulsion!
The list of factors that contribute to failure in examination goes on and on, even without making mention of those beyond the students’ control such as bad teachers/lecturers, examiner’s mood while marking, mistakes while processing results, getting into lecturers’ black books, etc. These factors are however not to be seen as excuses for failure but as areas where you need to improve and show the true worth of your knowledge.