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TOP 3 common mistakes to avoid when taking primary Science exams

When it comes to primary Science exams, most students will start to perspire and freaking out internally. Is normal but there are also ways to reduced that emotion. Do you know that there are top 3 mistakes that most students make when taking the exams and that it leads from 1 mistake to another?

Let’s take a look at what are the top 3 common mistakes made and how to avoid them.

Freaking out

The first freak out experience is when the exam dates are getting nearer and you have tons of revision to be done. The next freak out experience is when you are entering the “battle zone” a.k.a. the exam hall. That feeling becomes more intense when the paper is being handed out to you. For some, it feels like you are drowning in the deep ocean.

Solution: control your breathing. Take in a deep breath and count from 1 to 10. This breathing exercise will calm your mind and body so that you feel less panicky. If you find this too difficult to do, then head to the paper and answer those questions you find it easy to answer. Progress from level 1 (easiest) questions and slowly move on the next level.

Do not start with the difficult questions first as this may take too much of your time and you may lose the time needed to finish up the rest of the questions. Managing of exam time will be discusssed next.

If you ever feel stuck (especially in open-ended questions), move on to the next question but make sure to come back to the question again later and try your best to attempt to it. Leaving the question blank will not give you any marks at all!

Plan your time

The next common mistake that is commonly experienced by students is not planning their time well. When the time starts, students tend to quickly hit straight to answer the paper without checking how many pages and questions there are. They tend to over-spent their time when they are stuck at a question.

Solutions: Once you have gotten the exam paper, flip through, and check how many questions there are. Have a quick run-through of the questions and analyze which are the easy ones and which are not. Attempt the easy ones first so that you can quickly move to the more difficult ones.

If you are stuck with any questions, try your best attempt to answer. Science questions are typically to test the application of scientific knowledge in everyday life. If you are skipping the difficult ones, do remember to go back later and work on it if you have time.

Read the questions properly and answer according to the questions

When it comes to answering questions, it is very common for students to just regurgitate whatever they have learned from the notes they have written during lessons or revised without understanding fully what the question is exactly asking for. Another common thing to note while answering questions is making basic grammar and spelling mistakes.

Solutions: It is especially important to answer questions in your own words and explanation to show that you understand and can connect the dots together with the right keywords. Examiners can tell if you are just spitting out all the notes or not. What they are looking for is how you think around the question and answer it in your own way with the right keywords.

It is also important that students are able to write basic English well with correct grammar and spelling. Always read your answer again to check if they make sense and no spelling mistake made. Here’s one example of the common mistake made by most students:

Student usually answer (4) for the above.
Answer is wrong

Common mistake here is, it is asking for false statements and students tend to remember it as true. Another point to note is the confusion between oxygen and carbon dioxide that the plant take in. Plants do take in oxygen but during the day, because it needs to perform photosynthesis, they will take in carbon dioxide instead. NOTE: this question is looking for false statements, therefore, the correct answer is (2).


It is very common to feel stress and anxiety when it comes to Science exams and making the above mistakes. If students have been listening in class and having adequate revision, the panicky feeling shouldn’t exist or lesser. Having a strong understanding and concepts of the Science topics they learned makes it easier to answer the question in their own words and securing higher marks in the exams.

I hope this provides you a great insight of the top 3 common mistakes to avoid when taking primary Science exams. In my next article, I will be providing more detailed information on tackling Science exam paper.

>> PS: Have more tips to share? Feel free to comment below
>>PS: Have more questions on exam mistakes? Type in your question in the comment box and we will get back as soon as we can. 

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