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Why Students Fail Examination

Know the reasons why students fail examination so we can work on it. I heard many students right from the basic schools through to the universities asked if some students don’t suffer when they study. Some learners also believed that they are born to be average students. Many also wonder why they study yet can’t commit it to memory. Well, we are going to dig deep into the root causes of students failure in examinations.

The common ones to almost every student are;

  1. Studying at the last hour of a test, quiz, assignment, exams.

Now, learning is said to be progressive, gradual, learning from the known to the unknown. So, if you are to learn from the known to the unknown, then, you must have enough time to relate the new concepts to things you already know. Imagine, pouring water into a funnel and expecting all to drain down at the same time. No, it doesn’t work that way. It takes time and so it is with learning. To pass your examination or any form of examination, you must start from day one. Piling your books down until the dying minute will surely make you fail. Note that some people have every high IQs and for this group of people, they don’t have to use the whole day, weeks or months to learn. But in most cases, some engage in rote learning. Try as much as possible to read what was taught same day after the lesson has ended.


2. Allowing others draw your timetable for you.

Many students that fail their exams, resort to following their friends or colleagues to places “they” (their friends) want to go even though, it is not in their schedule. When you continue doing that you will continue to struggle with your studies. Some also may plan to study (Mathematics) and when they meet friends, they switch to the subjects their friends are about to study. Look at this, won’t it be nice if you rather determine the pace for your friends by drawing their timetable for them rather than they doing it for you? You must have your schedule for each day and when friends want to change it for you, say no.


Read on: How to Pass any Exams with Ease


3. Not choosing your learning environment wisely. 

I know you may be asking if the environment that you study has anything to do with your failure. I tell you yes, some people are easily distracted hence needed a very serene atmosphere to learn. They get distracted with the least noise around them. If you know you are easily distracted, the library is the best place for you. Learners who do not know this just move to any place they want and start learning. I know a friend that can be speaking with you and still learn his material at the same time. You should know what works for you and choose your learning environment wisely. There are some subjects or topics that works even in a noisy environment. Subjects that do not need to much thinking. Identify the subject that you do not struggle to understand and fix them at the times you have noise around you.


4. Keeping destructive materials around you.

Some students play with their phones while learning. Like I have mentioned above, know what works for you before doing it. I get destructed when I have my mobile phone on me during studies therefore, I always put it off when studying. You can choose to put it on silence. You may not want to use it but it becomes uncontrollable when calls kept coming. To play safe, keep it at a distance or completely put it off. Other materials that may also destruct you, put them away.


5. The kind of Relationships we engage in.

Some students mostly at the High school levels engage in amoral relationships. Now, ask yourself, even without an examination to write, It is difficult to deal with broken hearts so why engage in stuffs like that whiles in school? Even at the tertiary level, if you can not handle broken heart, do not get involved. Not to say much, students in basic schools are too young for it. Those that engage in healthy relationships in school, (great friends, learning mates) mostly get the best in their exams. Do not get me wrong, some engage in unhealthy relationships but always pass their exams. These people are already good but this article is to those that have challenges with passing their exams. On a larger scale, choose one master at a time.


6. Not participating in group discussions 

Group discussion is very effective way to learn. Weak students must not pair with other weak students, unfortunately, that is what we mostly see among students. If you know you are a weak student, walk with a brilliant student. That person might not necessarily be your friend. Get closer to people that can help you. I heard many say they don’t like group discussions and I’m surprise but that is what they felt doesn’t work for them. But I tell you, when you engage in group discussions, it helps you to understand concepts the more. Some students also think group studies is a waste of time. Is far from that, some concepts are well explained by your peers. Before you go for group discussions, try to read about the topic to be discussed. Note the challenging topics down, and raise them during the discussion.


7. Learning any subject at any time

Have a personal timetable to guide your study. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You perform poorly because you do not have plans to succeed. When you have a clear plan for your study, you will not be changing books just because someone else is reading a different material. Most of the time, students just draw timetable not considering their levels of difficulty. Learn a subject at a time so you do not get confuse. Remember to follow your study plan.


8. Low Self Esteem

Not believing in who you are is a pity. You are the best copy of yourself and there is no copy of you anywhere. A lot of students fail before they sat for the exams. This mostly happens because they do not believe in themselves. Look, there was a time where I read just some few pages before exams and was scared to the bones that I might fail. As I was wasting my time crying because I was left with just 10 minutes to enter the exam room. A friend came to me and said, “just believe in yourself“. She continued and said, “once you have stayed in class and listen to what the teacher taught, just relax and recall all”. Guess what happened, I went to the exams room with a high spirit and “boom”, I was able to recall everything and I had a good grade in the subject. Never think the worse of yourself. Even in the face of failure, still believe.


Note: Before you start any examination, do not be too anxious to see the questions. Always remember to read Instructions that comes with the paper. Over anxiety can cause you to forget everything so relax, when asked to start then you can “fire”. I don’t encourage rote learning, try to understand and replicate what you have read.

These are the reasons you fail your exams.


Please, if you have any addition or questions, leave it in the comment section below.

Share with all students so we can all grow together.


Read also on: How to Pass any Exams with Ease


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Casper works at Ghana Education Service as an ICT teacher. He graduated with a First Class Honor at University of Education, Winneba - Kumasi Campus now AAMUSTED. He is also a Certified Cisco Networking Engineer and passionate about students learning.

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