How to avoid embarrassing exam mistakes

Embarrassed student

Save yourself from that sinking feeling...

We've all done it. The flustered attempt to write down all your answers when you're running out of time, or misunderstanding the simplest of questions. 

Here are some of the funniest exam mistake stories from TSR users, and how to avoid making the same mistakes. 

Make sure you learn the numbers 1-10!

If you’re doing a maths exam, I can’t stress enough how important those first ten numbers are. If you learn those, and how to add them up, it’s a sure fire way to ace that paper. 

I did

4 x 4 = 4


2 + 5 = 3


When you put 1 + 1 = 3 and then lose about 10% of the marks because it oversimplifies the rest of the calculations.



Make sure you can write your own name!

 You know that thing you've been called ever since you were born? Maybe you could learn how to write that before you go into the exam hall. I bet that'll score you a few points!

I wrote my first name twice instead of writing my full name.

Everyone be messing up in questions while I can't even write my name correctly.

– dianciesylveon

Make sure you’re writing about the correct exam!

I know it can be confusing when you have loads of exams at the same time, but it is generally best to stick to one subject. 

Wrote "SOHCAHTOA" instead of "Krakatoa" in the geography exam yesterday.


I wrote about two pages of an A2 exam in Welsh. was an English exam.


Make sure you know your correct translations!

Doesn't 'magic bread' sound really tasty though? 

For my french exam I said the lady was blind – she was a 'veuve' a WIDOW.


In my AS Japanese exam I translated the word for marzipan into English as 'magic bread.'


French GCSE speaking I was trying to use some A* tense so I said my Grandma died and dropped a cake instead of fell over and dropped a cake.


And your correct terminology!

Keep it clean, folks.  

For the life of me I could not remember the abbreviation for 'that is to say' (viz), so I wrote T.I.T.S and the teacher read it out in class much to my embarrassment and her mirth!


I wrote "orgasm" instead of "organism" oops...:/


In a chemistry exam, I wrote homophobic instead of hydrophobic.


Exam mistakes

Don't take your interpretations too far!

Surely no interpretations are wrong if you can back them up. This person's teacher obviously disagrees! 

In an English lit exam, I wrote how a woman was a prostitute and used the quotes "men come from miles around to buy from her" and "men came back day by day, night by night" turned out she was selling burgers, I had completely misunderstood the poem. My teacher reported me! 

– Walz

Don't get cocky!

 Always revise and check EVERYTHING.  

I remember during my higher IGCSE maths paper, I looked at one of the questions near the front of the paper which was worth 1 mark and thought 'oh that's easy, I won't bother using my calculator' so I didn't but when I got home and checked it, I'd got the answer wrong. 
I've never made the mistake of being cocky since 


For the edexcel geography GCSE mock exam I didn't revise the protection of the oceans sub-topic and it came up as the 8 marker and so I lost all 8 marks. So me being me, I assumed that because they brought that question up in last years paper, I won't need to revise it for my actual exam. But no, edexcel seemed to be recycling last years questions, so again I lost those same 8 marks.  


Don’t be too familiar!

 Is this better or worse than calling the examiner ‘mum’?

In English iGCSE exam this year, I signed off question one writing love from and then my own name 

– Anmol_.

Don’t think outside the box!

10/10 for creativity. 0/10 for correctness.

I was being a bit stupid on a multiple choice question, where the options were A, B, C and D. I created a new box called E and wrote none of the above, and then selected that answer.


Don't forget the right pen!

Think in pencil, write in pen.  

And in my chemistry mock I got 3/6 for a 6 marker just coz the arrow heads on my energy level diagram were 'too faint' and looked like they had been 'rubbed off.'

Bruh it was just a light pencil fgs.


And finally... don't forget to actually go

Oh, come on...!

Forgot I had an exam.


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