Exam hall

It is very easy to write or sit for an examination. But avoiding poor performance? That one is strong.

Just few years ago, you were in primary school and the concern about poor performance wasn’t an issue for you. Now, you have started writing competitive examinations, avoiding poor performance have become a ‘must’.

Since the past six years, the rate at which students perform poorly in exams has grown exponentially.

This trend can be seen in results released by:

  1. Various departments in the University.
  2. The West African Examination Council (WAEC).
  3. Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB).
  4. National Examination Council (NECO) and
  5. Various entrance examination bodies.


To scale through in all these exams, you will agree that avoiding poor performance is the key. It goes back to the first sentence: Avoiding poor performance is much tougher.

Yet for all these scenarios we have seen, many students still fail to fight poor performance by all means.

Here are 10 of the reasons for your poor performance and what you can do about it.
1. Your writing is too poor

Writing is the most important element. It is the first thing people see. You need to give examiners impression that you understand what you are doing or risk loosing his attention.

Your writing set expectation for the reader. He believes. “when I go through this beautiful writing, I will be able to see something meaningful” Low and behold, he sees disaster.

A great writing can be positive or negative sentiment, but above all is that it is not very easy to ignore. Make your writing more readable. Let there be little spaces between words. Make the sentences short and simple as well. This tip will help you overcome poor performance in school.

2. You write out of point

Avoiding poor performance is the way. Yes, you want to impress the examiner-but there’s no excuse for writing off the point.

You were asked to list 10 parts of the body, but you drew and labeled. I really commend your effort, but it was not necessary. That was not what you were asked to do. You may be telling people that you “killed” the exam. In reality, the exam “killed you”.

Go straight to the point. Write something that separates you from competitors and helps you stand out. I think this is a good way to avoid poor performance.

3. You are too slow

One of the major factor sponsoring poor performance in examinations is the time factor. I have been in a situation where I had to attempt 100 “mighty” questions in about forty minutes. Before I knew what was going on, they had already started collecting scripts. That was when I realized that it is not just about being a “FlashLearner”, but attempting questions in “FlashStyle”.

Learn through practice. Time yourself while practicing likely exam questions. You may want to start with 5 minutes per question. As time goes on, reduce it to about 40 or 20 seconds as the case may be. It is time to start solving in seconds so as to overcome the guy called poor performance.

4. You never crossed checked

Don’t submit your answers immediately. Cross check it multiple times for all possible sources of error.

For example, you may have forgotten to include the S.I units. And for those writing exams with multiple choice questions, check if the answer you picked has the correct unit.

You will be amazed the mistakes you correct when you try to cross check. As a matter of fact, you are not perfect. So, there is need to cross check your work.

You see students say things like, “I wrote the exam very well, yet poor performance”. Some claim that the examiner deliberately failed them. Well, I don’t know why any examiner would want to intentionally fail you.

5. You never prepared well

The old idea that reading only begins a night to the exam has been thoroughly debunked. You won’t become a magician overnight.

The exam you didn’t prepare well for will gladly present you with poor performance. No matter the nature of the exam, never overlook or under-rate it. The course may carry only one unit but, it is capable of making you carry-over.

I have written many articles that will help you prepare better for exams. Check some of them out here


6. You did not understand the questions

The key to answering questions correctly is the ability to understand the questions. Before you attempt the question, do a thorough analysis. Know:

  • What you are asked to do.
  • The method you are required to adopt
  • What you are not asked to do.
  • Why you arrived at your answer.
  • Why you think other answers are wrong.
  • The focus keyword in the question.


Just understand the questions and as well use the right approach.

7. You never used the recommended texts

Until you begin to use the recommended texts, your performance will not be recommended.

Questions always come out from recommended texts. You were using the text books that never represented your scheme of work. This resulted to your poor performance.

Advice: Always use the right and recommended materials to prepare for exams. You can as well have other good ones. If you find the recommended text difficult to understand, then you may want to read the ultimate guide to understanding student.txt.

8. Your poor performance resulted from y our CTRL+C and CTRL+V attitude.

You always copy and paste people’s work. How are you sure that they are correct? Who told you that the answer they will text to you in the next JAMB is correct?. Work hard and say no to examination malpractice.

9. Your performance is poor because you forgot 90% of what you read

This is a very important factor responsible for poor academic performance. If this is the case, then you don’t have to worry. I have solved the problem in my previous article. You may want to read how to remember 90% of what you read in the link above (No 5).

10. You don’t have a strategy

You should be able to develop personal exam answering strategies (PEAS). This will help cover up for your weakness.

Remember, You do not have any one to blame for you poor performance in school.

If you have been blessed by this article, don’t fail to share with friends. Please hit the share button or drop your comment below. For general discussion, use the forum.

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Isaac Inegbenehi

Welcome to FlashLearners. I'm Isaac, a Students Advocate, Web Developer, SEO Expert, Blogger and an Engineering Student From Nigeria.
I started this blog as a passion, with the vision to inspire and empower students, helping them realize and maximize their potentials.
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