Best Practice

GCSE exams: Seven common mistakes and how to help students avoid them

With a focus on English and maths, Tamara Budhan Caldwell discusses seven of the most common mistakes that she sees students making during their exams



The move to terminal examination means that students can often feel the entire sum of their education is at stake on exam day.

So how can teachers give students the confidence and tools they need to apply their knowledge effectively, avoid mistakes, and achieve the best marks possible?

The most important thing to remember is that exam success is not about cramming or teaching to the test (this just adds to the pressure they will feel). Instead, it is about demystifying the exam process – supporting the students to understand the exam structure and requirements.

I work as part of a team of former examiners, so let me give you our top seven examples of mistakes or pitfalls to avoid, and some recommendations.

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