13 Common Mistakes Students Make in WAEC & NECO Examination

Popular mistakes students make in the WAEC and NECO examinations are why students fail the exam.

Passing the WAEC or NECO in flying colours with A grades is the dream of every secondary school student.

Imagine how you and your parents would be happy when you get A grades in your WAEC or NECO exam result.

But there are plenty of things that can go wrong at your end to poor grades.

I made many mistakes when I sat for the WAEC and NECO examinations many years ago.

During my time, there were no online platforms where I could read about the best strategies on how to study and pass the O’level examination. But thank goodness I got good grades in my exam.

In this post, I will walk you through the common examination mistakes and how to avoid them.

Let me know in the comment box below if you have any questions or need further assistance. I will love to hear from you.

Exam success as you prepare for your senior secondary school exams.

Common Mistakes Students Make in WAEC & NECO Examination

Here is the list of common mistakes students make in the WAEC or NECO examination;

  1. Reading without the WAEC or NECO Syllabus
  2. Late Exam Preparations
  3. Not Creating a Personal Study Timetable
  4. Studying without Pass Questions
  5. Joining the Wrong Study or Tutorial Group
  6. Sleep Deprivation
  7. Attempting Difficult Questions
  8. Social Media Addiction
  9. Poor Examination Time Management
  10. Failure to Revise Answers Before Submission
  11. Ignorance of Examination Instructions
  12. Answering Questions with Irrelevant Answers
  13. Use of Abbreviations to Answer Exam Questions

Reading without the WAEC or NECO Syllabus

A student with a laptop

Reading without the WAEC or NECO syllabus is a common mistake made by senior secondary school leavers.

The WAEC and NECO syllabus is the topics you must study to sit for the examination. It contains the aims and objectives, notes and format for the exam.

Each subject you will take in the WAEC has a syllabus for it.

Studying the syllabuses is necessary for your exam preparation. It will serve as a guide for you to know the topics to read. There are also notes on concepts you should pay attention to learning.

Exam preparations without using the syllabus are like going to the farm without your agricultural tools. You will end up not being productive.

Ensure you begin your exam preparations using the syllabus.

Use the link below to view the WAEC and NECO syllabus.

Late Exam Preparations

student studying with laptop

Late exam preparations are one of the common reasons why students fail the WAEC or NECO examination.

Studying late for your exam means waiting till a few weeks before starting or taking your preparations serious.

The best time to start preparing for your board exam is in SS1 and not a few days before your exam.

No, it does not mean that you will not pass the WAEC or NECO if you did not start your preparation in SS1. I am only saying it is the best time to start getting ready.

Begin your preparation as soon as possible. Do not procrastinate your study.

Are you finding it difficult to study for your exam?

Let me know in the comment box below so that I can give you the best advice.

Not Creating a Personal Study Timetable

Black marker on notebook

A personal study timetable is a draft of the subjects you want to study for each day of the week.

The timetable covers from Monday to Sunday.

Creating a personal study timetable is a productive reading technique to get good grades in your examination.

A study timetable should not contain too many goals. The problem here is that you will not be able to achieve your study objectives. It is better to go for a schedule that is practical and achievable.

The tables below will give you a clue on to create a study timetable for your examination.

WAEC Study Timetable

Science Student Study Timetable

Here is a sample of a WAEC study timetable for Science students taking the following subjects;

  1. Mathematics
  2. English Language
  3. Physics
  4. Chemistry
  5. Biology
  6. Agricultural Science
  7. Geography
  8. Civic Education
  9. Economics
DaySubject ISubject IISubject III
MondayEnglish LanguageEconomicsEnglish Language
TuesdayAgricultural ScienceMathematicsBiology
WednesdayGeographyEnglish LanguagePhysics
ThursdayEconomicsPhysicsEconomics
FridayChemistryGeographyAgricultural Science
SaturdayMathematicsMathematicsPhysics
SundayBiologyCivic EducationChemistry
This table contains the study timetable for Science students taking the WAEC examination
Art & Commercial Student Study Timetable

Here is a sample of a WAEC study timetable for Art and Commercial students taking the following subjects;

  1. Mathematics
  2. English Language
  3. Government
  4. Literature in English
  5. Economics
  6. CRS/IRS
  7. Commerce
  8. Nigerian Languages (Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa)
  9. Civic Education
DaySubject ISubject IISubject III
MondayEnglish LanguageEconomicsEnglish Language
TuesdayCommerceMathematicsGovernment
WednesdayCRS/IRSEnglish LanguageLiterature in English
ThursdayEconomicsGovernmentEconomics
FridayCommerceGeographyLiterature in English
SaturdayCRS/IRSCRS/IRSGovernment
SundayNigerian LanguageCivic EducationChemistry
This table contains the study timetable for Art and Commercial students taking the WAEC examination

If you have any problem setting up a study timetable, let me know in the comment box at the end of this post.

Studying without Pass Questions

finance

Studying WAEC and NECO past questions is the open secret to getting school grades.

The past questions booklet contains the examination questions over the last ten (10) years.

Studying past questions is to gauge your preparation and know the exam format.

Without studying past questions, you may not know how to tackle exam questions.

Ensure you get a WAEC or NECO past questions with correct answers for all subjects.

Do not cram the questions and answers into the past questions. You are to use it to practice and test your preparation.

Joining the Wrong Study or Tutorial Group

students sitting inside a lecture hall

Study or tutorial groups are good ways to prepare for your examination.

As they say, two heads are better than one.

In a tutorial centre, you will get a better explanation of topics you did not understand in class.

Also, joining a study group can help push you to work harder. It is achievable by teaching your classmates and answering past questions.

Unfortunately, many tutorial centres and study groups are a complete waste of time.

Students taking the WAEC or NECO exams go there for a fashion parade. There is little learning taking place in these venues.

You must ensure that any tutorial centre or group study you belong to is beneficial to your academics.

Do not hesitate to leave when you do not find them helpful.

Sleep Deprivation

man lying on a couch

Sleep deprivation is when a student decides to stay awake at night to study.

Many students stay awake all night because they want to cover the WAEC and NECO syllabus.

Well, it can be helpful for some students. But it is a good thing to study but not at the expense of your health.

You should read the best way to stay awake and study at night.

Creating time for sleep after your study hours is necessary for retentive memory.

Sleeping will help to sharpen your memory. It would be easier to read, understand and recollect.

Do not deprive yourself of sleep because of your exam preparation.

Attempting Difficult Question

a student studying with books on the table

Answering questions you do not know the answer to; is a bad strategy.

During the exams, many students make the mistake of attempting difficult questions.

From the start, they struggle with the examinations. It kills their morale causing poor performance.

The best method to begin your examination is to answer questions you know the answer to before moving on to others.

Every student gets anxious at the beginning of an examination. It is a common experience regardless of your level of preparation.

Go for simple questions to increase your confidence and make you relax. You would be able to tackle the difficult questions later on.

Social Media Addiction

Person holding iPhone

Social media addiction is the greatest challenge for students taking the WAEC and NECO examinations.

It is a grave problem because it is the leading cause of the poor performance of students in the O’level exams.

Social media addiction is when students cannot focus on studying because of social media apps.

Tiktok, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat are the names of the popular social media causing addiction among students.

Dealing with social media addiction as a student will improve your academics and life.

Take a decision today to handle the urge of always wanting to check your phone to see watch videos and pictures.

Discipline yourself not to be distracted by your phone.

You can solve your problem with social media addiction as a student using the following tips.

  • Do not open social media apps when studying
  • Put your phone on flight mode while studying
  • Resist the urge to open your social media apps
  • Set a study target for yourself every day
  • Use social media at a specific time of the day

Poor Examination Time Management

hourglass on stone

Poor examination time management is a common mistake students make in the exam hall.

Many students with poor time management do not get enough time to finish their examinations.

It can be a painful experience if you know the answers to the questions asked.

The leading cause of this problem is students spending much time on difficult questions.

In the exam hall, your goal is to answer your best questions. Do not waste time on things that will not give you top grades.

Studying with past questions is the best way to learn good examination time management.

Failure to Revise Answers Before Submission

A man and a woman looking at a computer screen

Revising your answers before submitting your answer booklet is the only way to get top grades in your examination.

Many students make the mistake of submitting their examination without revising their work. It is a big mistake.

There is no award for the first student to finish the exam. Stay inside the exam hall going over your work till the end of the exam.

During this period, you will be able to spot mistakes in your answered questions.

Ignorance of Examination Instructions

students sitting at a table

WAEC and NECO examination instructions are guidelines to follow.

The first action a student must take in the examination hall is to follow the exam instructions.

Take time to read through the instructions. You will see information about the conduct of the exam and the number of questions to answer.

Answering Questions with Irrelevant Answers

African Student

Writing out of context is a common mistake students make in the WAEC or NECO examination.

Answering questions with irrelevant answers happens most times when you fail to read exam questions with understanding.

Another mistake is using big words in your essay paper. Always remember, the simpler, the better.

Use of Abbreviations to Answer Exam Questions

Nigerian student

Answering questions with shorthand or abbreviation is not accepted in any examination.

The use of social media languages leads to mark deduction.

You will not have this problem if you practice with past questions.

I will love to hear from you in the comment box below. Ask me any questions about the WAEC or NECO examination.

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3 thoughts on “13 Common Mistakes Students Make in WAEC & NECO Examination”

  1. I need help am waec candidate from 425***9**5 centre some day ago I discovery i made a mistake in entering my waec centre number so my name is sunday uzochukwu Samuel, in case any marker come across my paper pls help me because i depend on this waec and God bless

    Reply

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