• February 6, 2024

Why Students Flunk Exams?

Why Students Flunk Exams?
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By Alusine Fullah

Yes, all around the world Education is seen as being the bedrock of civilization. A good education equips one with the right knowledge, skill and exposure to navigate society and be successful in the future. Parents, guardians and even individuals go out of their way to get their children, wards and themselves the best education money could offer.

A lot of importance is placed on educational performance for growth and advancement in society. Therefore, it is not a surprise that tests or exams play a huge role in the goings on in the lives of people and society at large; it is a deciding factor to the schools, course of study and even dream jobs one can gain access to. It is therefore a nightmare to many when they are faced with failure at any level in their pursuit of educational success. There are plethora of reasons why students flunk/ fail their exams. But for the purpose this article, let us just swim on few.

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Exams phobia is one of the factors that kill great people even before they notice it. Usually, examination fear is caused by the fact that; you don’t know what to expect in the examination. Another reason why people are afraid during exams is because they probably don’t want to face the consequences that comes with failing the examination.

Failure is a stumbling block most people dread running into on their way to meeting personal or societal expectations. Many individuals have ready answers for why they perform poorly on their exam result booklets; most of them due to both internal and external factors, which are very much interrelated. Factors that are almost the same across all school class and age grade strata.

In recent times, all across the globe, statistics have shown the decline in performances of students during examinations to be on the rise, as such, we will be exploring some of the numerous reasons why students fail in their Examinations.

 Poor or No Preparation: simply put, preparation is what you do in readiness for an occurrence or event. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, and Confucius was also credited to have said that, “success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure”. This issue of lack of preparation usually happens to students just venturing into a new class or field. Students/ pupils have to fully prepare in terms of exams.

They most times lack the psychological, emotional and academic preparedness required for the new phase, and so, they typically go into an examination without the required inspiration and diligence to make good grades. A student can still falter in an exam despite having all the requisite knowledge and educational facilities available to them. Lack of preparation incudes: not reading class or lecture notes, not doing all necessary research broad reading needed for a particular subject or course, lack of good revisions, not studying past questions, etc.  Preparation gives one a level of assuredness needed to get the job done.

Lack of Interest or No Interest At All: having an interest in a particular subject, course or field of study is an added advantage for a student intending to do well in their exams. When one is not interested in a thing, they tend to hardly ever give it time or attention which translates to poor performances on exam day. Once an individual’s heart is not in a venture, they seldom give their best and this builds a castle that failure most certainly.


Lack of Good Management of Time: indeed, people say time is money.  In the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams written by Secondary School students to certify their eligibility to go on to university in Sierra Leone, it is reported that 15% of failures recorded every year is as a result of the students inability to maximize the time allocated them.

Most students do not realize part of the test is also to see how much their brains can analyse and compute information within an allocated time. So, it is possible for a student might be prepared and still fail due to working slowly or answering questions at one’s own slow pace. Instead of answering the easier questions, some students tend to settle on a hard or ambiguous question for a large chunk of the time apportioned for an exam.

Going To the Exam Overconfident: being confident is a good trait to have, but having an overdose of it can be self-destructive. In thinking one knows more than enough, they may not see the little details that make the much difference.

In a bid to show they are smarter than the examiner, an overconfident person might ignore instructions and do things their own way. An overconfident student will almost never agree they don’t know how to go about a thing or that they are wrong when they are not.

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