From Quora: My Answer to "How do I increase my concentration while writing exams? Many times, I make the mistake of not reading the questions properly. How do I overcome this?"
I tend to skim-read everything, which lets me get through tests quickly, but it does mean I miss details. I compensate by re-reading quickly a few times to make sure I haven’t missed anything. My guess is you also skim-read exam questions, and sometimes end up answering a question incorrectly based on your faulty understanding of the question.
The solution? Re-read the question. Underline important words and phrases. Make sure you know the difference between “must” and “may,” and look for trick questions such as “All the statements below are true, EXCEPT….,” since then you have to find the statement that’s untrue - the WRONG answer is the RIGHT answer there.
If you’re being asked a math or science question, make sure you know what units you should use, that the units “work out” when you carry them along with the numbers - e.g., “miles” divided by “miles” = 1, and the units cancel out. If the units end up weird (e.g., instead of miles per hour, you get hours per mile), you know you made a mistake. Don’t mistake “number” for “integer.” Read the instructions at the beginning of the test - they’ll tell you what you can safely assume, such as “All numbers are real numbers unless otherwise specified.” Again, just re-read the question to make sure you have it right. If a question seems too easy, that should be your first clue that maybe you’ve missed something.
Author: John Linneball Who did you think? ;-)
I'm the proprietor and only tutor for this business; that's why I named it after me.