22 Habits to Avoid Before Competitive Exams

Habits become an indispensable part of our lifestyle. So it’s very significant to know the bad habits before we can ditch them. Board exams are a crucial phase in every student’s life. Hence, we need to know what habits we should ditch to prepare right!

Here is a list of habits you must avoid before your board exams.


To prepare for any important upcoming exam your mind must be fresh when you sit down to study. You must have a proper sleep schedule. Cramming will not only lead to low scores but also poor health.

You must start studying regularly months before your board exams instead of pulling all-nighters when your exam is right on your head.


If you keep on jumping from one thing to another you will eventually end up being less productive. People who keep shifting from one task to another have a hard time recalling or gaining anything out of any of them. Concentrating on an individual assignment at a time has got better results.

Listening to music

Playing music is effective when it comes to accomplishing particular tasks. It can help you elevate your mood.

Students often tend to listen to music even whilst studying. It acts as a distraction and does not let your brain focus on studying. It takes up processing space in your head. You need to change this habit soon.

Skipping classes

Many students live in the notion of skipping classes and studying at home. This usually doesn’t work out. The amount of time you would have spent in school, you end up spending double on copying notes.

You have to take additional effort into understanding what was taught in school. Learning everything from scratch consumes a lot of your time.

Not making an outline

An outline helps you keep your ideas organized. It keeps a track of what you have finished studying and how much more you need to cover.

If you do not outline you will end up missing important sections to cover especially when you are working on larger bits of information. This will end up reducing the chances of good grades.

Using social media while studying

In this digital age, it’s common to see people hooked to their smartphones wherever they are. Some may be browsing their social media accounts because of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Resist the temptation of checking your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat by closing all of their tabs from your computer or laptop browser. You can also turn off notifications on your phone.

Not actively studying

Reading and highlighting notes will not be enough to learn new and complex things. Consider doing some active studying strategies such as reading assignments in your own words, teaching someone what you’ve learned, and giving yourself a quiz.

According to Professor Emeritus Marty Lobdell, testing or quizzing yourself works well since you have to get information from your memory – something that you don’t do when reading textbooks.

Being disorganized

With so many things to do and think about, being disorganized will only make studying much harder. Don’t just take notes and keep reminders in odd places.

Keep a notebook where you jot down all exam dates, assignments, deadlines, and study schedules. You can also download an app that is designed to help you organize all studying-related stuff.

Making caffeine an antidote to everything.

One cup of coffee, in truly desperate times, can work wonders at sharpening your thinking and helping you power through great swathes of work. But any more won’t make much of a difference, and instead will turn you into a jittery, shaky, unfocused, mess. Too much caffeine is also bad for your heart and disrupts your sleep patterns.

Studying everything online.

While studying online helps you in getting extra materials. It might not always act in your favour. It is a big source of distraction. 

When you study, you want to be focused, which means limiting all those annoying interruptions that happen when you’re online.

Switch off your Internet connection and give your brain the peace it needs to concentrate. 

Using a laptop to take notes.

While electronic devices are a great help to students they may not always work in your favour. When you write notes by hand, your brain absorbs the meaning of what you’re writing. But when you use a laptop, you’re not processing what you’re learning as deeply.

Ignoring the power of efficient relaxing.

It does not mean you sit and spend time scrolling through social media. It simply means that you spend some time realising the power of breathing. As babies, we all take deep, relaxing breaths. These breaths push the oxygen around our bodies and into our brains, helping us to concentrate better.

But as we get older, we take shorter, faster breaths. As a result, we have trouble staying alert. Relax and breathe properly before you start studying.

Not having scheduled breaks 

it’s normal to feel exhausted after a long 30 to 40 minutes of studying. Don’t fall into the habit of stretching out your break so it ends up being longer than your study time, though.

When you start a study session, set a timer for 30 to 40 minutes and then take a break. Likewise, set the timer for the end of the break so you know when to get back to work.

Surviving on junk food

You are what you eat, but lack of time, poor motivation or lack of knowledge can lead to poor eating habits. Fast food contains many empty calories and high levels of fat, sugar and salt. The body needs good sources of energy to support its daily function.

An individual who does not consume the right nutrients will tire more quickly, which will directly affect their ability to concentrate and study effectively.

Underestimating distractions

Most students underestimate how much their immediate surroundings affect their ability to study. Distractions have a negative influence on study time and quality of learning.

It is important to eliminate all forms of distraction, including mobile devices, television and computers, when trying to focus on studying. Students should make every effort to study in a quiet environment that minimizes distractions.

Demotivating yourself.

Often we tend to indulge in negative self-talk. This leads to demotivation. fact, your body starts feeling like a heavy stone as you drag yourself towards your workspace. You can create a list of motivational lines and paste it into your study corner.

Not having a proper study space.

Trying to work in a noisy room, or one with poor lighting is going to make your study timeless effective. Give yourself a head start by making sure your workspace is conducive to studying.

Avoiding Periodic Tests.

Don’t wait for regular tests and exams to come around before you start studying. Set mini-tests for yourself every few weeks.

You may have reviewed your class notes once, but it doesn’t mean the information has been absorbed or effectively memorised for a future exam. Testing yourself will help you understand your preparation better.

Not cross-checking your work.

Often we tend to ignore the importance of revising our work. When you finish an assignment, don’t consider it done until you’ve double-checked your work for careless mistakes. It is important to make this a practice so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the exam. 


Procrastination or a lack of focus is a big problem during study time. So, instead of trying to concentrate for two hours, you can divide it into 30 main sections.

This will reduce the amount of energy and willpower it takes to focus for a longer duration. The objective is to train your brain to focus on a task that needs to be completed and postpone all distractions.

Ignoring difficult problems

When you don’t understand or you can’t get the hang of something, and you haven’t got a clue even how to begin, it can feel like you’re the only person in the world who just doesn’t get it. But leaving the problem and moving to other questions isn’t the right way. Instead, ask the teacher or a friend to explain it to you again.

Make sure the problem doesn’t fester becoming bigger and more stressful and meaning that they don’t understand more things later on.

Stressing over small failures.

If you mess up once, a few times, or even for a whole year, the worst thing you can do is let it knock your confidence and make you stop trying. Instead, tell yourself that you’re just as capable of doing well as anyone else.

Making a mistake and learning a lesson often gives you a better understanding of how to succeed than flukily hitting the jackpot the first time around.

Similar Posts: