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Exploring Pre-Exam Rituals Across the World

Exams are no doubt a daunting experience for many students. Despite how much you study, you always feel like you haven’t prepared enough, and the fear of the unknown blends with fatigue, leaving nothing to do but resort to superstitions.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all done some bizarre rituals before an exam. These rituals can be anything, from old traditions to religious activities, good luck charms to lucky meals etc. Although these rituals didn’t hold any scientific significance, yet we still turned to them to feel more confident and prepared. Different people belonging to different parts of the world have unique pre-exam rituals that they practice to do well on their tests.

In this blog, we’ll be exploring the various pre-exam rituals and good luck charms from different cultures and how they are believed to alleviate the stress of exams. Read on to find out if yours has made the list!

Exam Rituals Across the Globe

Pre-exam rituals vary greatly from one culture to another, but they all provide a sense of comfort and assurance to those who practice them. Here is a look at some of the most popular pre-exam rituals from around the world.


Prayer is one of the most popular methods of seeking good luck and success in exams. Many cultures believe that praying to a higher power before the exam will bring them success. People belonging to different religions like Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism believe praying can help them in their exams and even make a miracle happen!

Not Washing Hair

In countries like India and South Korea, students believe that washing their hair before exams will also wash away all the learning they’ve done.

Magic of KitKat

The Japanese believe that eating a KitKat before an exam will bring good luck. Japanese KitKat, called “Kitto Katto” sounds synonymous with the Japanese phrase “Kitto Katsu” which means Surely Winning. Thus, eating the KitKat bar before taking an exam has become a symbol of good luck in Japan.

Lucky Pens

The most common ritual practised all around the world is having a lucky pen for exams. Many students have a specific pen that they believe brings good luck and when they write their papers with it, they are sure to pass with good grades.


Ever tried amulets for warding off evil before exams? This one is for you. Amulets are believed to bring luck, protection, and success to many cultures around the world. Amulets often come in the form of coins, jewellery, or keychains. People often carry them with them when they go to take the exam.

Knock on The Wood

Knocking on wood is a popular superstition in many cultures. This ritual originated from the old pagan belief that spirits live in the trees and is now followed in different parts of the world including Europe, Serbia, Turkey and many other regions. It is believed that knocking on wood will bring good luck and success in the exam.


In some cultures, people believe that doing a specific type of workout or activity before an exam will bring them luck. It is a widely practised activity in the USA where students often work out before exams. Exercising is believed to relieve stress, and anxiety as well as improve the quality of sleep. So when you wake up in the morning you will feel fresh and will be able to do well on exams.

Special Meals

Many cultures believe that eating a specific type of food before an exam will bring them luck and success. In South Korea, students often eat Seaweed Soup before exams. They believe its slippery nature will help to slip out all the information you’ve learned easily on the paper. Similarly, in India people eat sweet yoghurt which is considered to bring good luck and success in exams. Other than that, Chicken soup is also thought to help with studying in regions like China, UK, Singapore, and USA.

Avoiding Handshakes

In Zambia, it is believed that if you shake hands with someone right before your exam, it will cause everything you’ve studied to slip out of your hands. To avoid this, people often avoid shaking hands with others before the exam.

Red Underpants

In China, wearing red underwear before an exam is believed to bring good luck. This is because red is seen as a symbol of good luck and success in many cultures. In the UK too, students have a pair of lucky underpants that they wear on their exam day for good grades.

Pre-Exam Rituals are Good but Studying is Always Better!

Pre-exam rituals and good luck charms are a part of many cultures across the world. From the traditional to the modern, these rituals and charms provide comfort and hope, boosting confidence and helping to ease the stress of taking an exam. Whether it’s a special snack, a lucky charm, or a special robe, these rituals can be a great way to get into the right mindset for a successful exam-taking experience.

While these rituals can be a fun and interesting way to relieve stress before an exam, it is important to remember that studying is always the best way to ensure a successful outcome on any test. Studying for an exam is the most effective way to prepare and ultimately achieve a good grade. So, it is important to remember that when it comes to exams, hard work and studying are always the best way to ensure success.



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