Kids who spend time making sure their handwriting looks nice could be missing out on getting top marks, a study says.
Researchers found that kids who focussed on what their work looked like often didn't do as well as their mates who weren't bothered about being neat.
They think that some kids were too busy concentrating on their writing - and not giving their task enough attention.
The study has led some experts to say that kids would be better off learning to write quickly, rather than neatly.
Nearly 200 primary school kids were tested in the study by Warwick University researchers.
It also found that boys were more likely than girls to have problems with handwriting.
One of the researchers said that focussing on tidy handwriting could "crowd out" other important things - like coming up with ideas and choosing the right word to explain what you mean.