Sometimes it can be very difficult to predict the outcome of your exams, whether you be in secondary school or even university. This is probably because; exams are arguably one of the most feared things in education for students. Whether a student is confident in their abilities in their chosen subject(s) or not, exams can often both predictably and unpredictably bring out the best, and more than often, the worst, in a student. If the worst does happen, failing your exams can be one of the most devastating experiences for a student, especially when they were not expecting to fail their exams. Below are Top 10 ways to Deal with Exam failure.
- Don’t panic– There are many ways you can have another go. There may be re-sits or alternative exams to take. This is NOT the one and only chance and you are NOT the one and only person who did not pass.
- Don’t be dramatic–Allow yourself some emotional ‘grieving’ but don’t torture yourself. Expect to feel measures of anger, disappointment, despair or nonchalance, but move on from each stage. Don’t Shut Yourself out! But TALK, Talk to your family, and talk to your friends, discuss the options you can take now that you’ve had your exam results back.
- Learn from it–Exam failure is one of the many hurdles you’ll have to surpass in your life, and there are always possibilities to learn and rise above failure.
- Try not to linger– try not to over-focus on the exam result itself. This may sound contrary, but you must have learned about a topic in some way even if the exam questions on the day didn’t go your way. You may, at the very least, know that a certain subject is NOT for you!
- Tell Yourself– It is just a temporary setback. Like the examples above, you will not be a failure all your life. Remind yourself:
- This failure is only temporary.
• I can definitely rise above these challenges.
• I know I can achieve success.
• My persistence and confidence can bring me to places.
- Think of inspirational others-Everyone has gone through plenty of failures, and some of them have worse experiences than you. Winston Churchill did not pass sixth grade. Though he became a prime minister in 1962, he lost all of the other elections he participated in. Abraham Lincoln did not become a successful businessman and lawyer, as well as lost a lot of public elections. But just imagine, if they had allowed failures to get the best of them, they would not have achieved worldwide recognition.
- Bounce back– turn all of that disappointment and angst into motivation for your future. You don’t want to feel this low again, so don’t let these feelings of despair happen again.
- Have a bit of fun– healthy fun at that! Do not be tempted to drown your sorrows or start in any extreme behaviour or use poor coping strategies leaving you with more problems in the long run. Take a break from wallowing, thinking and planning and take comfort in being in a position to have choices and options.
- Enjoy simple pleasures– a nice way to relax and de-stress can often be indulging in simple pleasures like taking your dog for a walk, getting up early one morning and watching the sunrise, lying on a beach listening to the waves.
- You are not a failure– remember you are not defined by an exam, or any one thing in your life. You did not pass this exam does NOT mean you are a lesser, or changed, person.
Don’t forget, famous, successful people who have not always found exams and academic life easy include movie star Harrison Ford, British Wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, classic scientist and writer Charles Darwin, and even Albert Einstein. That is not a ‘bad crowd’ to be in now, is it?