I Failed an Exam!! How To Deal with It?

If you have just received your examination results and it’s not all good news, remember, it’s not the end of everything. Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.

You might have just finished your class periodic test, or even a public examination or a competitive test. You might have just finished your driver’s license test.

As if the stress of studying and going through these exams was not enough, you now have the tension and stress of the results. The stress level increases when you have scored poorly or failed in one or more subjects.

It is quite understandable to feel low or sad in such a situation. You may cry or feel numb. You will be heartbroken and feel that the world has shattered all your dreams and aspirations.

It is quite natural to go through these emotions.

However, learning to rise from this is the actual turning point in your life.

Learning how to deal with failure in exams is important. Failure is not the opposite of success but is a part of success. Remember successful people have failed several times before making a mark.

“The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure, rather fear not trying.”

Paulo Coelho

Failure is the opportunity to begin again. This time more intelligently. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways of how to deal with exam failure.

Let It Sink In

Your first task is to let the news of your failure sink in. It will take a while for you to comprehend that you have failed an exam. Different people show distinct emotions in varied situations.

Some may want to be surrounded by friends and family at this time while some may want to be alone. This totally depends on what kind of person you are.

Whatever it is, give yourself time to accept your situation. It may take few hours or up to a few days. That is ok. It’s completely normal to take your time to digest the news.

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Tame your Stimulus

Girl tensed while writing the exam - CollegeMarker

When we say stimulus, we mean an event or occurrence that evokes a certain response from you. In this case, the event is failure. Tame your reactions.

Once you hear the news that you have failed, you have a thousand thoughts running through your head. First, clear your mind. Calm yourself and allow yourself to think rationally.

You can calm yourself by blocking unwanted thoughts. Here are some of the things you can do to distract yourself

  • Take a walk
  • Hit the gym
  • Meditate
  • Talk to your family.

Reason Out

While you digest the news, you can also think of the reasons behind your failure. It could be one reason or more than one reason. Think about the possible causes.

  • You didn’t study hard enough?
  • You were too distracted before your exams
  • You didn’t have enough time to complete your answers?
  • You misread the questions?
  • You are just not interested in the particular subject

The reason could be any of the above or a totally different one. Think about it.

If you didn’t study hard enough then you would probably now think that you deserved the marks you got. Remember, hard work is the only key to success.

You get what you work for, not what you wish for. As the saying goes “There is no use crying over spilled milk.”

In case you are just not interested in the subject, it is a good idea to think that you should study it well and complete it so that you don’t need to attempt it again.

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Change Your Strategy

strategic planning - CollegeMarker

The next step of how to deal with failure in exams is to change your strategy or approach. You followed a particular strategy till now, but unfortunately, it didn’t work.

The very fact that it didn’t work, means that it’s not a viable approach.

It could be the way in which you have studied or the amount of time you spent on your hobby or any other reason. Whatever the reason is, it’s now time to change it.

If you feel you haven’t studied enough, it is time to dedicate few more hours to your study time. Or the way you studied may be wrong.

Like you studied the wrong concepts or gave too much emphasis on a particular topic ignoring the more important ones. You may have approached the answering technique in a different style and this style is not good enough.

At this point, it is advisable to contact a friend or a professor and ask for advice on how to approach answering questions.

All Is Not Lost

Failing an examination is not the end of the world. Quoting the famous Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything.” Do not lose hope. Failing in an examination is not failing in life.

Nowadays, there are so many opportunities for students even if they have failed in an examination.

For example, The National Institute for Open schooling which is a National Board under the Government of India gives opportunities to students who have failed 10th or 12th board exams.

These students can rewrite the Board examination so that they do not waste an academic year due to the inability to pass an examination.

The NIOS gives a chance to all students who have failed examinations under any board to reappear for Board examinations under the NIOS Board for the same academic year.

For more information refer to the NIOS website

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Never Give Up

never ever give up - CollegeMarker

Easier said than done, but one of the ways of how to deal with academic failure is to never give up. Do not lose hope.

After all, failure is just an attitude and not an actual outcome. Have a positive attitude and a positive outlook. Be ready to face the world and take on new challenges that come your way.

It is now your time to show the world what you are capable of. The bigger the failure the greater the lesson. This is the time you should learn from the lesson.

Prepare yourself for the next attempt at the examination. Try to invoke new methods of studying. Try again till you succeed because winners fail until they succeed.

Face the World

You may feel embarrassed or self-conscious because you have failed in an exam. It is quite natural to feel this way. However, you must take it in your stride.

Failing in an exam does not mean you are a dull person. It does not mean that people are going to look down upon you because you have failed.

Never compare yourself to another person. You must always think that no two persons can be the same. Your personality and your abilities are like a thumb prints-unique and individual to you.

Even twins have different thumb impressions. You must always have in mind that there will always be someone in this world who is better than you. It is your duty to try to better your previous performance and nothing more.

If you have failed, you have failed and there are no two ways about it, but the idea is to not feel ashamed that you have failed. Hold your head high. Learn from the experience, prepare better and move on.

Don’t fear failure- Fear the absence of Progress. In fact, sometimes when you lose a battle, you find new ways to win the war.

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