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Dealing with failure in examinations


Dealing with failure in examinations


Examinations could be quite unpredictable and also sometimes, our expectations are totally shattered by the outcome of the results. Failing an examination can be quite a daunting experience that can morbidly shake one and leave one devastated especially when it occurs when it is not expecting it.it is a period whereby many will have to re-evaluate their lives to find their worth and value all over again. It is a time when one lives in doubts of themselves and capabilities as it may seem like the world just came crashing down right on their faces. High school and university students alike go through this phase and at a time like this, the feeling of worthlessness, shame and several negative thoughts cross students minds, such as “I am a disappointment,” “I can’t achieve my dreams,” “I can’t face my family/friends with this.” However, accepting the reality of what has happened and moving on is something that can make a whole lot in the course of a person’s life. Truth to tell, failing can knock down one’s confidence in themselves. Many even go as far as doubting the possibilities of them graduating with what they had in view or even securing a better future for themselves once they graduate. This is a period when high school or university students alike may need the support of their loved ones to help them understand it is a phase and also assist them in walking through it.  It is commonly received or perceived as failing as a result of one’s inadequacies or wrong doings. It could even result in one doubting their abilities and strengths. Here are some helpful ways to help one deal with failing an examination:


Change your orientation

One way to handle exam failure is to understand that failing isn’t the end of the world. If you were one who initially saw failing an exam as the worst thing that can happen to a student, it will do you a whole lot of good to change your thoughts on that to get through this phase. As bad as having to retake a course may be to you, the experience of having to makes you stronger, more purposeful and more disciplined, it helps in arranging one’s thought processes and brings out the tenacious you. Knowing full well that your workload of courses has increased, one becomes a better manager of time and the experience of what it feels like places you in a better position to be objective in focusing on the task ahead. Exams aren’t the definition of one’s worth. Exams don’t make you or define you. The ability to forge ahead is where the strength in you lies, many take the bull by the horn, find out their lapses, work on them and emerge fantastic in it while some others rather drool on the failure and let it affect subsequent exams in a repel manner. In order words, lingering on the result is just not going to be of any help to you.


Talk to your family

One of the reasons why failure has a laborious impact on students is because they find it difficult telling members of their family. Their parents have their high hopes on their graduation and are expectant of what their child becomes in life. This is most common among parents in the middle class. The thoughts of how disappointed they have made their parents and how all of those dreams have been squashed affect students and could lead them to the state of depression. Having to talk to one’s parents helps ease the burden and this relieves the child of having to meet an expectation that may no longer be possible, the point is that, it helps prevent unnecessary energy diverted into what isn’t important and also helps the child earn the support and encouragement needed from home. Many students perpetually have to live a lie at home to ensure they don’t betray their parents and disappoint them with the harsh realities of their grades and all the challenges they have been facing in their academics. The home factor cannot be ruled out when it comes to influences on why students desire good grades. Hence, discussing it with them at home goes a long way in helping students. If it proves quite a task doing it by yourself, you could involve someone to help talk t them about it. It should be a person respected by your parents. It is going to hurt them a bit but the truth is that they love you and your psychological health is more of their concern than whatever grade they desire.


Actively think positively

This is a deliberate process whereby you have to deal with your emotions consciously and remind yourself of your excellent qualities. You need to remind yourself of your strength and how such failure cannot conquer you. Undoubtedly, negative thoughts are going to sip in from time to time but understanding how harmful nurturing these thoughts could be would go a long way in helping you get over it. Refuting these negative thoughts and challenging them could go a long way in helping you stay focused. You will need to encourage yourself and that will be quite difficult if you judge yourself perpetually. It is okay to cry, it is okay to feel bad about it, it only shows that you are human, however, if it gets to a point whereby it beclouds your actions and thought process, it becomes a problem. Hence, be deliberate about your positive thoughts. Rather than think about how backward you are from your mates, how about seeing it as a stepping stone and a story to add to your profile of greatness in future?


School examsLearn from your failure

Coping with failure is never complete without learning from the failure itself and the causes of it. Failing an exam is a good time to take stock of one’s life in order to find out what one has been doing wrongly. It could be an indicator that you have been channeling your lifestyle in a different path from your life goals. It is pertinent to carry out an analysis on the causes of the failure so you can make necessary amendments. This will help prevent future occurrences.



Rather than focusing on what you didn’t do in the past and what you have now, how about projecting on where you are going and how much you can achieve in future? This enables you to set realistic goals and focus on achieving them rather than the failure. Okay, you didn’t pass an examination, but what difference will it make when you achieve what you are looking at in the next 3 years? In the end, you will be happy with how much you will achieve and how great you are going to become irrespective of whatever obstacle you face now. Projecting helps you look past the failure on ground and it helps you keep your focus on your desired outcome. This is a positive way to get over failing an examination.


Stay inspired

Many of the world’s greatest today tasted failure before they emerged great. In pursuit of inspiration, you are going to find people who will inspire you. You can find this in books, from the internet or even from your school counsellor or staff adviser. You may even get so many people to tell you their stories on how the once failed at some point in their lives. This shows that you are not alone and what happened isn’t the worst thing that can happen to any human. The conscious thoughts on staying inspired will help you reach out periodically to those who can help you stay on track. When the chips are down and you feel stressed, at the cross road or you feel like giving up, those you keep on the list of people who inspire you will help you stay geared up. Students differ in their needs for motivation. Some students are self-motivated, while some others need motivation from others. You understanding yourself and not fighting it alone will definitely help you stay fired up to conquer that failure defiantly.


Keeps your dreams alive

In pursuit of your dreams, you tend to stay readily within the perimeter of what is meaningful and also in check of time. This helps you engage in product activities, if you love to sing or dance in school, you can learn to balance things up with a better understanding of time management. Sign up for that audition you have always wanted, join the sport team you love and have fun while you pursue your dreams. If you love to debate, join the debate team and in all, make the best of  your time. You don’t have to become secluded in order to meet your targets, you only have to work smart in balancing things up. You should try to turn your dreams into fun activities. If you love to write, write more, take your dreams more seriously, there is always a high rate of motivation that accompanies this period.