How to cope with exam failure
When students fail exams, they tend to think that it is the end of the road for them. They start thinking, “I will never graduate”, “I am not going to land my dream job”, “I would rather drop this course and find something else to do with my life”. All these are signs of desperation, which is the last thing you should do when you don’t score too well in your papers. We understand, failing is a devastatingexperience, especially when you have worked so hard on a paper. But don’t despair yet. Do not let failing a few exams make you believe that you will never achieve your dreams. It does not make you any less intelligent than those who scored excellently neither doesn’t it make you any less able to meet your academic and career expectations. You can still get yourself back in shape just by working a little harder. Here are a few tips on what to do if you fail exams.
1. Take a deep breath
It is not the end of the world so don’t allow fear to overtake the most strong part of you. Before you start freaking out about how these grades will affect your performance, take a deep breath. You still have plenty of time to make up for the poor grades so instead of wasting time whining about how you are not going to graduate or how you hate the course, devise ways to improve your grades. Look at the bigger picture. Think about why you chose this course and what you hope to achieve. From there work towards achieving god grades. Promise yourself that you will put more effort on the next paper to obtain the points you lost. But promising is not enough; have a proper strategy in place so you don’t end up right where you started.
2. Don’t blame your lecturer
Pointing fingers will not help you at this time; the results are out already and there is nothing you can do about it. We have heard students blame their lecturers for their poor performance when it is solely the student’s responsibility. Look at it this way; if you have been skipping classes the entire semester, there is no way you can convince yourself that you are going to pass your exams. Those lectures you missed could just be the ones that your professor highlighted where the exam questions will be derived from. So don’t blame the professor saying that they set hard tests on purpose. Maybe if you just put a little effort and attended all your classes, you could be among the top students. Take full responsibility and show the willingness to improve you grades on the next paper. That is the first step toward coping with exam failure.
3. Evaluate your study habits
Have you been preparing enough for your exams? Are your notes comprehensive enough to help you study effectively? Did you analyze the question paper properly to know exactly what was required of you? How you answer these questions can help you understand why you didn’t score as great as you had hoped. How to pass exams is not rocket science; all you’ve got to do is prepare adequately, make sure your notes have all the information you need for revision, and take enough time to review the questions before you start. If you started your revision the night before your paper and had to use a textbook because you couldn’t understand a thing you had written on your notebook, then something needs to change. Begin your revision early preferably a month before the exam. Similarly, write simplified study notes so that things can be easier for you when you start reading them. And once you have been issued with the exam questions, take enough time to analyze them so you can have an idea on what to write.
4. Try something new
There are several ways you can use to study. You’ve just got to try a few and see what works for you. For instance, you can consider joining study groups and hooking up with one or two once a week. Studying with others will not only help with information sharing but also get you feelingmotivated to work harder. Studies have shown that students who embrace group discussions improve their performance by 42% than those who study alone. If you do not feel like study groups, you can atleast get a study partner, someone who will help you stay on track academically. But study groups and study buddies will only be effective if the people involved are serious about learning in the first place. If you are just meeting up for gossip, then you are better off studying alone. Apart from study groups and partners, make sure to test yourself regularly. You can either take online tests or have your study buddy formulate one for you and mark itfor you. Just make sure to take negative feedback positively and work towards improving any area that needs extra performance. Different students have different ways of studying. What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa. Find out what really works for you and stick to it.
5. Manage your time properly
Studentsare busy individuals. They are often juggling jobs, classes, internships, social life, and extracurricular activities. Therefore, creating time for hard-core study is quite difficult. Sometimes, they even forget to do the most important tasks like working on their school projects or prepping for exams. The easiest and proven way to avoid dealing overwhelmed is to have a planner where you will write down everything you need to do and when you need to do it. Allot enough time for your exam revision so that you don’t have to rush the last minute. If you have a lot of things to do before the exam, figure out a way to fit them in the schedule so that none of them goes unattended. Do not forget to squeeze in your assignments too as these will play a huge role in determining your final grade. It doesn’t make any sense scoring an A in exams but failing your projects. Make sure you balance these two well so that you can have a fantastic grade overall.
Signs you are going to perform poorly in your exams
You created a very detailed schedule, put all your effort in it, but never got to use it.
You keep taking selfies to show everyone you are studying yet deep down you know that you are just lying to yourself.
You are considering dropping the course to do something else with your life because you hate your lecturers.
Even after failing an exam, you don’t feel stressed anymore. You have entered into a cocoon of calmness, almost like you have already accepted your fate.
You keep calling and texting your friends to find out if they have started revising for the exams yet. If they say they have not, you tend to believe them and take that as an excuse to not start your revision.
You spend more time thinking about how many marks you should get to pass your exams than you do on revision.
You literally do anything to avoid exam revision.
When you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, you take a nap instead of looking for ways to get the things done.
You visit social media to see if there is anyone else going through the same situation as you so that you can feel better about yourself.
You go to the library to study but instead end up watching what others are doing and before you realize it, time is up and you have done absolutely nothing.
When you find all the seats inthe library are taken, you take it as a sign that you should not revise.
You see spending more than two hours in the library as an achievement, so you gather all your friends for drinks.
You keep telling yourself that you will start tomorrow but you never get to start.
You say you will wake up early but instead end up lying in bed for almost four hours just chatting on social media.
You are always asking your friends to go to the library with you yet you know nothing good will come out of you being around each other.
Every time you start reading notes form your laptop you end up watching the entire new season of Scandal and can’t remember how you even got there. Once you realize what you have done, you start feeling guilty, switch off your laptop and spend the rest of the time staring at a blank screen.