Unexpected Exam Failure: 7 steps to turn it into success

WoW! What has just happened? What was that? The exam results are in your hands and the result is not quite what you were expecting! In fact, it is the opposite! You have failed!!! How is this possible?

There comes a time that no matter how exam-experienced or well prepared, a student will eventually fail an exam. In case the student acknowledges himself, that he hadn’t devoted the right amount of studying and practice, then failure becomes an easier pill to swallow. However, for a student who has prepared efficiently for an exam, who didn’t consider the examination utterly unbearable while sitting it, who felt he did well that day….then when failure strikes, it is difficult to cope with.

Here are 7 steps that promise to lift your spirits, shield you with determination and get you ready to become the final winner in the battle of exams!

  1. Acknowledging that Failure is part of the game.

We felt it before the first exam we ever took. This strange anxiety, the quickening heart-beat and the grasp in the gut. “I will fail. I can’t remember anything. Why did I come here in the first place?” , and other upsetting thoughts inundating our minds before we start writing an exam. And, then, somehow, despite all this negative thinking, we write well and we succeed! And this first success is strong enough to suppress all the stress that we are about to experience before the next exams.

Of course, our parents and teachers, from the very first time, try to plant a small seed in our minds. A seed of the idea that failure is also a possibility, but, to be honest, if we strike success after success in exams, we easily forget about failure.

Now that failure has become our current reality of this examination, maybe it is a chance for us to be reminded of it. To remember that failure comes hand in hand with trying, with struggling and especially with exams. Failure is one of the challenges we need to face towards doing anything worthwhile in life.

  1. Let’s detect our mistake.

Usually, when the results are announced to us, we feel shocked and then angry. We feel that we were not given a fair judgement and we start blaming the examinations system, the examiner, our teacher or even the weather which all led to our unjustifiable failure. Not even for a moment does it cross our minds that maybe, it is ourselves to blame for this outcome.

Right here, we have an option. We can either continue accusing others for what happened or we can actually make the conscious decision that we are the only ones   100% responsible for what is happening to us. The first alternative is seemingly the easier one, provided that we embrace the role of victim in life, who just expects either a good or a bad fate, thus he/she cannot change anything. On the other hand, if we decide that we are in charge of what is happening, then this is a game-changer since we will then understand that every outcome is completely in our hands.

Let’s take a moment alone, let’s mentally reproduce the entire process of the examination. What went wrong? What did we miss? Is there a part of the examination to which we didn’t pay the attention it demanded? Were there parts that we know we rushed to answer, even if we had plenty of time?

I am sure that at least one of the answers in these questions will provide the reason of our failure. This is great, though! Because now, we know. Now we know at which point we made a mistake. And that’s fine. Because this is the point that we need to fix. And next time, we will make sure that we will fill this gap.

  1. Put things into perspective.

Somewhere between those feelings of anger, sadness and disappointed, we remembered that failure is possible to happen in any type of examination. In retrospect, we also discovered that there were some points we missed during the preparation process. Now, it’s time to put these into perspective and use them to our advantage.

We know how it feels now. We know that we are not unbeatable in the race of examinations. We decide to amend the parts that we need and prepare for the next time, being more mature and down to earth. After all, we failed an exam while moving forward in life. While learning, while trying. We failed forward.

  1. Discover Persistence.

As far as I am concerned, this is what separates winners from losers. This is the defining point which will determine your future not only during the course of exams but in each and every endeavour in life.

When most people fail, they are so overwhelmed with sadness and disappointment that simply quit on the task at hand. They convince themselves that they are not clever or good enough, that if they failed now they are doomed to failing every time, so they just stop. They either give up on the language or hobby they had set out to learn or they change it and move to something else in order to start anew.

Now is the time to persist. Now is the time not to quit. Now is the time to persevere. No matter how many negative thoughts inundate our minds, do not let them take over. We tried and we failed. That was just it. We can always try AGAIN! Not only can we try again, but now we can succeed, because we have gained such valuable knowledge from what happened that we will implement it into our upcoming preparation.

  1. Motivate yourself.

Finding motivation after a failure is probably one of the most challenging parts. Apart from the limited number of people who will actually encourage us through everything, there is a vast number of others who will laugh at us, who will feel happy that we didn’t accomplish our goal and they will try to convince us that we are not worthy of success. Don’t you dare listen to them! You are only doing them a favour if you do. Distance yourself from any source of negative energy, whether that comes from a friend, a family member, a teacher or anyone around you. You are not doing anything in life for them. You are doing everything for you!

Therefore, let’s become our biggest fan! Let’s start believing in us with all your heart, even if we never did so in the past. Especially, at times of failure, we must find the strength and support within us to truly believe in ourselves. To believe that we are capable of achieving everything we set our mind to, even if there will be some failures along the way. It doesn’t matter. We can continue to obtain a bigger success than the one we initially aimed for.

  1. Find your role model.

When we have finally regained our confidence, it would be really useful to look around us and search for role models. Perhaps we already have one or maybe not yet. Now is the time. Let’s search for people of our close environment who we respect and admire. Let’s search for the people who have accomplished what we desire to accomplish and are in a position where we want to get. Let’s ask them to have a conversation with us. Let’s ask them about their struggles and their failures and learn about the times that they were ready to give up but they didn’t. It is certain that we will feel so much better, afterwards. We will see, first hand that even the most important people started from square one and that all of them had to deal with a number of adversities before succeeding.

If there is no such person in the immediate family, don’t worry. You can always detect one through books in the fields that interest you, or through videos or even interviews. Pay close attention to their words and feelings and trust that this small failure that happened to you can pave a way of great success in the future.

  1. Build a strong character.

So, we are dealing with an exam failure at this point of life. Let it be so. Even if we still haven’t come to terms with it, we can take the necessary steps to turn it into a valuable experience for the future. Let’s consider this as a chance to test not only our knowledge on a specific subject but also our character. Continuous success is definitely a lousy teacher and can be misleading when it comes to estimating our own powers. Failure, on the other hand will keep us modest, hard-working and diligent towards our goal. It will offer us the opportunity to shape a more dynamic and ambitious character, completely resilient to achieving our dreams.

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52 Responses

  1. After reading this article, I got over my failure and I am now ready to face once again this foreign language. Never give up!!!

    1. This very article was inpired and written for you! Always remember that the road to success is built by innumerable minor failures! these are the ones that build character!

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