How to pick yourself up after a bad exam

4 mins read

We start off every semester with such a positive outlook on life. It’s a new start and the perfect opportunity to improve our grades. Essay deadlines and tests may be incredibly stressful, but it will be worth it in the end when we get our degrees and make a good life for ourselves

That’s until we have an exam that turns out to be absolutely diabolical. All those late nights in the library buried in books feels like such a waste of time. In those situations it feels like your future happiness and prosperity has slipped through your fingers.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, here are some points to remember to help pick yourself up.

1. Take time to get over it 

Nobody likes to think they haven’t done well at something. This can be particularly frustrating when you know you tried so hard. You didn’t let your nerves get the better of you, but the questions just weren’t what you were hoping they would be.

Some people can get over this kind of situation relatively quickly, but others may take a bit more time. If it is really bringing you down, don’t bottle up your emotions. Talk to some friends or listen to upbeat music. Scream if you have to – just let it all out.

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2. Don’t dwell on it 

To quote Albus Dumbledore: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Though his wise words were said in a different situation, the point still stands. You’ve had your time to feel upset about it. Now it’s time to move on.

Until you get your grade back there’s not much you can do about it. There’s the possibility you may have done better than you thought, or your expectations might be accurate.

Until then, you won’t know what course of action to take, so worrying about it won’t help the situation.

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3. Stay positive 

Just because that one exam was terrible, it doesn’t mean the other ones will be too. Being pessimistic not only has an impact on how productive you are, but it can also make you more stressed, which is the last thing you need right now.

It’s easy to let your determination dwindle to the point where you find yourself asking what’s even the point anymore. But letting thoughts like this consume you is probably the worst possible thing you can do.

It seems like something that’s easier said than done, but it can start with just telling yourself you won’t give up and you can do it.

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4. Remember that grades aren’t always everything 

Some companies may only be looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above, but if you fall short of this it won’t suddenly make you unemployable to every organisation. Of course this doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t study at all.

Aim big, be ambitious, but not doing well on that one exam doesn’t mean the rest of your life is going to be miserable.

Grades don’t always reflect how smart you are or the effort you put into that one exam. When you do apply for jobs, employers will look at more than just your degree classification. The right attitude and experience can also go a long way.

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