No matter what the reason was, it’s never easy to receive your exam results and find out you have failed. Even if you already knew you hadn’t done well, seeing the disappointing grades printed on paper is demoralising at best. However, whether you’ve failed your GCSEs, A-Levels or end of year examinations there is always hope. Here are a few tips to help you move forward from this experience.
- You are not defined by grades. Although school teachers place a ridiculous amount of importance on grades, try to remember that exam results are not by any means an accurate representation of your worth and ability. You can’t attach a number to someone’s potential or measure someone’s intelligence in a 1 or 2 hour exam. There’s so much more to life than grades so don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself.
Still waiting for your exam result? Use these tips to wait well.
- Don’t hesitate to try again. If you know you can retake your exams next year and significantly improve your results then don’t let any past failures stop you. For example, if you know you didn’t revise as hard as you could have or you had personal issues that prevented you from passing, don’t be afraid to throw yourself in to retaking the qualifications.
- Research alternative paths. If you struggled with GCSEs or A-Levels it may be because they weren’t the right option for you. Consider looking into college courses which will allow you to retake your Maths and English GCSEs, BTECs, NVQs and diplomas. If you don’t tend to perform well in exams, these courses will give you the opportunity to show what you have learnt through coursework and portfolios.
Learn to manage exam stress the right way!
- Treat yourself. I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves a treat on results day, whether you’re delighted with your grades or disappointed. You’ve still sat all the exams and endured the stress of waiting for your results, so you definitely deserve a treat. This can be anything you like, even if it’s just a small thing. It’s just a simple way to show yourself some love.
- Seek social support. You don’t have to deal with this situation alone. Whether it’s a friend, family member or a teacher you trust, talk about your feelings with someone. Chances are they’ll make you feel a lot better and be able to help you find the best way to move forward.
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- Don’t panic. You don’t need to rush into a decision right away. You’re young and you have plenty of time to work out what you want from life and what the right pathway is for you. Also, it’s never too late to continue learning. No matter what you decide to do now, you can always enrol in an access course later in life to get on to a university course. A-Levels are not the only pathway to a degree if that’s what you want to do.
- Remember you are not a failure. The word ‘fail’ isn’t a nice word to begin with so don’t beat yourself up by calling yourself a failure. We are not defined by the times we don’t do as well as we hoped. Rather they are learning experiences that we can build upon. Even when everything seems negative, there is always something positive you can take from a bad experience.
We live in a society that places a great deal of pressure on young people and tries to push them down paths which are not right for them. So, if you have failed your exams try to ignore the pressure and focus on yourself and what you want and need. It’s your future and it’s still in your hands. Indeed, many extremely successful people have failed exams, which proves exams are not an accurate measure of your potential and failing exams definitely does not make you a failure.
Do you know you may be able to avoid failing your exam if you avoid procrastination?