How To Deal With Failing An Exam

There’s no escaping it – exams are one of the most important parts of uni life. They go towards your final grade, you spend hours preparing for them, and they help to shape your future. With a lot riding on them, it’s no surprise that failing an exam can feel like the end of the world.  

Spoiler – they aren’t! It would take a pretty smart cookie to never fail a single exam – it’s all about how you react to it. Find out how you can bounce back from a bad exam below! 

What to do if you fail an exam: 

  • Don’t dwell on it 
  • Do something that makes you happy 
  • Don’t compare yourself to others 
  • Get some fresh air 
  • Talk about your options with a tutor 
  • Work out how you can improve 

Don’t dwell on it  

It’s tempting to sit and think about all the ways your exam went wrong. But in the end, this approach won’t help you! While you can try and work out how to improve for next time, overthinking will only stress you out. Instead, let it be and move your focus to something more productive.  

Do something that makes you happy 

Lose yourself doing something that makes you happy. Remember – the feeling of failure is only temporary! You can find an escape by hanging with friends, going to the cinema, or listening to some upbeat tunes – anything that can lift you out of your post-exam slump. 

Don’t compare yourself to others 

Comparing your failure with the success of your peers will only serve to make you more miserable. Using your friends as a benchmark benefits no-one, and can lead to jealousy or even feelings of superiority if you do better! Instead, direct your energy on yourself and how you can improve next time.  

Get some fresh air   

Chances are you’ve spent most of the past few weeks cooped up inside cramming for your exam. If you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, get out into the open. There’s nothing like some sunshine and fresh air to give someone a refreshed outlook on life. Give your mind some space to recharge and you’ll be more than ready for next time.  

Talk about your options with a tutor 

Wondering what happens if you fail an exam? Speak to your tutor! As well as giving you some tips on your exam preparation, you can learn if you are able to resit the paper to boost your mark! If you’ve failed an exam, nothing calms you down more than knowing that you have a second chance. 

Work out how you can improve 

Accept that a failed exam is something that you can’t change, and prepare for the future. Do you know what went wrong in your exam? Is there a better study technique you can use next time? Identify areas for improvement and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.  

Want to take a break from thinking about a bad exam? Every Student’s affordable student rooms come with cosy common rooms, comfortable beds, and a tidy study space to help you bounce back in style. 

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