You failed an exam, now what? A mental health guide

We’ve all been there. You studied hard and did your best, but unfortunately, the results were not what you expected. If you didn’t pass your exam despite working hard and following our tips to be exam-ready, take a deep breath and follow this guide to take care of yourself because regardless of the result, your mental health must always come first.

Don’t freak out

It is normal to feel frustrated when things don’t work out but remember this is just an exam of the many you will have in your educational career, and it does not reflect who you are or what you have learned. Try different mindfulness techniques and meditation exercises to calm down whenever you feel stressed because of the exam’s result. Remember, this has happened to all of us at one point, and it is not the end of the world.


Don’t fixate on what you could have done

Avoid going through all the what-if scenarios, and don’t beat yourself up for what could have been or what you could have done better because that will only make you miserable. Instead, review the mistakes you made and develop a plan to avoid them in the future. If you are uncertain about why you failed, try to speak to your teacher or TA and brainstorm possible solutions together.


Do something that distracts you and makes you happy

What is done is done. Now it is time to move forward and shake off that feeling of frustration and failure. The best way to do so is by doing something you enjoy, such as cooking, listening to music, watching a movie or your favorite TV show, or drawing something. Once you are feeling better, you can go back to studying and thinking about your next move.


Talk to someone you trust about your feelings

Find a friend, a school counselor, a parent, or anyone else you trust and talk about what you are feeling. Sharing your feelings can take the burden off your shoulders, and seeing things from a different perspective will always help you feel better.


Value your efforts

It may not feel like it, but if you did your best, then that’s what matters. Knowing you did everything in your hands and still failed can add to your frustration, but only if you let it. Remember, results are not everything; only a part of the process. Also, tests can be retaken, or you can do better next time with a little tweak to your studying techniques and help from the people around you.


Keep in mind that failing a test doesn’t make YOU a failure. Try out other studying techniques for next time, make sure to breathe and relax before taking the exam, and don’t beat yourself up. Failing a test can be a great learning opportunity if you are open to it. Keep moving forward.



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