In this blog Sobia discusses the steps to take in the event that you don't perform quite as well as you wanted to in your exams. Whilst the experience can be very disappointing, it is important to stay calm, reflect and seek advice.
First of all – don’t panic. This is easier said than done, of course, but at that nerve-wracking moment that you open the dreaded envelope, it is important to just take a deep breath and get things in perspective. Failing your mocks – or not getting the grades you hoped for – really isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you, even if it seems so at this point in time!
Perhaps you are entirely taken by surprise, and if this is genuinely the case – i.e. you worked really hard, and you thought that you would do far better than this – then there could be a logical reason. You may have had some ineffective study skills or even some other underlying issue such as anxiety or concentration problems, and it is better that you become aware of these now, rather than later. Alternatively, it could be that you require a remark of your paper. Either way, it is best to think logically about the reasons why you have not performed as you expected. It is also a good idea to talk this through with someone that you know and trust, who may be able to reassure you and help you explore what to do next.
On the other hand, it may be the case that you secretly expected the grades you have obtained, because you actually didn’t work as hard as you could have. There is nothing to feel guilty about, if this is the case. Rather, you may again, want to explore the reasons why you didn’t put in the work required. Could it be that you didn’t enjoy some of the subjects you picked, and if so could you make some changes next time around? Or do you need to address some underlying motivational factors? It is worth giving this some thought.
The key thing in all this is to give yourself a little time to get over the disappointment, be kind to yourself and then get things into perspective. It isn’t quite the end of the world, and you will benefit from asking yourself some questions around this, in order to solve the underlying problem. Yes, it can be hard when you look around and other people are celebrating their grades, but again, it really isn’t important what anybody else is doing. What is important is that you find out your “why”, by doing a little reflecting (without beating yourself up – we all fail from time to time, and it is always a learning experience), and maybe talk things through with somebody. Once you have done this, it is time for practical advice – whether it is changing subjects, addressing study skills, and so on. Once you have worked through things in a calm and logical way, you may find that you feel a lot more motivated to perform your best next time around – and who knows, this time next year, it could be you celebrating your excellent grades!