Failure in examination

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Failure of examination is the fear that we all face in our lives. Scoring less in a particular examination is the most dreaded dream for some kids. As parents we need to understand that pressurizing children for high scores in exams, won't be fruitful for kids, as this might lead to some shortcomings or insecurities in the long run. Sometimes it can be very difficult to predict the outcome of the exams.

Exam failure is one of the many hurdles one will have to surpass in their life, and there are always possibilities to learn and rise above failure. Success is not final, failure is not fatal-as long as the desire to succeed is strong enough.

A common worry amongst students, who have failed some of their exams, is that they will now never be able to get the job they wanted after graduating, or even the university degree they were first opting for. You should never let exam failure force you into believing that you now cannot achieve any of your dreams. Sure, some things will be harder to reach, but that does not make them unreachable. Failing exams does not make you any less of a person, any less intelligent, or any less able to achieve what you want to, than those who achieved better results in their exams than you. All that counts is your ability to recognise your capacities and persevere.

Some of the causes of the students failing in examinations that a parent should keep in mind are as follows:

A student may not be aware of how to study productively : A work is productive when the output can be maximized; similarly productive study would enable a student to perform well in assessments as well as have time for leisure activities. Recognizing the strong subjects, favorable times of study and play, a suitable study environment and seeking help for the areas a student finds challenging would increase the productivity manifold.

Improper method of study : Careful study and quick revision are the tried and tested methods of academic success. Adequate amount of time is required for the same; the famous all nighters only exhaust the brain and have no long term impact. The upcoming examination may be aced but the purpose of reading that topic would be defeated, leading to increased difficulty in the next academic session.

Inability to make good study notes : Notes should be made in such a manner that the child can understand and revise them easily. Using tables, memory maps, diagrams and flow charts make revision more effective.

Inability to answer according to the question : There are various types of questions and if the child cannot understand how to answer according the question that can lead to scoring lesser marks in the examinations. Answers should be written according to the demand of the question. Practice in answering questions of different formats prepares the student better.

A student may not be aware of exam taking strategies : There are various strategies that a student can use to present his or her idea but if the student is not aware of those, test taking can become quite a challenge. Proper guidance and mock testing can prepare a student better.

Managing time for studies : A time table for students outside school helps them utilize the time well and maximize their potential. Studies have shown that students who follow a time table have enough time to pursue other activities besides academics. It also allows for a finite amount of screen time and/or leisure time.


How to cope up with examination failure:
  • Feel your emotions. When you feel you have failed, you may be overcome with self-recrimination, disappointment, and despair. Holding in your painful feelings can have negative effects on your health, your relationships, and your future success. Notice each emotion as it comes to you. Take time to name the emotion, be it anger, sadness, fear, or shame. This will enable you to work through it without turning it on yourself or others. Take time to process your feelings. If you try to fix or move past your disappointment before knowing how you feel; you may act rashly. Suppressing painful feelings can lead to health problems, such as chronic pain, sleep deficiency, and even heart disease.
  • Identify negative thought patterns. With failure often comes the tendency to beat yourself up over it, even calling yourself names. Learn to identify some common negative thought patterns so you can diffuse them. These thoughts may include: all-or-nothing thinking ("I have to do it perfectly the first time or I might as well give up"); catastrophizing ("This is terrible. There's no way I can come back from this"); or negative self-labeling ("I'm a failure and a phony."). When you notice these kinds of thoughts arise, question them. They are coming from an a negatively biased, critical place. Instead, ask yourself, "Is this really true?" Look for evidence for and against these claims. Write down an affirmation that goes against he negative self-talk. If you keep thinking of yourself as a failure, write something like, "I am a capable person" on a sticky note and put it on your mirror. Say it aloud to yourself and you can begin to change your negative thinking.
  • Stop ruminating over the failure. Do you find that you can't stop thinking about what happened, replaying it over and over in your head? This is called rumination, and instead of providing insight about what you could have done differently or ways to improve, it just amplifies your negative feelings. Try journaling to put your obsessive thinking to rest. Getting it out of your head and down on paper can give you some relief from rumination and help reveal any underlying fears. Instead of doing a play-by-play, stop and ask yourself, "Okay, what have I learned here?" Maybe you learned you need to leave 30 minutes early for appointments so that you don't show up late to your next job interview. Use mindful meditation to bring you back to the present. Mindful meditation helps you stop worrying about what happened in the past and focus on the here and now, and you can start asking yourself: what can I do differently today?

The most important thing to remember in such a situation is to remain true to yourself; remember who you are,
what your strengths are, what you are capable of doing, and what you want to do, and you will get there.

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