What to do if I just failed a test?

Sruti BandlamuriFebruary 12th, 2019Everyone takes tests. Exams constitute an appreciable proportion of education, and trail professionals like physicians and accountants throughout

What to do if I just failed a test?
Sruti Bandlamuri
Sruti BandlamuriFebruary 12th, 2019

Everyone takes tests. Exams constitute an appreciable proportion of education, and trail professionals like physicians and accountants throughout their careers. A single test can make the difference in preserving an opportunity and jeopardizing a future. Ideally, wed ace every exam, but thats just not the reality  sometimes wefail. Here are some tips to keep moving forward when a test goes badly.

Resist the urge to agonize over the test

As a college student, I am too familiar with the impulse to convene with my peers immediately after an exam and deliberate over every question. Fixating on what youthinkyou missed will not help you after the exam is over. Let it go. Focus onmoving forward with your dayrather than conjecturing how miserably you failed or ruminating over every conceivable ramification of an unsatisfactory test grade.

Do something you love, no matter how small

Failure can evoke frustration and the unshakeable feeling that youll be devoid of happiness forever. Remind yourself that these feelings are temporary by engaging in activities that bring you joy  doing so reinforces that life goes on andeverything will be okay. As little as a few minutes doodling,gardening, reading, dancing, or singing along to your favorite song may ameliorate your mood.

Sweat out your emotions

Exercising: aproductive activitythat improves mood by producing endorphins and reducing stress hormones like cortisol. Lace up your sneakers, turn on upbeat music that motivates you, andget moving. Release your frustration as you sweat, and then applaud yourself for prioritizing your health. Let the movement invigorate and prepare you to tackle any other challenges that you encounter.

Spend time with someone who makes you laugh

If you allow yourself to wallow alone, you enable yourself to fixate on all the ways that the test went wrong. Counteract your negative emotions withpositive ones. Reach out to your loved ones, especially those who have a special gift for knowing exactly what to say or do to make you laugh. Distract yourself with humor, nostalgia, and silliness. Roll down a grassy hill or watch your favorite comedian.

Make a plan for the future

Accept that you cant change the past, and focus on what you can control: the future. Can you mitigate the damage or take the test again? How can you study differently for the next exam? Assess what went wrong, and plan to improve. Use this moment as a learning opportunity, and forget what could have been. Assemble your resources and breathe. This is just a test. You are not a failure.

This piece was originally published as part ofThriveGlobals ThriveOn Campussection onJanuary 31, 2019. Clickhereto view the original publication.

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  • Self Care
  • Student Stories

Written By


Sruti Bandlamuri
Sruti Bandlamuri

Sruti Bandlamuri is an undergraduate student in Union College's Leadership in Medicine program and the Executive Director of The Outpatient Project.

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