Life doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes, the best we can do is keep on keeping on. However, when you’ve just left an exam hall of heartbreak, that sort of advice isn’t lifting many spirits. So if you couldn’t tell your cosine from your binomial theorem, we’ve got some practical tips for damage control.
Keep off Twitter
Logging onto Twitter straight after an exam is the equivalent of some sick torture technique. Don’t do it. Post-exam discussions are rife on social media. A quick hashtag search can transform a paper that seemingly went well into a spiral of anxiety: “wait, what? What?! The dad in Long Distance II was dead too?!!!” There’s no point spending the next few days kicking yourself over missing a detail or framing a response differently to, um, the rest of the social media world. Because, chances are, you’ve got a few more looming exams, which would better warrant your attention than an onslaught of humblebrags and hashtags.
Short of inventing a time-machine, there is little you can do after flunking an exam. Whether pressure got the better of you or it was a case of under preparation, what is done is (as they very annoyingly point out) done. There are remarks and resits and there’s also the off chance that you’ve done a hell of a lot better than you thought. But, most importantly, there are other exams that need your attention. So by all means, let the tears roll and eat a whole tray of cake, but get back to that revision because the best thing you can do after a failed exam is…
Live and learn
First step: acceptance. Second step: get a game plan together:
If it was the pressure that got the better of you, then you need to get on board with some techniques to help you stay calm and focussed for your next exam. Luckily for you, we wrote a whole post on surviving that anxiety ride. Mind blanks are another commonly cited reason for bombing an exam and they usually happen when students try to memorise everything word for word without actually understanding the info. If you do want to rely on memory, then you need to be prepared for questions designed to catch you out. We’ve provided some really useful tips here. If it was merely a case of under preparation, then the answer to that is pretty self-explanatory. But we also understand how hard it is to stay motivated in this minefield of revision, so for those of you really struggling on where to start, you can start with some of these study tips.
Not to be all buzzword-y, but when the going gets tough, a bit of self-care never went amiss. Which basically translates to: treat yourself. Nothing says ‘defeated but getting on with it’ like a party-sized bag of whatever sweet treat tickles your fancy. But in all seriousness, don’t be too hard on yourself. Brain meltdowns and lack of preparation happens to the best of us and although it may be hard to swallow now, this is all just going to be one big learning curve.