Handling "Bad" Exam Results

If taking an exam is stressful for the students, handling the results can also be equally stressful for many. While good results (what is good depends on your own set of expectations and the present realities) bring delight, satisfaction, confidence and even pride in oneself, but what if they do not meet your expectations or those of others'?

Here are some to keep you calm and composed through this ordeal:

Accept your results

Accepting your exam results, howsoever bad or unexpected, is the most important first step. This is regardless of your marks or performance. Someone has rightly said "Your life starts taking a turn for the better the day you start feeling ashamed." The only exception can be if are extremely confident of your performance and would like to have a re-evaluation of your papers. That apart, it is best to look into the mirror of reality and make a calm admission of the facts as they are.

Set realistic expectations

You know what efforts you had made for your exams. Therefore, set your expectations about the results accordingly. It would be unrealistic and an invitation to anxiety to expect a performance on the basis of your efforts during the two weeks before the exam.

Not everything is lost

There is life beyond exams. Though they are important, they are not EVERYTHING. Your child is a special person, with his/ her unique talents. As their trustee, you need to appreciate them for these unique strengths while telling them of their negative points. Even if the results are not in line with your expectations, as a student, you need to understand that these exams bring you one stepping stone closer to your goal. So your exam score is just an indicator of where you stand, how much more effort you need to put in and in which direction. It DOES NOT define you as a person.

You are NOT a failure

Do not label yourself in the light of your poor performance and jump to the conclusion that you are a total failure. Parents need to be extra careful in labeling their children for such tags stick to their personality forever. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy too in some cases. It can lead to a shattered self-image and low confidence and hamper their future performance.

Learn from your performance

After you have come to terms with your results, try to discover what life lessons this experience for you.   Try to find out where you went wrong, why you went wrong, uncontrollable external circumstances (out-of-syllabus test, medical conditions etc.) the areas wherein you scored well, how you studied for these sections etc. Do take personal blame and assume responsibility where it is due but avoid blaming yourself unnecessarily for the things you cannot control. It puts you in charge of the entire situation and makes you more self-confident.

Share your feelings

Talk it out with a parent, a counselor, guardian, or a close friend. Sometimes sharing your inner feelings about a stressful situation helps provided sharing is done with the right person, who is ready to help, support, accept and guide you rather than criticize or humiliate you. Parents need to act as pillar of support and strength who stand like a rock in their children's hour of crisis.