page title icon How to Cope When Exam Results Aren’t What You Expected

No result is final. Learn how reflecting and moving on would do you good!

Class X and XII exam results of several boards were declared last week. The years 2020 and ’21 were the years of extreme academic discomfort for students affecting their overall learning. On top of it, CBSE’s new criterion of assessment took all by surprise. Not to say, exam results were a little unsettling too for many. Dissatisfaction and disappointment from the results were obvious in such a scenario. On a positive note, the declaration of exam results has ended the long wait and stagnation of a prolonged academic year caused by covid-19. Here is how you need to cope and move forward in your life.

When Exam Results Don't Match Expectations Ex
The exam results not living up to your hopes naturally make you sad, but it shouldn’t matter beyond a point. Life and its successes are more a function of your continuous rigor and timely decisions than that of few scores.

The memories of the result day from my childhood bring back mixed feelings. Scores in some subjects would make me happy while others would make me feel really awful.

Often, the negative feelings had the tendency to surpass the positive ones. The happy moment would not last long and the lesser scores would bother me more. Back then, classroom competition and comparison were quite commonplace among high achievers. Things got even worse in such situations!

In those days, your scores were everything. The scores you got in the exam were like your sole identity and it hugely impacted your self-esteem and self-worth. You were made to believe that you can not achieve anything in life if you do not get a perfect score in your exams.

Things haven’t changed much when it comes to attributing everything good in your life to a good or outstanding exam score. Years later, I now realize the fallacy of such a notion and how life is way more than some numbers on your report card!

With the declaration of class X and XII results, I know many of you will relate to my experience. Moreover, the pandemic brought an unforeseen situation and seriously hampered the learning of students. Stress and anxiety over how examinations would be conducted amid the pandemic prevailed equally among the students, teachers, and parents.

Uncertainty ended when it was decided to declare results based on the past performance of students without holding the board exams. If this provided some relief, it also brewed up another level of anxiety — anxiety about how they would be assessed.

And now, when the results are out, students across the country find themselves in a mixed bag of emotions. If you are one among them, you need to cope with your emotions by following these easy ways.

Express Emotions

The instant reaction which comes when we at first get our exam result is different from the one we feel later. Have you ever noticed this? Identify that first feeling – was that of relief, jubilation, disappointment, or despair? Later on, that first feeling gets moderated by the influence of others like your parents and peers. Constant comparisons and the mention of societal parameters also take away some colors off that first feeling.

So, if you are able to spot that first feeling, then know that it was your genuine, unadulterated feeling about your own performance. And if you are getting overwhelmed by the intensity of that feeling, then you really need to vent out.

You can do that by talking to someone you trust like your parents, teachers, or friends whom you believe may listen to you without being judgmental. Or else, you may share your feelings by penning them down in your diary or a journal. I bet years later when you revisit your journal, you will not only get insights on your self-growth but, like me, you too will realize that compared to the magnitude of life, those scores were only a minuscule of what the future had in store for you! 

Avoid Comparison

One of the worst things one does after getting the report card is indulging in irrational comparisons. When all individuals are unique with their strengths and weaknesses, varied situations and contexts, differences in resources and challenges, then how can there be valid comparisons? It’s like comparing an ostrich’s ability to run with that of a penguin’s to swim!

So, replace comparison with contemplation. Focus on your self-improvement and growth. Learn from your mistakes but never get disappointed. Identify your uniqueness – what makes you different; what is the one thing which you think you can excel in. Such reflections on your ‘self’ would definitely help you in getting close to your inner calling or passion.

Know ‘This is NOT the End’

Exam results have this inherent capacity to make you feel low mostly when they are not up to your expectations. According to National Crime Records Bureau, 24,568 children in the age group 14- 18 years died by suicide during 2017-19, out of which failure in the examination was found to be the cause for over 4000 students. Such facts are enough to imagine the stress which results have on teenager’s minds.

It is crucial for students to realize that failure in examinations is not the end of life. Life is too preceious to lose on such trifles, isn’t it? It’s meaning and expanse is far broader than one can imagine at such low moment.

Besides, the world is full of examples of highly successful people who were failed by their schools and colleges. In fact, if you ask people around you about the relevance of their high school scores with their current life and profession, most of them will agree that those scores hardly affect their present. Most on job skills are acquired through more recent real-life expereinces which have hardly anything to do with the academic score!

Rather than scores, a concept well learned is more important. Scores are the result of a momentary performance and may give you a temporary entry to some avenue. But, a thoroughly internalized concept is acquired through a long rigor and last long enough to support you in your efforts to succeed. Remember scores doesn’t reveal everything about you!

Seek Opportunity

The primary motto of examination is an assessment of your learning. But like I said earlier, no assessment can be final. And that’s because we continuously learn, get assessed, improve by learning again, and so on. When you fall sick and go for a medical examination, the purpose is to find out what is wrong with the body to find a possible cure.

Similarly, your exams provide feedback not only to your teachers but also to you so that you can understand the lacunas and shortcomings in your preparation. Once you pinpoint them, you can certainly improve and get better. Why know something, if you don’t act!

Imagine a scenario where there are no exams! How would one know when and where to improve? Thus, examinations should be viewed as an opportunity and not as a threat. And if you start thinking of examinations as a chance to further improve, you will never feel scared or stressed at the thought of it.

Look & Act Forward

Have you realized that whatsoever your exam results are, they are very helpful in decision-making for your future course of action? Instead of brooding over your results, use them as indicators of your future potential. Both class X and XII are such stages of your academic journey where you get to make important decisions which lay the foundation for your future profession.

After class X exam results, you ought to decide the most suitable stream of study that fits your aptitude and abilities. Likewise, after class XII, as a student moves into the folds of higher education, again there is an opportunity to choose the right track for a future career. Optimize your exam results to steer yourself in the right direction for the bright future which beholds you ahead.

2 thoughts on “How to Cope When Exam Results Aren’t What You Expected”

  1. Thank you ma’am it’s really very helpful . And give a motivation to success. I am very thankful to you because you motivates us.


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