So You Fluffed Your Exams…
We’ve all been there. You’ve gone into that exam feeling more apprehensive than usual and you’ve come out on the brink of tears knowing there’s no doubt about it: you’ve messed up. Well, if this sounds familiar, worry not, for there are plenty of things you can do!
1. Don’t stress
I know it’s easier said than done but stressing about a past experience or a situation that you cannot control helps you in no way whatsoever. All you’re going to do, is worry yourself, get worked up and spiral. Has mulling over something in your head for an entire week ever helped you? No. So, my best advice at this point, is not to stress. If you find yourself getting anxious, do something to take your mind off it, such as go for a quick walk, switch off and watch some TV or read a book.
2. Know your options
Presumably you’re thinking about university. Let’s say you need BBB to do your course of choice, but you are doubting you’ve even passed that pesky exam. If you end up with a cheeky C, with any luck, you might still be accepted onto your course. This, of course, is not certain and depends on numerous factors such as the popularity of your course and how well other students performed, but hopefully, the single slip won’t hinder you too much. However, if you know you have blown it for both your first and second choice of uni., Clearing is a wonderful option. I’ll say more on this in a moment, but if you’re like me and feel the need to research everything in depth before you can move on mentally, you can take a peek at various courses which may interest you. For those of you already at uni., or if you are one determined Year 13, you can try retaking an exam before fully panicking. This can give you a second chance to prove yourself and if you’re slightly more successful than on your first attempt, you may be able to continue as normal. All in all, one bad exam is not the end of the world. There are many different paths one can take to reach their end goal. Have a word with your tutor to find out more, as they can probably advise you well and know what may suit you.
3. Think about a change
If you are absolutely certain you have royally messed up, you may want to think about a different route. As previously mentioned, Clearing is a bit of a life saver and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s becoming more and more popular with each passing year (or should I say, non-passing? Eyyy). Don’t feel it’s a bit of a cop out, because it’s not. For example, if you wanted to study Chemistry at university but realised you got a D in your chem exam, chances are, chem is not the one for you. I could be wrong, but if it were me, I know I’d take a step back and re-evaluate what I want to do with the next three years of my life. Clearing offers you the chance to think about what you might enjoy, especially if you’ve been so focused on one particular course for the last two years. Usually, Clearing options are released around results day so it’s a bit early now, but it might be an idea to think about what could interest you and what you would be good at. After all, there’s no point in forcing yourself to do a course that’ll make your life miserable because you have to study 24/7 just to understand the basics. Equally, if you’re really struggling and found A Levels to be a total drag, you may enjoy an apprenticeship and would rather skip uni. altogether. Apprenticeships offer a hands-on approach and allow you to get stuck in without the faff of studying. Of course, this depends on what kind of career you would like, but if you have had enough of the education system, this could also be an option for you.
4. Learn from your mistakes
I am sorry to hear your exam did not go well. That’s a shame but you have two options now: mope about and feel sorry for yourself (and be a total mood hoover to those around you) OR – and I recommend this one – take this opportunity to improve. My friend, it is so easy to just give up and call it a day. That may feel like what you want to do now, but down the line, will you look back and say ‘Oh, I’m jolly pleased that I called it quits and am still living in my parent’s attic, mooching off them’? Odds are, you won’t. You need to live your own life so what I advise is this: take note of your feelings and remember how rubbish you feel at this point. Move on, do not let it spoil your summer – I repeat, do not let it spoil your summer – and when exam season hits again, study harder. Start earlier, be less distracted, I don’t know. Only you know whether you’re putting the right amount of effort in so only you can improve. If you change nothing, nothing changes. You can do this, I believe in you.