The Secret to Guaranteed Success – Positive approach
If you fail an exam you will obviously be disappointed. The fundamental issue is what you do about it. If you are not careful you will become negative and try to ignore the result. You may use displacement activities – throwing yourself into your social life, or working harder in your job. In other words, anything to avoid confronting the issue. Then you re-sit in the vain hope that a little extra work will get you through. This is likely to lead to further disappointment down the line. Difficult though it may be, you have to take a failure as an opportunity to look at the fundamentals as to why you were unsuccessful and, critically, what you would do differently next time.
Reasons For Failing
- Lack of Commitment
- Inefficient Time Management
- Poor Understanding
- Ineffective Exam Technique
Steps To Bounce Back From Failure
Look at your study process
There is a need to understand not just what you are doing but also why you are doing it.
The difficulty in these exams is to be able to apply the underlying techniques to a wide range of questions.
You will only be able to do this if you practice exam standard questions and fully debrief the answer with a view to understanding why it is what it is.
- You have to prioritize and to put your studies near the top.
- Consider your other commitments, such as work, sport, family and social life, and decide how you are going to change the balance for a couple of years to better free up time and attention to your studies.
- Make sure that you involve others in this process so that they understand how
important your studies are. If they are true friends they will understand.
- Linked to commitment is the amount of time you devote to your studies and when this can be carved out of your busy life.
- Keep a diary and plan your study time week by week, keeping a close eye on whether you have kept up with the plan and, if not, how you are going to revise matters.
Clarity in understanding
- Clearly understand the concepts of what you have studied and as a result convert what you have read or been taught in class into an exam answer.
Exam technique to me is a simple process of converting knowledge and understanding into marks. This is not rocket science, but like everything, the more you practise the better you will become.
Ensure that you practice at least one whole mock exam and preferably more than one.
You need to have an exam strategy where you know exactly what you are doing in every minute of the exam to best effect.
Furthermore, look at what you can do in the time limit – you are not looking to achieve perfection, you are looking at a reasonable answer in the limited time available.
“Failing exam is not the end of the world, but if you don’t take lessons from it you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes” says Rob Sowerby
Believe in Yourself
In summary, you must use the setback as an opportunity to change for the better. It may be a blessing in disguise. The key is to get the ‘winning habit’ – as you pass you become more motivated, leading to more commitment and a virtuous circle of future success. You know this makes sense – so make it happen!
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