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Sometimes it can be very difficult to predict the outcome of your exams, whether you be in secondary school or even university. This is probably because, exams are arguably one of the most feared things in education for students. Whether a student is confident in their abilities in their chosen subject(s) or not, ย exams can often both predictably and unpredictably bring out the best, and more than often, the worst, in a student.

If the worst does happen, failing your exams can be one of the most devastating experiences for a student, especially when they were not expecting to fail their exams.

One way to cope with exam failure, is to talk to people. Talk to your family, talk to your friends, discuss the options you can take now that you’ve had your exam results back. One thing you must remember, is that failing your exams is not the end of the world. Exam failure is one of the many hurdles you’ll have to surpass in your life, and there are always possibilities to learn and rise above failure. After all, I’m sure most of you have heard the saying ‘failure makes you stronger’. Funnily enough, it really does. It gives you an understanding of what it means to fail, to lose, to receive a negative outcome that you may not have expected to get.

A common worry amongst students who have failed some of their exams, is that they’ll now never be able to get the job they wanted after graduating, or even the university degree they were first opting for. Wrong. You should never let exam failure force you into believing that you now can’t achieve any of your dreams. Sure, some things will be harder to reach, but that doesn’t make them unreachable. Failing exams doesn’t make you any less of a person, any less intelligent, or any less able to achieve what you want to, than those who may have gotten better results in their exams than you.

Personally, I found coping with failing my exams very hard. This was mostly because, I’d never failed an exam in my life, I was a straight A/A* student. The lowest grade I’d ever tasted was the one B I’d got in my GCSEs. Unfortunately, my parents and I made the wrong decision in enrolling me in the International Baccalaureate programme in my school, where teachers were incapable of teaching the IB to us properly, and despite being the brightest/highest achievers in the entire school, we all failed (or, at least got very low marks, still passing the IB, but not getting our first choice of university, if any.).

I’d never experienced failure before, and on top of knowing that if I had chosen to do A levels, I would have achieved at least straight As, my IB exam results had made it so that I didn’t get into any of the universities of my choice, even though I knew I was more than worthy/capable of attending them. Not only that, but the fact that my parents and friends also expected me to get high marks, made it feel as if I had not only failed myself, but my family and friends, when I failed. It felt horrible, like everything I had known, and my chosen path through my future, had all crumbled before me, leaving me feeling helpless and isolated. Admittedly, I spent two weeks crying non-stop in my bedroom.

Once I’d gotten myself together, I sent hundreds of emails out to various universities, including my first choice (LSE) and insurance choice (Edinburgh), explaining to them what had happened. Unfortunately, LSE came to the decision that my grades were two low compared to their asking grade, and rejected me (they were actually very understanding about what happened though, unfortunately it was their policy to decline students who’d gotten 4 grades or more under their asking grade). Edinburgh also declined me.

What upset me the most was that I’d already gotten the halls of my choice at LSE, and they even had the ‘cheek’ to send me an email telling me so, even after they had rejected me. I’d never felt so upset in my life. Everyone and everything felt mocking, nasty, and against me. The worst thing was, I KNEW that if I’d have chosen to do A Levels, I would’ve gotten at least A A A, and would’ve gotten into LSE easily. ย I was constrained, and constricted by my low IB grades.

How did I combat my failure? I worked hard to get other universities to recognise my potential, without judging me through just my IB grades. I sent emails and called up every university I could think of who had courses on offer that interested me. I bombarded them with samples of my written work, art work, work experience, letters from my teachers, everything. And due to my persistence, my hard work paid off. I had many universities responding to me, asking me to enrol.

I even gained the interest of Durham University. I eventually found a course that interested me, and a university I thought I would thrive in; Goldsmiths. I went from failing my exams and believing I would never get a university place, to being accepted into a university (out of many who offered), meeting wonderful people, having an awesome freshers week, and generally enjoying university life.

The most important thing to remember in such a situation is to remain true to yourself; remember who you are, what your strengths are, what you are capable of doing, and what you want to do, and you will get there.





104 Responses to “How to Cope with Exam Failure”

  1. Leela Malur

    I don’t think you failed although you may view your experience as such. Getting 32 in IB is quite impressive given the traumas you went through during the 2 years. Circumstances and situations sometimes can set you back . But that you picked yourself up and moved on, is the sign of a person who has understood that obstacles are but stepping stones to success. You did not fail, but just encountered a hurdle.

    Reply (129) (50)
  2. Jamie Hepburn

    This is truly inspirational, and now I know that not only will I be successful but I have faith within myself and others arOund me, who aid by succession.

    With regards, Jamie Hepburn @j4mieall0ver <twitter name

    Reply (72) (33)
  3. Kakul Singh

    thnxxxxxx a lot……i was severely depressed as i was a straight A student but from past few months my performance was going down ……..now from this monday i will start working towards my goal and work really hard and will always remember your words……

    Reply (111) (46)
  4. nk

    your advice is really inspirational..i did horribly in my mock exams and felt pretty low…thats to ur amazing words i feel a lot better now and am going to try my best to ace the finals…thankyou!

    Reply (66) (38)
    • Coral Emerson

      thats true. even i did bad in my mock exam. and i was also feeling low , because hey, i am an A grader. i am going through the same meltdown. but finals are ahead and i have to do better . i am working hard now.

      Reply (4) (0)
  5. Zaha

    I have been a straight A student all my life. But since its my last year of school and I have to do really well to get into my preffered university. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or if its stress or pressure, but I’m getting really low marks. Reading your story is a source of inspiration to me to do well and that anything is possible with a little perseverance and determination.. Thank you

    Reply (66) (39)
  6. Rashi

    I am an IB student in India (junior year). Our school has very bad teachers who don’t know how to teach. I was a straight A student as well but my grades came down when i joined this school. This morning I got my result at the parent teacher conference. I Got 31/42 points despite of having an eye infection for over a month. Yet I studied but could not get the grades.
    However my parents don’t understand. I have been crying constantly since morning.
    They are not letting me do what I want in the future as well. They wanted me to be a doctor, I chose subjects accordingly but I had to drop as I could not cope up. Now they want me to take up economics and I want to pursue sociology and anthropology.
    As soon as I told my father this, he yelled and me and said “don’t you have any clarity or aim in life?, you keep drifting. Nonsense child, can you even spell sociology” This was followed by “you are cheating yourself and you are cheating on us, stop wasting our money”.

    I cry almost every night because it is hard to manage. Someone help me here.

    Reply (98) (66)
    • ananyarm

      Hi Rashi, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that! I completely understand, I went through exactly the same thing with my IB results. A lot of IB students, both here in the UK and around the world have had difficulty achieving grade targets, especially in correlation with our pre-IB grades, where most of us have previously been extremely high achievers (and hence, our schools have often recommended that we do the IB!). Your grades in IB are in no way a reflection of your ability, intelligence and potential to succeed in life. I know how difficult it can be to have IB grades that you find disappointing, but they do not define you as a person, and they will not hold you back from achieving what you want to achieve in the future. There are A LOT of flaws in the IB system, and many of my peers have suffered in a similar way to how both you and I have suffered during IB. This is not your fault. Your grades are not a reflection of your ability, it is a reflection of the incapability of the IB system and your teachers. If you’re still in your junior year of IB, have you considered leaving IB and switching to an equivalent assessment method that you find more comfortable?

      In my opinion, at the end of your day, it is important to study what makes you happy. I’m an anthropology student studying my degree in London, but while I was still in high school, I was very troubled and confused about what I wanted to pursue at university level. I’m so sorry that your parents are approaching your decision to study sociology and anthropology in that way :-(. Parents always want the best for their children, and I’m sure that your parents think that becoming a doctor is the safest and most reliable way for you to support yourself after you graduate. If you want to study sociology and anthropology, I would consider arguing your case to your parents and convince them that studying these subjects would allow you to support yourself in the same way becoming a doctor would. It’s always difficult to be clear about what you want to do in the future at such a young age, especially with the added pressure of completing your IB diploma. Hesitating or asserting what you want to do at university level does not make you a drifter and it does not make you indecisive, it’s perfectly natural, especially for someone your age!

      No matter what happens, whether you get the grades you want to or not, this does not render you a failure. It does not make you a bad person. It does not mean you have failed your parents. It just makes the path to your goals a little longer – but that’s okay! Everyone has to undergo certain hurdles in their lives, whether they be small ones, or really big ones that make us cry, and makes it seem like we’ll never achieve what we want to achieve, you CAN get through them!

      I used to beat my self up over getting bad grades in the IB every, single day since I left high school, and it completely wrecked me inside and ruined my self-esteem. I convinced myself that what I had achieved was not good enough and that if I had chosen to do A-levels (the UK national assessment method for sixth-formers) I would have been able to go to the university that I originally wanted to study at, and it would have been a lot easier for me to get where I wanted to be. Even if that’s true, the only thing that my bad IB grades have changed, is the path to my goals. It hasn’t changed my goals, it’s just made the path to achieving them a little more difficult, or a little longer.

      Feel free to contact me here on my WordPress profile if you want to talk about this further!

      All the best,


      Reply (78) (34)
      • srijana

        My mother wanted me ti become a doctor. But i took commerce in my secondary level. But this too ended up in a mess.
        i could not get good grades. Finally i joined diploma in medical lab technology..When i enrolled this course under the distance education programme.i joined laboratory laboratory along..During this i realised how badly mlt professionals are treated. Then i started feeling that my decision for taking commerce in my secondary was a wrong choice. If i has taken science i could become a doctor..my parents are so upset at my failure that has made to get into depression..i cry almost every day.
        I know i am a hard worker..but i have landed no where.
        i find that this is the end of my life…
        i want to run away from this..

        Reply (56) (36)
      • Anonymous

        That’s had me thinking……Failiure doesn’t make you the bad guy or the dumb one. Just think of how many people scored below you, and if nobody didint than that makes you special, even if it’s a bad case
        . You have a brain, I have a brain, everybody has a brain, but not all of them are the same. Failure gives you a goal. It would’ve been boring if you had NO goals AT ALL. By the way if there’s many people who ask you “what did you get?” And “did you score good or bad?” Just smile and say it’s not your business AND why do you want to know? Everybody has difficulties in life. They might be Big or small but that doesn’t mean your the guilty one. – anonymous

        Reply (7) (1)
      • Tem

        True. All is true, but I must add one small detail – learning independence. Take 100% responsibility for your future work. This must be the lesson from the story. Do not cover up the fact that your old As were partially due to great teachers, not just you. So, do not label yourself as an A-student.

        If you are taking care of covering up the fact that you depend on good teachers, you will never build a character of success.

        Reply (0) (0)
    • shreshta

      Well i’m sorry to hear that rashi. i know i’m really late but i couldn’t stop myself from replying. if ur still around please tell me how are you now? have you been able to convince your parents? im an indian too and i totally understand your situation.

      Reply (38) (23)
    • Dinar

      Hi Rashi.
      I am sorry to read about that.
      Your family, however they may seem now, are meant to be supportive. Talk to your Dad, and confide in him. Tell him the situation you are in and I am sure he will understand. He may not understand immediately (forgive me, I do not know how his temper works) but that does not mean he never will. Talk to your mum too. Just know they are there for you. There is no such thing as wasting money on education. You need education to be able to strive in the future and get where you want to go. It is not an easy path, but that does not mean it is impossible. I am currently doing IB and I sit for my final exams in May. Yes I am scared, but I am not letting it ruin my happiness. These are 2 years of your life out of the 70 or 80 or 90 years that you will live.
      Talk to your friends too, they will help in this situation. Know that you are not alone. If you ever need to talk you can always email me, I have added my email address here.

      Be strong. Be brave. Live faithfully. Take care

      Reply (4) (3)
    • Marleni

      NEVER I mean NEVER make ANYONE make you feel worthless and unloved. If you feel like no one loves you,LOVE YOURSELF!! We all go through tough stuff in our life but that’s life and we have to push and YOU have to be the one to pursue what YOU want it life not what your parents want you to too. Keep pushing-Marleni

      Reply (5) (5)
  7. failure

    Wow.thank you i know for a fact that I failed IB Bio.but after reading this

    Reply (33) (21)
  8. noel kamau

    failing my final high school exam is the worst thing that happens to someone.
    When everyone hav got expectations high
    that happened to me.
    Its not the best of experience.
    Bt you dnt just sit there as i have been doing for the past like six months.
    You have to o something to prove to yourself nt anyone that you got what it takes tn realise your dreams.and if they are dead dream again. There is a whole life ahead.

    Reply (40) (15)
  9. cara

    I just got back my first year uni results (I’m a law student at one of the Russell Group unis), and even though I know first year doesn’t count, I feel like a complete failure after having gotten one 2:1, a bunch of 2:2s and a couple thirds. What’s more, I worked so hard for these summer exams – basically spent the past four months with my head down and revising. What’s really annoying about Law is that employers do actually look at first year transcripts and the marks you get because 2nd and 3rd year marks won’t be revealed as it goes towards the final degree grade. I feel like I’ve suffered a major setback; I’m far away from the ballpark marks required to get into a decent Law School to qualify to be a solicitor, and I don’t know what to do. I’m so desperate that I’m even looking for alternative career pathways, but everything seems to just be a senseless tangent that I’m going round and round, always returning to square one… I can’t do anything remotely sciencey after my law degree because I didn’t do any science based subjects at sixth form.

    To be fair though, I am extremely relieved that I even managed to pass first year (it’s been a year of much reflection and ‘finding myself’ in a whole new environment.. I haven’t really been out drinking or participating in as many societies as I really should have been..), but there’s this irritating, niggling feeling that I’ve let down my parents and my friends. And that I’ve wasted a whole year’s worth of uni fees which really doesn’t come cheap.

    I know that these grades are not the end of the world – I will work harder for second and third year, when it really counts. I just wanted to tell someone (that aren’t my friends or my family) about how I’m feeling. Yeah. That’s it. Thanks for reading if you somehow managed to patiently plough through my rambling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply (45) (6)
  10. pato

    I am maltese and here in Malta in order to be admitted to the medical course you need to get a B or A in advanced level biology and chemistry and a B or A in intermediate physics. I started really hard for two whole years, I never studied this hard like these two years, it was my dream my only thing keeping me going forward knowing that I would have become a doctor and now that i received my results I got an A in biology and an A in physics but a C in chemistry. I failed badly. There is a certain student who got a B in all three and got admitted and I always used to do better than her in other tests and exams. I really want to just commit suicide.

    Reply (30) (4)
    • Neha Reddy Reddy

      Come on don’t think u are a real failure srijana u can do well next time this is just the end of an exam and

      Reply (19) (2)
  11. Emma Louise

    I read this after getting my exam results today. Like you, LSE was my first choice to attend next year (I’m now in my final year of school). I needed AAAB minimum this year, then AAB next year. I completely screwed up and got AACD. I couldn’t be more gutted if I tried. However, this has made me feel a lot better, although I still feel like such a failure. My preferred course is limited to around 6 universities across Britain, and I really don’t know how to react.

    Thank you for creating this article, I feel so much more happy rather than crying to myself for hours on end.

    Reply (19) (2)
  12. Ophelia

    Thank you for sharing this. I found this today after failing one of my exams, and feeling like complete crap. Your article really encouraged me, and showed me that failing an exam doesn’t define me and that I don’t have to feel discouraged or have lower self esteem because of a low grade.

    Props to your hard work!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your determination and boldness is a breath of fresh air.

    Reply (29) (3)
  13. ikshit

    Ty ty vry mch 4 sch a useful advic dat ur blog gv me whyl copin up wid my failur . . . ! ! !

    Reply (22) (3)
  14. mandy

    I felt so devastated today after failing two of my courses, i’m a medical student and there’s a high chance of me repeating. I’ve cried my eyes out, i dont know how to tell my parents, i locked myself up in an old room refusin to attend class again, have refused to pick my calls,almost using blade to cut myself up. I felt so bad cuz amongst my friends i was the only one who failed, am ashamed of myself, i wud ve easily cheated like them but i did not and nw here’s d outcm, rummaging over my fone I went to this blog, which am really greatful for, cuz i feel a lot better and am ready to come out of my hiding and work harder. It wont be easy of course but am ready to turn my failures into stepping stones. Tnx a lot.

    Reply (38) (3)
  15. MD muru

    Really inspiring n motivating!! GReat 2 c plp like u!!! Thanks because ur life hve became a booster 4 those like who afraid of failures!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply (19) (4)
  16. Genevieve

    Well, I’m also a student pursuing a university education nd after failing my entrance exam, my dad lost all his interest and focus in me and he has made my life a living hell. I try in various ways to please him but he still reminds me of my failure everytime I make a mistake but thanks to a programme I wanna go for to ensure my admission into college and this inspiring message, I will make sure that I make it happen nd I regain all my dad’s focus and trust in me. Tanks a lot. This really helped. With love from:Genevieve

    Reply (27) (1)
  17. futile attemps

    I am an IB student, my registration date is close and the teacher said she will not send in my registration as she does not want to harm the school’s reputation. My parents are very upset and so am I. I am about to lose a year and my career because I was to lazy to study. All my promises to study hard are no futile, I do not know what to do. Pp

    Reply (22) (2)
  18. Felicity

    I failed my 1st year at university. I feel very stupid coz i was the best studnt @ high school i dissapointed every1 :'(

    Reply (24) (2)
  19. Felicity

    im just grateful to whoever created this..i wont lie,im still hurt but now i know im not a failure,just got a setback

    Reply (21) (0)
  20. John

    Thank you soo much for this experience. My case was just like yours. I was used to getting a centum every time in Mathematics. But once, I did one exam really badly. I felt really bad, but managed to pick myself up.

    Reply (21) (0)
  21. Robert

    Thank you for the inspirational article! I’m struggling at the moment – I received my IB results on the 6th July 2013 and have never been able to get out of a completely self-destructive state of mind… it got to the stage where I did think of committing as well as attempting suicide by drowning and then by alcohol poisoning courtesy of a 70cl bottle of whiskey. I’ve refused to speak to anyone about it and just locked myself in my room crying. I tried to pick myself up by retaking the subjects I did poorly in but when I got the results on the 6th January 2014 the results hadn’t changed – I feel like such a failure compared to everyone in my family who have been to University. Sometimes I wonder what if I did A-Levels… maybe I would have done better.

    Reply (20) (0)
    • Tracey

      Hi Robert. I’m sorry you feel this way! It is not the end of the road. You still have a life to live ahead of you. A friend of mine told me something I will never forget: Your grades do not define you. They do not define who you are as a person. There is so much more to life than IB and IB results. Maybe, it would do you good to start exploring some other options and other things you may be interested in. Because believe me, they are there! I will you all the best for the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply (14) (1)
  22. Maika

    Hi, I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty much already feeling quite low about my IB exams this coming May. I haven’t learnt enough of the syllabi for my subjects, and know already that I won’t have the time to cover everything. I have an offer that I want to get so badly, but it seems impossible to reach… I guess that reading this just proves that you have try no matter how put down you feel, so I’ll be getting back to sticking my head into books asap ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing – it really did help

    Reply (15) (1)
  23. vivian

    So happy for this blog i felt devastated after seeing my score in organic chemistry being so sure of my exam and all..Thanks for creating this blog

    Reply (17) (1)
  24. Bree

    I have a question. You see i just finished my humanities test, and im not so great in the subject but i tried my best during that period of time. However, im really worried that im gonna fail. What should i do?

    Reply (18) (4)
  25. souharddhya

    Hi… I am sohu. I had given the +2 cbse exams & I got failed in 2 subjects. According to cbse if we fail in two subjects, the student will be declared fail. I got failed in physics & chemistry. Now I am completely depressed. I am not finding a way to go through this. I am facing a very very tough time. My parents expected me to do well but ilaid them down. I couldn’t live up to their expectations. I feel lyk crying. Please help me !!!!

    Reply (21) (2)
  26. Unsure

    Going through all of the previous comments, I now feel compelled to share my situation. I am a final year university student; always hard working. In my first year I was exempted from a few subjects which allowed me to start second year courses, but… I failed one. I had never felt so ashamed and devastated in my life especially coming from a 4.0 GPA in my first semester. But as someone above mentioned, first year doesn’t count but the second year course I had failed very much so did. I cried for weeks, lost weight and even on a summer trip that year I would not allow myself to fully relax and enjoy it.
    By the end of summer I had convinced myself that even though I got an A in the coursework and was a good student, the lecturer would brand me as “one of those shirkers… those students that ride along on the success of others (there was a group project) and one that doesn’t pay enough attention to her studies”; and what was worse was that days before exams began, I had a meltdown in front of a teacher who told me go out with friends and give myself a break. Insurmountable guilt is all I can call it.
    I never thought to check such a site then so I devised a plan – repeat the course with the same lecturer, sit in front of the classes embracing the shame, push myself to accept the fact that even having failed, I would be stronger, more confident and prove (not to the lecturer but to myself) that I was not a FAIL-URE. I did exactly this and received a 4.0 GPA that semester. I felt as though I redeemed myself and I felt twice as wise.
    I wish I could say that my story ended there, and give you all some hope but I can’t…

    The following semesters I battled with myself: “maybe it was a fluke?”; “an easy paper”; “I failed in the second semester first year so maybe second semester second year will be horrible again”; “my dream of First Class Honors with a 4.0 cumulative GPA is forever gone”
    I psyched myself out to perform what I consider very poorly because for the next two semesters I got 4As and a C.. Obviously I realized this meant TWO Cs on my record, along with the fail sigh.
    The only positive I can tell you came of it all, was that I learned how much I can push myself i.e my strengths and weaknesses. I figured out who my supporters are, that lecturers do judge as I had feared, and sometimes quite harshly but if used correctly can give you drive to succeed.

    But now, after all the rambling, I just finished my final semester and endured what I think to be my worst set of exams overall. Before, in the ‘trouble semesters’ I had one exam that proved problematic from having a bad day to being sick and simply stressing and jumbling my thoughts in essays. However, the last (jumbling thoughts and stressing about trying to finish well) plagued me in each of my last four exams of my Bachelor degree.

    I have no confidence in my performance, yet I received provisional acceptance to start my Masters degree in September, which is obviously riding on my final grades. Exam results are to be revealed early next week and I am only seeing 87 credits on my record (a sneaky way students gauge if they have passed or failed courses). I need 90 to graduate. I am worried that so close to being finished with these three years of stress, I will forfeit my Masters and Honors, and have to suffer the shame of repeating a course a second time. I am waiting as patiently as I can but there is nothing that can be said or done to help me relax at this point…

    Best of luck to us all I guess! Sorry for the length of my post but most of all, thank you for sharing your stories.

    Reply (21) (1)
    • Unsure

      Just giving an update.

      I got back my results and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I got straight As and will be graduating with Upper Second Honors. Hmm… you sit the exams but you can’t mark them too so you never know what the outcomes will be, regardless of your level of confidence.

      Reply (22) (1)
  27. Mihika

    I’m 1 hour away from getting my IB scores. I’m so afraid I’ve failed. I took 4 HLs and 7 subjects to challenge myself, but that fell apart because of stuff at home. By the end, it was too much pressure.. My timetable sucked. I’m really scared. Please pray for me? I don’t think I’ll be able to handle failure+ my parent’s divorce. Please tell me what to do?

    Reply (14) (1)
  28. Dax

    I’ll let you know, I am the exact same position as you are. An A* or A Average student till the 10th Grade. But I just got back my IB Results, I got 33. I was expected to get a 38 or something, but I got a 33. I’m not sure how to work it out anymore. I didn’t fail anything, but the fact that so much was expected of me, and I couldn’t do it makes it even worse. At this point of time, I haven’t received a word from the Uni’s. But I’m still not sure how to proceed.

    Reply (10) (1)
    • LifeIsA*****

      Its alright, maybe you can try to compensate with other stuff like writing an interesting paper, appearing for SAT subject tests. If you feel people are disappointed in you, just come up with other comebacks to show the world around you that although you are a 33-scorer, you can be as good as a 41-scorer.

      Reply (9) (1)
  29. LifeIsA*****

    Hi, I ended up getting way less than what I wanted as my IB result. I am a complete failure. Another person in my class was selfish, never interacted with the rest of my class and ended up getting a 41. I was however, nice, caring and helpful. I was concerned about my classmates.
    At the end of it, I feel that I was an idiot in being a nice person. I prefer to be selfish and heartless. But at the moment, it pains me how I was so hardworking, studious and at the same time, nice – how could God do this to me? Please reply, I am suicidal!
    I wanna be like that 41-scorer!

    Reply (13) (1)
    • Unsure

      Hi LifeIsA*****,

      I don’t know your full story but regardless of how poorly you did you are not “a complete failure”. It’s pretty easy to express self doubt and worthlessness so to speak when something bad happens but at the end of the day you don’t know where this experience will take you. I truly believe that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle and he may set you down a path that perhaps you didn’t intend for yourself but he sees your potential blossoming most in.
      I am from another system, we don’t IB exams or results but it can be frustrating to be working toward your goal and be knocked completely out of the race; even more so when you see people who weren’t as dedicated as you, easily getting and sometimes surpassing what you sacrificed so much for.
      Look at how many of us on here are in the same predicament. You most certainly aren’t alone. Try to think of any positives that may come of this bump in the road, although that may take a while. Take it as a learning experience, grow from it… but don’t take to suicide please.

      Reply (13) (0)
      • LifeIsA*****

        Hi… Thanks Unsure… Maybe its not the end… Thanks for the comforting words ๐Ÿ™‚
        I really needed them. I am planning for a remarking of my exams. Will let you know how it goes.

        Reply (12) (1)
  30. Pam

    Hi there. Thank you for all the inspirational words. I failed my high school final exam. All my friends graduated. I feel like a failure. I’m embarrassed and feel ashamed of myself. I studied so hard but in the end I get a black out during exam. I just lost a whole year. Next school year is going to be the loniest year of my life ;(

    Reply (12) (0)
    • Unsure

      Hi, I am so sorry Pam.
      I have the same problem during exams. When I failed, I figured out on my own that the onus is on you to take all of that emotion and embarrassment and conjure up the strength to prove to yourself that you are not a failure. You know why you failed, not that you didn’t try but maybe you have to find another means of coping with exam pressure. Only if you don’t go back and finish what you started (either now or in the future) would you be a failure. When I failed, I wanted to shout at everyone and say “I am usually an A student but I had a bad exam time!” I wanted to give an excuse to stop people from judging me. But the fact that I didn’t curl up in a ball and give up, helped me through alot in that period.
      It’s not going to be lonely unless you make it that way; you don’t know who you will meet, or what support you may get, you may even find your own company stimulating lol; it’s just going to be different… Failing doesn’t define you though. You are smart; talented in some form or fashion, somehow creative; you could be an exceptionally kind individual, unique, quirky. I don’t know. And you didn’t lose a whole year per say… you will figure it out, and you will also learn who your real friends are.

      Good luck Pam! Loads of support and encouragement.

      Reply (17) (1)
  31. Ayman A

    I just got my GCE A Level results yesterday and am really depressed. What I thought was a medium difficulty Biology paper was a disaster. I was expecting a A-B result (a C in the worst case) but ended up with a D. And now I’m not sure if my high school will accept me back for another year to finish chemistry and physics. my parents are in a financial crisis with two siblings already in universities . I’m lost. I wanted to go to medical school and the only decent place we could afford will never accept my D grade. My parents are now disappointed in me and I don’t even know if my school (the only one which offers 2 A Level subjects a year ) will even accept me . So all my hopes are riding on this one chance rusty my supervisor will have a heart for once. This is the only place we can afford. Someone please help and tell me what I should do. P.s. a retake for biology is definitely an option.

    Reply (18) (1)
  32. Hayden

    I know its only high school but I have recently failed some exams and have found it hard to be positive about doing my recent assignments and exams. I’m so greatful of this blog as i have felt depressed and I seem to have mental blanks while doing exams.This has just changed my view as its not the end of the world this is high school it doesn’t define who i am if i fail. Well what I’m trying to say is thank you and ill try to succeed but if i don’t well hell ill learn from it as it’s not the end of the world ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  33. Moinur

    Hi,i just did my exam and i have done badly. I am scared & depressed if i fail & feeling very alone. Don’t know how to react…

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  34. Kate

    But I don’t know what my strengths are.. I don’t know what the perfect career for me is, and I don’t know if university is even for me… I’m in my first year and already I’m doing really bad..

    Reply (19) (1)
  35. Jays Mek

    this is very inspiring. i have never failed in any of my exams but i had a exam today where for the very first time in my life i i was not able to answer some of the questions and i knew i failed it. i felt so devastated walking out of the classroom. i spent sleepless nights studying.i felt so bad. but i guess yes, life doesn’t end here. need to be positive and work harder.

    Reply (17) (2)
  36. Shea

    Thank you for this article. I think failure hurts even more when you do not experience it frequently and have a generally smooth-sailing student life. Failure hit me hardest in university because there were more capable students around and our results were generated using a bell curve system. The most gruelling thing about failing is the constant inner voice that tells how you could have done better or have it easier if you choose a different path back then.

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  37. :)

    I just had the worst entrance exam for a school which I really want to get into, which I sat through and completely messed up, I still don’t know the results but I’m almost certain I failed. Your article was extremely inspiring, and I no matter what exam results I get, I will carry on working hard and do the best I can in the next one!

    Reply (17) (0)
  38. Victor

    I have failed in my final year University exam in Biochemistry. Only one unit separated me from my graduation and that has made me feel disappointed. I have to wait for 2 more years till i graduate.I have always worked hard and i have sacrificed myself. The day before i did the exam in that unit i felt challenged. I had read the whole day, and the lights went out late at night and there were no candles in the house.By that time i could not go to the shopscoz they were closed. I had to use light from my laptop to read my notes on my exercise book my laptop was fully charged by that time. I never slept that night i kept on reading hard. In the exam room i was in a panic mode and i blacked out. But i struggled to write something. The lecturer who was supposed to mark that script had grudges especially with students who were taking that unit. And in the final results in a class of 18 , she allowed 12 people to pass and she failed 6 of us. If you can see that’s 2/3rds passed and a 1/6th failed. Its like she had calculated it.I feel so hurt and i feel like a total failure.The lecturer in charge of Academics in my course told me not to worry and that i should not give up. That i should apply for a job.He was really understanding coz i had talked to him about the challenges i faced at home. Imagine walking 11kilometers from the university up to the house and then the learning environment is not conducive where people are watching t.v and you have to study in the same living room.You are not allowed to study in the bedroom. I had to go and fetch water at night. Carrying 20 liter jerry cans up the staircase three floors up in the flats and the stairs was steep . By the time i was done i felt very tired. In the morning i have to wake up early and start commuting and the traffic jam made me more tired. By the time i reached class i was tired. I can’t even concentrate. I don’t even get enough time to read. But i still managed to pass 12 units out of 13 for two semesters. Since we started in January this year we did not even break for long holidays.This 1 unit makes me suffer due to the fact that i gave it all and i still failed. I sacrificed my self for nothing.I feel like a total failure, My friends are graduating. And am going to be left with two years before i graduate. I feel like i have let everyone down.

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  39. Theperson

    I used to be a perfect student but now in this one subject I keep failing every test. Help!!

    Reply (19) (1)
  40. ryan

    I am srilankan…and I am a chinese medical graduate…I graduated this year…and I sat for the srilankan medical council registration exam..its just yesterday that I. Got my results…none of my friends hav passed all..but compaired with me they’re much better..cos I hav failed all…I jst feel realy depressed bcos my parents hav gone for a trip out of the country..and I’m all alone crying at home.

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  41. Stupid_inner voice

    Just got my ib results today,and Yep I failed to get my diploma. I wasn’t expecting for this outcome but I took it with a sense that even though I failed ib and also the fact that my results would definitely not take me to where I want to further my studies, it is still not the end of the world, and as someone above mentioned, it’s not really the grades or atar score that defines who you are,but the ability to know your strengths and weaknesses as you progress along, the ability to pick yourself up from where you lost your ground, the ability to mentally and physically challenge yourself that you would always give your very best under tough circumstances and perhaps, all these would eventually make you realise that life is far greater than you would have imagined.

    This is perhaps the best advice i got from a teacher that I barely know of and I’ll always remember What She said,

    ‘It doenst matter which uni you go to/graduate from,whether or not if it’s the best in the world or the worst, its really not the status of the name that defines you as a person,but rather how much you have learned from the experiences you have gained, and that,makes you as a whole.’

    Well,sharing this made me feel abit better and I hope all is well with everyone, cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  42. Biggie

    Thanks for this post. Really helped me. I’m currently an MBA student at Edinburgh Business School. Been having a hard time these past few days because I failed the first course I ever enrolled for in the program by 3marks. This was after studying day and night for it. A re-sit exam comes up in March and I’m hoping to correct some mistakes I think I might have made in the previous one I wrote. Thanks once again.

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  43. Sonia

    Your Comment Hereโ€ฆWhat you said is really inspiring but the thing is,I wrote 4 good secondary exams ; in two I failed maths and d odas got cancelled. If you were to have these results wat would u have done, am completely down,can’t sleep,or tink straight I feel like am in a very big hole with no way out.Pls help me coz am really having a breakdown. Plssss

    Reply (14) (1)
  44. Isabella

    Hi everyone.. I am Isabella. Thats my story: last year I studied Natural Sciences at UEA in Norwich.. Well I found out that even if I got good grades mostly, I didn fit in and came back to my country: Italy. I started medical school in september and even if I did my best and studyed night and day, I failed both physics and Chemestry while my friends passed. I feel so ashed of my self and so lonley.. I lost all my self coinfidence and esteem.. I dont want to quit but I am actually considering finding a job ๐Ÿ™ please someone reply..

    Reply (14) (0)
    • bhanu

      What u have started u must finish Isabella. There is nothing to be ashamed in flunking and plz don’t quit as it will cancel out all the progress u have made so far. Hold ur plans of finding job for a while and give it another shot by being better prepared than b4. Sometimes it happens that even while we are better prepared than our friends we get lesser marks than them but that is part and parcel of life. All that situation demands is PERSISTENCE . so pick urself up now & show the world what u r made of, i’m 100% sure u will pass with flying colors even better than ur friends…Go Isabella!

      Reply (14) (0)
    • LostMyTC

      Hang on Isabella, I failed a law exam, lost my job at a top law firm in London, had to move back up to my mother’s house in Leeds, still finding it hard to cope. Have to resit the entire course again. Have to somehow win two scholarships to fund the course. Trying to find a temporary job in the meantime but not getting called back…phew that was a lot!

      I have read each and every comment and I am feeling a little better. If Medicine is your dream- don’t give it up! dust yourself off and try again ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply (15) (0)
  45. Soso

    Thank you for this post. This is my first time ever commenting on an Internet post/blog, just thought I’d throw that out there. When I fail in school or just at anything in general, I tend to let it consume me and I end of crying and filling myself with negative thoughts. For the past few days I have been crying myself to sleep because of my AS mock results. I honestly though my mocks went well, however the exam results told otherwise. I was expecting As and I got mostly Bs and Cs. I was gutted because I thought I had really revised, I even had daydreamd after the exams that I had done really well. However I did not do well and I feel so disappointed with myself and I feel like I’ve failed and I have been finding it really difficult to rise above my failure especially when there are people around me doing exceptionally well and until now I thought I was one of them. One peculiar thing that happened was the reaction from my parents, my parents more specifically my dad has a little temper and maybe a bit of anger issues and he normally is the reason why I try to do so well in school because I want to be proud of me and not to get mad. My dad behaved reacted quite well to the fact that I didn’t do as well as I thiught and was so calm about everything which made me think that maybe my crying and wailing was a little OTT. But even after my dad’s surprise response I still felt the pain of my marks. Today I got back another of my papers once again obtaining a low grade. This was also a paper I revised the hardest for, I was so shocked that I couldn’t even pay attention in class. after the class I managed to hold my tears through lunch however when I got into my room and I couldn’t help but cry, even if it was for a little bit. Maybe I’m just dramatic but lying in bed with zero friends to talk to (new school…long story), I had to find some motivation to get me back up again, and this has magically worked. So thank you for this post, not sure how long ago it was posted but really thank you and in reading the comments I know that I’m not alone in the struggle of not allowing yourslf to wallow in failure but rise from it.

    Reply (17) (1)
  46. bhanu

    I could not qualify for my ssc tier 2 exams…..i was a little upset to be honest but reading the post and going through the comments has given me a lot of positivity.
    Now i am ready to work hard again full throttle. I am very grateful to this site for the confidence it has given me. THANKS ALOT

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  47. gauri camblay

    I think i am going to get bad grades in 12th.i wanted to become a doctor but i dont think my grades will.Now i think i should take commerce.Is my decision right…I am seriously upset.My parents are expecting good results but i will not get good grades this year.Please help me through this situation.

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  48. shamoon

    I am currently studying in grade 12 and my exams are going on…. my class is the first batch of grade 12 of our school…. and it was a total disaster. the phy and chem teachers came in after half of the year was over and the whole of my college life was messed up. my phy exam got over 2 days back. the board exam. and. boo matter how hard I studied, due to the problems…I never knew the basics so well. so…. it was really bad. I lost all of my hope for phy….and tomorrow, I’ve got my Chem exam… and I think is going to be as bad as phy was.. in good with all the other subjects… this is my final exam… what should I do about the bad marks of phy and chem? I just know this is bit my true potential and I want to give in my best …I want to repeat 12th…. my parents say I should think over it… please give me advice….

    Reply (15) (0)
    • Rachel

      I am in a similar situation. I really messed up this year and have been struggling with some personal issues that are hard to explain. I’m expecting to seriously have failed most of my exams and really want to redo year 12. I’m dreading the weeks of school after exams, learning A2 at my school which I won’t get back into. It seems pointless to me to bother returning before the end of the year. Not sure what to do and have not had the guts to tell my parents how badly I think I have done this year. I know I can do so much better, I could get straight As if this year hadn’t been as horrible for me as it was. I also would like to see a therapist of some sort to help me out with my personal issues though I’m not sure it’s something we can afford.

      Reply (17) (0)
  49. Viola

    I am just back from a business math CAT( Continuous Test Assessment). I did terrible and I can’t stop crying. actually this the CAT is a make up one for those who didn’t do well at the first one. When I did the first one I failed. but I was much disappointed since I wasn’t ready for it and I hardly practiced. so when I heard there a second chance I studied really hard and with confidence I sat for the second paper. now again I am out, I only relies how much I have messed up and I will fail it again. the paper was very easy but whats wrong with me? I don’t know. and all my friends are laughing, can’t believe I will fail, specially that I used to revise for them , they call me the math girl. now i only have to study harder for the exam. but still everytime i remember that paper i feel terrible, my tears won’t stop. that’s why i came here and googled how to cop with exam failure. I read your story, i feel better …. and you are right that’s not the end of the world. life goes on after all math is not really my cup of tea, but i am just good at it sometimes and hello i am specializing in human resource which is my thing. so anyway i let my failure be my motivation.

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  50. Sephina

    I don’t know what to say but this is the best article so far that I have read. Although, I am a Nigerian but this explains how I am feeling. I did my seminar presentation on Friday, 10th may this year. I put in my best in fact all the best I have done in years as it was my last year in the university. I have always been an A student as well but the whole work was castigated and ridiculed, I kept watching my videos but I couldn’t really see where I really flopped. I felt like a failure over and over. I never expect the comments of being described as a failure . been crying for days. Although my family and friends have been around trying to make me feel good but I feel u disappointed them again. Again and again. I have lost my interest in reading. I feel so much like a failure. I feel worthless. I am……..

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  51. charles bulembe

    I was at university, when the results came out. I found that i passed only three courses out seven. I went on exclude my step dad, the community and church members. I lost hope in me cause i have been a good student. This time the world seems so dark for me, but i have not given up hope.

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  52. Student

    I also go to a school which offer A Levels and IB and I don’t understand why you keep saying that you would have done so much better had you done A Levels. I think you are completely undermining how difficult A Levels actually are and that is typical of an IB student. The truth is, its not fair to presume that A Levels are easier (Unless you are meaning there are better teachers for A Level in your school then fair enough) unless you have physically done both the courses then fine, you have a right to make that judgement. Both of the courses are equally as difficult in their respective ways and I am fed up of IB students always complaining that we have an easier course and lighter work load. A) No we don’t B) We all the know the reputation IB has and you are all aware of what you are getting into when you choose that course. Sorry for the negativity, the comparison really bugs me. Congratulations on your hard work.

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  53. Rayen

    We currently I am an sec 4 student my mid year had just ended and I am not really that happy with my grades I literally drop all my grades the subjects that I use to get A drop to a just pass but after you blog this gain me confidence in myself and I am willing to work hard for my N level and proceed to iTE

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  54. Vicky

    I’m sitting on the train traveling after taking my first exam since 1997. I didn’t finish my education after I left due to personal circumstances. Instead, I took up a full time employment which I’m currently still with. Last year, I decided it was time to pick up from where I left off with my education. I had alway wanted to undertake law degree. So, you can imagine how I felt when I got accepted by the uni to do law degree via distance learning. Therefore, I have been juggling full time work and studies. I have given up pretty much my social life. It’s hard. However, I chose this path. I’m determined to get through the first year. I have passed all my assessed coursework. Now, just have the exams to take. My first one this morning has not gone the way I wanted it to. I know could have done better. I was to answer 4 questions but only managed 3. Even my third essay I didn’t apply the correct principle. So, I know even before the results are released I haven’t passed the 1st year. I feel upset. I just feel that the amount of effort I put into my revision has not helped at all. I know that I have my best. But somehow I don’t feel I can say to myself that it will be alright. I was prepared for this exam. Obviously, the pressure got one over me in the exam. I just feel know matter how much work I put into my studying, I will not reap the rewards afterwards.

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  55. Kat

    I have my maths exam in 10 hours and 40mins and I’m panicking so much that I will literally vomit. I’m so scared of failing and disappointing my parents and not being able to become an engineer, So I’m looking for reassurance that It’s not the end of the world should I fail this exam. Also my maths teacher told my parents that I would fail, so I’m even more scared ๐Ÿ™


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  56. Ammu

    I appeared for my medical entrance exams this year and after going through the answerkey i realize that i have done my life’s most important paper in a miserable way.. js scoring 60-70% which wont fetch me any admission in top med colleges…i am considered to b the most scholar student at classes and college coz i knew almost all things and had been studying since 2 years without any fun and socializing with people..i have let down all the hopes of my parents and have been crying a lot as to how did this thing ever happened to me? My family has started looking over me as a failure and have turned me to do whatever i wish as they have lost their confidence in me as i could ever succeed again. I feel i would never get back my smile again though i am confident enough i will get better marks than this in my next attempt. Especially after reading this blog and reading experiences of diff people, i feel maybe God wanted me to have a taste of failure so that i become strong. But still, against all these optimism, i dont know whether i will be able to prove myself the best like i was before. Feel i have lost my self esteem and self respect which i had earned all these years with my determination. The major thing which is eating me inside is that how would i answer to all the people , friends, teachers, professors etc. They had high expectations from me and thought i would top even in this exam. ๐Ÿ™

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  57. Trini

    That really helped me a lot, I am currently on the anticipated IB program for Spanish, and today I did not do so well on a creative presentation that is going be sent to the IB. I am pretty sure I failed at least one of the criteria, and I feel like a complete failure and humiliated, I had the idea clear in my head but I couldn’t express it as I wanted. The nerves and my insecurities ate me alive, I am normally nervous just as anyone else, but today was different, I screw this up on a major scale. My biggest fear is losing the anticipate IB program (that is not an option I am willing to take) I know its not the end of the world but it certainly feels like it. You are very similar to me in the sense that I am a straight A student and failing is not and option, I also feel like crying at this moment. I don’t know what to do… I know I did not ruin my opportunities but I am afraid that my biggest fear will become real. I am scared, people have certain expectations for me, but I do not know if I can accomplish them. What should I do? I won’t give up but I don’t know how much more I can take. My will is strong but my hopes are now weak. I do not want to fail, but what if my best is not enough? Either way I will hope for the best, but just for record the IB is killing me!!
    P.S. I will keep your words in mind, those really helped me!

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  58. lak

    i had my a level mock exams today , today was the maths paper 3 . i got a black out , i felt like crying right in the examination room . worst , the formula sheet which i got was printed on the first page and then there were two blank pages in the middle and then there was a printed page and the information i needed was on that last page . when i saw the two blank pages i was panicked , in fact i did not know that at the end there was a printed page , therefore i’ve already lost many marks because i couldn’t apply and use the correct formula and top of that for the other quesions i got sheer black out , yes black out though i studied really hard for this exam ,yesterday even in the physics paper i got a black out . i don’t know what is happening to me . for my o level i had got brilliant results , but since the beginning of a level i am getting really low marks , i can’t study .once i even told my mother that i can’t study because other people are envious of me because of my o level results but to my despair she told me that i don’t work well , so why should people be envious of me ? yeh okay , am not intelligent though i i haad got good results for my o level but the thing is that there is severe competition for this a level , so the moment people know u’ve got good results for o level , they will be on their guards and make sure u dn’t work better than them . well , this is the case here . now i’ve got ‘friends’ who ARE really jealous in fact . i’ve got one such friend actually , she pretends to be my friend ,but she is actually jealous . i dn’t knw why i get the feel that am not able to work beacause of her , the other day the worst happened , she told her family members that ive got a breakdown and that i cant work .the latter came to talk to me and told me i will get a blackout if i continue like this . am sooooooo stressed . yeh i did get a blackout , but i cant to my mother , nor my sister non my brother , non of them understands , my father can console me A LITTLE BIT but i feel more secure when my mother consoles me , but she doesn’t do it at all , in fact she is very pessimistic . for the first term i even failed the statistics paper , i failed in maths , i got a black out , i dnt know wats happening to me , ive got only two months for the final cambridge a level exams , what should i do ? plzzzzzz reply asap . in fact my friends who didn’t work too well for the o level exams are working far better than me now . it’s not that i dn’t study , i study but i get black out very often . i think i had studied too hard for my o level , that’s y .but then am also suffering from epilepsy and i have to take 9 pills , well now the doctor has reduced it to 7 pills per day , i just feel like sleeping , i dn’t feel like working , these are actually the side effects of the medicines , but then wat should i do ? i feel lyk a real failure , i even wish i die the soonest possible , plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz reply asap .

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  59. sam

    Hi everyone…I was pretty much an average student at high school so naturally my average results were not enough to get me into a good university so I opt for distance learning…my first three years went by surprisingly amazing…I ended passing with distinctions in every semester and so I ended up creating this “intelligent student” image in the eyes of family and friends…but in the last part of my degree I ended up choosing something that was difficult and I failed it…but in truth I already knew that when I walked out of that exam room…but I was terribly upset and yes I cried because I felt that I failed everyone who believed in me…but eventually I decided to try again and this time I was sure I passed it..but when I checked my results to my utter horror I supped this paper again…I have no choice but to do it again and pray that by the end of this year I get my degree…some part of me doesn’t want to try again…and the other part of me wants to prove to myself that even an average student can study something hard and still be proud of her abilities and strength….but I can’t help being confused as to weather or not I will actually get this degree that I have been working so hard to achieve?

    Your story was inspirational I must say..i just wish life could be easier…failure is a terrible feeling but right now I feel helpless.

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  60. Angie

    i came to this page after typing in google: ‘can’t stop crying over exam results’ then clicked on this page. As I started reading, I thought that this was my future self writing this because I had gotten good grades at GCSE but also made the mistake of taking IB and getting low grades. I feel like I could have gotten much better grades in A Levels and unfortunately the IB failed to show my full potential. I feel like I’ve let everyone down, including myself and I can’t stop crying. Your post did motivate me a lot however, so thank you for writing this.

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  61. Melissa Main

    I just wanted to say that i’m a graduate student and the failing grade is below 70. I found out that I failed and it was the most devastating thing ever. I was always the straight A student, well known to my family, friends and colleagues. I was also confident with my newfound study techniques that I applied for the midterms that I failed.

    Turns out I made a big mistake and I should have used the studying techniqeus that i’ve been using in the previous years. I currently feel like crap and defeated and I ruminated on my failed midterms. BUT… i’m not going to ace these final exams by moping. If anything, i’m more driven as ever to kill my final exams and to use this failure to drive me.

    Thanks so much for your post, it definitely helped me feel better and I WILL KILL my final exams in 2 weeks.

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  62. Brinette

    Thank you so much for this article. I am so depressed right now because I fail an exam which I felt very confident in. Strangely enough, I was the top student of the class, and generally scored very high on standardized writing test, but somehow I fail, while everyone passes. It was an English class so it can be subjective. I do very well in class but I still don’t know how I manage to fail it…. ๐Ÿ™

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  63. shreya

    …..i’m shreya! i’m indian and taken ib last year and now till december in the first semester i failed two subjects…one in sl physics and 2nd chem hl by just 1 ib point…what can be worse than this??? i’have taken 3 sciences in ib because my problem is i don’t trust myself and just studying ib just to pass …while doing aiims preparation in hand….[ the major reason is i don’t really trust myself!!!!!! i tried alot to focus only on ib but then seeing such a burden and the rigrous plan i doubt that i can get straight 7’s in every subj to improve my earlier performance…so ….i’m studying for a medical entrance exam as well …i don’t know why????
    i can’t spoil my life…..!!!! plzzz help me…..give some suggestion …!!????

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  64. Maria

    Hello. Today I’m having two exams and I’m afraid that I’ll fail them or I’ll get very bad grades because I had some problems and I couldn’t study as I should. Also I was procrastinating and I’m afraid that I’ll disappoint my parents. I know that they won’t be mad at me because I’m studying Computer Science, it’s pretty tough and they know that, to them it doesn’t matter which grade I get or if I fail, they always give me hope and encourage me. I’m in my third year and I haven’t failed an exam but, the thing that really bothers me is that I have disappointed myself and to me there is no worse feeling than that and I don’t know what do to. I’m just going over the material but nothing goes into my head, I haven’t slept and I just want this exams to be over so I can start a new semester and try hard, very hard in the new one.

    Like a lot of you here, I also got bad grades when finishing high school and I couldn’t get into the university I wanted (I wanted to be a doctor) and I was so angry with myself at first, I cried for days because I could not imagine studying something else, but then I got here, studying Computer Science and at this moment, I’m even happy that I wasn’t accepted at the medical university because in my country studying medicine is pretty more expensive and I realize that my parents could not take it financially.
    I also had and still have a lot of pressure on me because I did not go to preschool and first grade because I knew how to read, write, count, and stuff like that when I was 3 years old, I was a straight A’s student and I always had pressure on me because a lot of people – kids at my school and their parents, envied me and I was always pushing very hard, to have the best results because I did not wanted to give them the pleasure of seeing me down and laughing at me. I was always the smartest, top of class and now I feel ashamed because something is changing in me, I do have some problems I can’t even say in words because I do not know what is wrong with me and also all of my friends have high GPA like me till now, so from there comes a lot of pressure too.
    I don’t have some smart advice because right now I feel like the end of the world is coming and I just want to hug my dog and sleep for forever even though I know that bad grades don’t define me as a person but, I just wanna say to all of you that even though you couldn’t get to the university you wanted, you can always try some other option because you have many and later in life, if you don’t obsess with the bad grades from the IB’s you could be happy like I am now, with my second choice, not with my grades ๐Ÿ™ and always remember that only you create the path for yourself.
    I know that it is hard but, have a little faith in yourself and after a while I believe that it will come out great.

    Reply (8) (0)
  65. Jahnvi

    I was never good at studies, always average. My final high school score was low and really below my as well as my family’s expectations. I wanted to pursue fashion designing but my parents wanted a more ‘stable’ future for me, hence they wanted me to become a teacher or banker or lawyer. (My family is filled with these positions)

    But nevertheless my dad supported me as long as I manage to get into a government college. So I gave the entrance exam while I was still waiting for my final result of high school, and I got selected. I did prepare whatever I could for it even though I had taken science stream in high school. Anyways, so I was ecstatic because it was my dream college. But my hopes went down the drain as even though i got selected i couldn’t get any seat in the fashion designing course. Even though I used to cry a lot and my confidence level receded to nothing, I took an year drop and went to the best coaching in the country that boasts of placements in the best colleges of design. It was in a different city so I had to shift there alone and my parents supported it all. I actually worked hard there, I was surprised to know that there were so many things I had to learn before giving the exam and loved every aspect of it. But I still used to cry at night for no reason sometimes, so I decided to go to psychiatrist. I didn’t tell my parents about it until the doc compelled me to, as according to him I had depression and social anxiety disorder. These things are are there in me since senior high school.

    It took meds, my parents said it’s bullshit even after meeting the doc. I stopped taking meds after few weeks as I started feeling confident since I was gaining more and more knowledge.

    After an year when i gave my exam everyone expected me to be selected since I cleared it without much knowledge in the first attempt. I for the first time was confident for an exam. After finishing it, I was happy because I had a feeling that I would get selected.

    I didn’t get selected by only an ounce of 0.1 marks. It looked like fate had played a cruel game. I screamed and cried. I was horrified. I was in denial. If only I had got 0.1 marks more.

    My dad refused to talk to me for weeks, my mum taunts me everytime she calls. My friends thought I was joking.

    I have no idea what to do. Apparently my parents do, they are planning for me to become a banker or something. Private colleges of design are expensive and my father is not going to spend money on it, since I wasted it already by going to the coaching for an year.

    I don’t have enough power in me to fight for my dream anymore. In fact I have come to the point where I doubt my passion for it. It seems like everything is mocking at me. The various pictures of illustrations by me and a plithora of work by my favourite designers in my gallery. The PDF files saved containing numerous articles about design, the guide do draw perfect croquis, study of different body types. The bling of notifications of various pages I had consider important- fashion illustrations, models, FTV, creativity etc. The various cut outs of newspapers and magazines i had collected since grade 8th. They all seem to mock me now.

    I just want to get rid of the pain i feel burning in me, every time I see these things or hear from my friends who got selected even though they didn’t really wanted in that course.

    Reply (7) (0)
  66. CN

    Thank you. I just want to say thank you to you. I think I’m quite depressed and your journey gives me hope to march on. So I simply want to tell you that I’m grateful for your sharing!

    Reply (5) (0)
  67. Jane

    I am an English as second language student, I predicted my lit grade is no good. Right after lit exam, I felt like my heart was sinking deeply after seeing my friends’ confident faces and how my parents are looking forward to hear how well I had performed. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it felt like I have lost something precious. I know I should have done better, but there’s no chance of going back. I did not cry but merely sat on my bed emotionally. Feeling weak and defeated. I know lit is not my strongest subject but still I could have done better. However, I should let it go and focus on my other exams. “failure makes you stronger” “Where there is a will, there is a way.” “Nothing can stop a willing heart.” Fighting! Wishing everyone here will find a way to success!

    Reply (6) (0)
  68. Tessa

    Hi Everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

    First, I like to say thank you to you for this amazing article. It really helped me with coping my recent failure.
    I am a university student and recently I failed two units out of 5 in my 3rd year 1st semester. I was depressed and thought I failed everyone who trusted me was proud of me including myself. I’ve failed my A/Ls once and after entering to the university (after much struggle) I was doing quite well. In my first and second years, I was able to achieve “A”s in basically every unit and didn’t go below a C (I only got one C in those two years). But this time, everything changed upside down and I ended up failing two units. I started to panic and started to think I won’t get to my dream job, I won’t be able to complete my degree as others, I’m a total failure and all the money and time my parents invested in my education will go be wasted.
    But now, after reading your article and bunch of other stories of people who have failed but managed to success after hard work, my only aim is to transform this failure into success and work as hard as I can to get to my dream.
    Thank you for sharing this with everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply (4) (0)
  69. cman

    Hey your story gave me hope. Im in my 3rd yr of community college. Have to take more classes bc im going to major in Environmental science. Im doing Calculus one again bc I failed it last semester. I had tried my best but It wasnt enough. Now im taking it again and I failed the first test and it was easy, idk how I failed it. Iknew what I was doing but I forgot some parts. Now my parents taking away my privilges like going to the gym so I can study more. They dont think I did my best but ik I did. They think I didn’t study enough bc I didn’t go to a study group or tutoring but I didnt need to bc I knew how to do the work. Im tired of my parents saying how I didnt study enough or didnt do my best bc they wernt studying for my test, all they see is the results. I tell em I try but they like there own educational believes. Sure I respect them for paying for my education but they didnt do the school work. Its annoying when I study my hardest and still fail. Sine I read your story I will have to try harder. Thanks for sharing your story. I felt like giving up but now I think I can do it.I just gotta survive my parents constant blabbering.I needed to vent, this just happened today.thx.

    Reply (4) (0)
  70. Really tired

    Hello everyone . I stumbled across this place whole searching up on how to get over a bad grade. I just sat for my accounting paper today. Its a final exam paper for first years. I used to do pretty well when I was in polytechnic but ever since I entered university. ..things changed.. first I was reminded of the fact that I couldn’t pursue the major that I have always wanted. 3 years ago I was thrown into a similar situation but I succeeded. This kind of gave me hope that I was doing well in something that I had no interest in. I think I might have been a little too over confident… I studied whay I could … had no social life … but now… the paper that I had the most confidence in… I don’t know anymore… 3 more papers to go and I’m pretty sick of it.. entering this prestigious university was difficult but .. I don’t know.. I feel like I don’t belong here… everyone else is doing well. I just talked to some of my friends. .. they could do the question that I couldn’t. .. I wonder what went wrong.. im thinking of transferring but that’s if I wanna forsake my family … since they forbid me to study what I liked (because it’s not gonna earn money they said…) I’m just… I feel like I’ve lost control over my life now.. im just so down
    .. and I can’t help blaming myself for everything. . This gotta stop… but its just infuriating when I could have done well. . I hate myself. ..

    Reply (4) (1)
  71. Chandni

    I am achieving 26 points in the IB and never have i felt more worthless in my life. My teachers expect me to do better they know i can do better however I know im putting my best and still not achieving the grades i want. Hell I cannot even get a 5 in every subject. This is my last year so obviously these mock results will go to the unis im applying to but clearly i wont be getting into any uni. I feel pathetic and have no expectations anymore. Bio and math is just bringing me down and I might even have to drop to courses which I DONT WANT to at all. There is no light ahead and honestly I just hate myself for being absolutely dumb compared to all my friends. I am not even bothered to apply anywhere because I thought i was going to achieve atleast a 31 but I am not even close. Most of all, I am scared to look like such a failure infront of my parents. I wish I had taken A levels as well, I wouldve achieved better grades than I am now. I am just done with the IB and have no interest anymore in anything.

    Reply (3) (0)
  72. anon

    You massively underestimate the difficulty of A levels. You can’t say you’d have got straight As at A level because you got mostly As at GCSE – that’s not how it works. I know lots of people who got mostly A*s at GCSE who went on to get Bs at A level.

    Reply (4) (1)
  73. Lucy

    I am an international student and went to study HND in Scotland but during my last term one teacher failed me for a very small mistake and she didnt give me a chance to fix it which means that i fail the whole course no matter that I have an A on my Graded Unit. My parents believed in me and I still haven’t told them and it’s really hard now because all these thoughts and pressure is killing me.. that I failed and failed them but they still don’t know that and I don’t have a heart to tell them. It’s been really hard for the past days but all these shares of handling such failure gives me motivation to keep looking for a way to fix things. Thanks everyone.

    Reply (2) (1)
  74. Mom

    Hi, my daughter just sat her higher level maths exam yesterday, she is devasted as she feels she has failed. How do I motivate her, she sits paper 2 on Monday& has a further 2 weeks of exams left. She is so worried as she will not be accepted into any university course. She is the most amazing person, I’ve tried to tell her that results don’t define her as a person. I know how hard she has worked over the last 2 years, while also dealing with health issues. How can I help her thankyou โ˜บ

    Reply (2) (0)
  75. Student

    I just received my IB results and realized that they are one point lower than the unis asked. The thing is I know I could have done much better and I am so dissapointed in myself. I cannot even be happy for my friends because they all did great and I feel ashamed, because like you, I think I let everyone down. I just do not know what to do. My first choice uni was the only place I actualy wanted to go and now I just do not feel the need to do anything or go anywhere. I really feel worthless and I do not know how to pick myself up. And it is not that it is just one point but the whole results are not what they should have been. It makes me so angry at myself that I do not know where to put that anger.

    Reply (2) (0)
  76. Anon

    I am stuck, I was predicted a 37, and when the results came out I got a 31. I have not met any of my conditions for my university’s and I am in just disbelief because going back I felt I did well after each paper. I am depressed, feeling like shit and don’t know what to do. I feel I have disappointed myself and everyone around me. I have never messed up before, and the time I do it could fuck up my entire life. I just feel like everything is going against me.

    Reply (2) (0)
  77. Daniala

    I did an RMS GCSE and I am usually an A* student, then stress came to me and I started t revise less and for the real thing I got a C which is a pass but I feel stupid, so I told my parents I got a B, I feel guilty, but I have learnt fromm my mistake and I’m trying my best for the rest

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  78. Aria

    I feel so upset because usually I get A*s in English and English is something I excel in. My recent exam, I forgot to analyse the last line which is (apparently) the MOST important line in the whole text. I’m upset as I was so confident in English and though getting an A is not bad I just am so frustrated and angry.

    Reply (0) (0)
  79. Pallabi Dutta

    I am a student of BSc in Physics honours. I have passed my 1st & 2nd years smoothly. But 3rd year is becoming very difficult for me. I have already given my 3rd exam for 2 times. But for both of times I remained unsuccessful. I just don’t know why, I mean I gave my 100% in both of the years. In fact I gave my exam much better for the 2nd time. Now there’s only 1 year has left within 5 year degree programme. I have completely loose my enthusiasm to read once again for 1 year. I just don’t want to read Physics anymore,I can’t seriously. So now what can I do? Anybody guide me please. I need this very much.

    Reply (0) (0)
  80. Ogundare Jeremiah

    I think the situation is different for you guys, I read your post and I tell my self I think this people’s situation is still good compared to mine, have been failing from the day one of my life and am taking my life after cause I can’t take it anymore, my result came out few days back but I tried to me university lecturals maybe they can assist me not been sent off the school to start all over again, I gained admission to the university four years back but after my first year my result was bad so I was sent out of the university, so I tried to get to the same university over and over again but I was denied not until now I gained admission again and I read so hard so I will not be sent off can you imagine that I failed again after all my efforts and am about to be sent of again, my story is so bad from the day one actually my God Giving talent is football and I will love to play soccer but my dad is against that , every class in my life I always repeat it over and over again but this point I can’t take it any longer cause it’s going to be a shame for people to see me that am not going to school anymore

    Reply (0) (0)
  81. Eugene

    Right now, am facing same issue. I feel so sad, I feel am nothing. Despite my hard work, studying mbbs, I saw my result, I failed all subjects, anatomy etc. There was this shock in me, I keep on wondering, am I the one getting this results. I kept on recalling the inconvenience I passed through. Because of the weather condition in china, it’s too cold and uncomfortable to study. I tried my best as a student, I studied under the cold weather, not everyone can afford the electricity bill switch on the heater. Deep inside me I knew I wrote well and studied. But now am so much pain.
    But one thing I know failure can’t stop me, I know am Intelligent. This is not my first time failing, and getting such a bad score. Right now, this semester am gonna do all it takes, even though its gonna be so hard, cause am gonna study to rewrite and also focus on the new courses. But am going to make it. All is gonna take is to make a little adjustment, and don’t think much about the failure. To you guys out there don’t let fairlure pin you down. If you have failed, you know how to tackle it next time. For me i need to study before the exam day. Not two weeks before exam. Goodluck

    Reply (1) (0)


  1.  Donโ€™t panic โ€“ resits arenโ€™t the end of the world. | Tutorhub Blog
  2.  Top Tips: Coping With Exam Failure | Tutorhub Blog

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