Dealing with Failing: What to do when you bunk an exam

The value of a person lies way beyond the grades and scores they get from a school or university. We all go through failure at least once in our lives, for if we never experienced failure before, we will not be able to take a step forward towards improvement. Failure is not a wall that cannot be climbed up which serves as a road block in your journey, instead think of it as a wet stone in the middle of the road. You may stumble because of it or even fall down to your feet, but once you learn to use it, it will become a valuable tool to sharpen your weapons.

Everybody stumbles every once in a while in our journeys, the only difference is where we might have stumbled and fell. Some of us may have had difficulties in a business venture, while others may have had difficulties with intimate relationships. However, there are also things that remain constant. For instance: whatever may have caused you failure will teach you to be better and wiser at it, and failures in academics are no exception to the rule.

Keep your head up high

It is said that a person who has never made a mistake is often someone who lives in the shadows of everyone’s success. So, pick yourself up from whatever hole you hid to hide from your failed exams and become a person who has failed, but at the same time learned his lesson. Everybody fails at one point, yours just happen to be at an important exam which may or may not dictate the grade you will get for the semester.

You should not be ashamed and sulking due to your failure, instead why not invest the time and energy you need to feel down and ashamed into something productive? Look for ways that you can learn from that failure so that you will never repeat the same one again.

How to cope with failure

While failing an important exam will be a hard idea to grasp and wrap your head around, it is still important to accept it and find ways to learn from it. Listed below are ways you can cope with your failure and also ways to learn from it so that you do not fail a second time.

1. Find out where you did poorly

The first thing you should do is to find out where or what areas you did poorly so that you can be aware of what caused you to fail your exam. If, by any chance, the reason why you failed is because of a topic you are having trouble with then you can work harder to review that lesson or topic so that you will not fail in it again. However, if the part of the exam where you did poorly will never appear again in any future exams, then try to review the next few lessons which are similar to the one you did poorly.

By determining where you did poorly, you will be able to find out what caused you to fail. You cannot improve on something which you did not know you were weak at. Just like how you can never see dirt on your face unless you look at a mirror, you will not be able to begin you improvement without you knowing where you need to improve.

2. Do not blame others

The next thing you should do is to take responsibility for your own actions and not blame others for your failure. No one here is to blame; instead think of it as part of your growth. If you were to blame your teachers for not teaching you well, then you should have known better and studied hard on your own instead of placing the blame on your teacher.

Blaming others may give you a sense of relief at first because then you would think that it was not your fault for failing. But without acknowledging that you were the one who failed and your actions are what brought you your failure, then you will never learn from this failure and you will be unable to grow from that failure. No one else but you could have brought that upon yourself, but no one else other than yourself could have learned from that as well.

3. Reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses

The next steps after you have acknowledged your own fault and failure is to reevaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Now that you have accepted your failure and learned where you went wrong, it is time to determine whether your fault was caused by one of your weaknesses, and if it was; how to work on it to never repeat the same mistake again.

You may have been good at calculations but weak against word problems. If that is the case, then you can try to use your strengths to your advantage by writing down the given of a word problem and look for the answer in a mathematical sentence. This will allow you to both improve your strength and develop a counter to your weakness. Develop your weaknesses and hone your strengths to make sure you will not fail a second time around.

4. Rethink your choices

If your weakness and strengths had nothing to do with why you failed that exam then it might be caused by another factor. You may not have been fully interested in that topic to begin with which is why you did not pay attention to the lectures and failed in the exams. If so, then you might want to rethink your choices.

Why did I take this class? What importance will this class have on my goals? How can this class improve my chances of reaching my goal? As these questions to yourself and try to remember why you took that class in the first place. Rethinking why you took that class in the first place may just be what you need to get you pumped up to learn and improve on that class or subject.

5. Retake that exam

If your school allows for a retake, then by all means do so. It will do you good no matter which way you look at it. Just make sure that you are completely prepared the next time and don’t expect to see the same questions from your previous exam.

Retaking the exam allows you to redeem yourself and determine how much you have grown since the last exam. If you did well, then congratulations for you have learned from your failure, but if you were still struggling, then you might need to work harder or that there is something else at play.

6. Work harder

If you happen to be sure of the course you are taking and want to stick with it. Then the best thing you should do is to work harder in order for you to not commit the same mistake again. Study on where you are weak at and continuously improve your strengths to make sure you are improving.

Work harder so that when the next exam arrives; you will be prepared to face whatever they throw at you. You will then leave the exam hall with a smile on your face because you are confident you will not fail a second time. Work harder to learn from your failure. You may even grow into a more mature version of yourself if you work hard enough.

7. Switch to another course

If almost all of the questions leaned to where you were not good at and when you are trying to rethink your choices, there is no clear answer, then the course you are taking may not be suited for you. This might explain why you failed in the first place and why it is so hard to find motivation for you to learn from that failure.

It is not common to see students taking courses they are not interested in or are not good at just because their parents want them to pursue that career or that field of study offers good pay. You may have been stuck in a field you are not compatible with which can hinder your growth and only cause you more failures to come.

8. Hire a tutor

Another way to avoid failing the exams again is by hiring a tutor. A tutor can be aware of where you are weak at and works hard so that you can improve in that certain area to make sure that you will not make as many mistakes as you would if you did not improve your weaknesses. You will be given an objective analysis of where you need to work on. You will also have someone who will correct your mistakes before you make those mistakes in the exam.

If you are wondering where to get a tutor like that, then look no further than at FamilyTutor, Singapore’s number one home tuition agency with thousands of highly skilled and capable tutors. These tutors are capable of teaching everyone from pre-school up to university level students to make sure everyone who needs quality tutoring is covered.

We also have a wide range of subjects to choose from such as Math, Science, Chemistry, Physics, English, Hindi, Chinese, and more. We also make sure our rates are at market value to give you quality education at a reasonable price.


These tips are not from a professional psychologist and are only intended to give you a couple of ideas on what to do when you fail an exam. If you are suffering from extreme depression because of failing the test, then I would highly recommend you seek professional help as mental health is an important component of your well-being.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

Tell Carelle Below What You Think About Her Post!

About FamilyTutor!

FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!

If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!

Related Posts!

Follow Us On Facebook!

Our Service!