There is always overwhelming anxiety before the announcements of the entrance exam result. Entrance exams themselves create a lot of stress and anxiety among the students. But, results can create even more stress and cause mental hurdle that can be difficult to be dealt with for both students and their parents. Here are few tips on how to cope up with failure in entrance exams.
You might be brooding over how the final revision should have been done much better or how they would have studied harder, or whatever their regrets may be. But, the fact is that the exams are a thing of the past now.
If you cleared the cut-offs, congratulations and well done.
If you are one of those who failed to achieve the desired results in NEET or IIT-JEE, remember “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently“.
Always easier said than done. You will be scared or ashamed of going out. Relatives, friends, and neighbors will be calling up to inquire about your results. Your WhatsApp screen and Facebook feed might make you more depressed and anxious.
But, take it easy.
Everyone is scared of failing. The fear of failure is sometimes so intense that it renders people helpless and adversely affects their performance, but very much like everything else as much as failure has the ability to diminish performance it also has the capacity to motivate and enhance results.
Success and failure are both a part of life. I know things are really hard for you at this time. But, here are few tips that can help you at this stage.
How to Overcome Failure in NEET, IIT-JEE and Other Entrance Exams
Accept and Move On
Entrance exams are competitive exams. If you perform badly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you failed in the exam. It simply means that others were better than you (maybe on that day).
The most important thing a failure tells us is where exactly we stand in the competition which gives us a clear idea of the areas we must work harder on.
It’s time to assess your own standards. Do not underestimate yourself; at the same time, don’t overestimate your skills either. It is really important to be aware of your capabilities and work on them.
Don’t overthink, and lastly, don’t compare yourself with your peers – relatives, friends, neighbors and all. Trust me; there is no point in comparing yourself to others.
Know Your Options
Analyze your options and know what exactly the best way ahead is. Read What to do if you don’t get the College or Course (Degree Program) of your choice?
If you fail to meet the cut-off by a small margin, then you could consider re-appearing next year. Alternatively, try to figure out if there is any other substitute test that can be given.
Secondly, if you can’t get into IIT or a top medical college in your city, that should not be the end of the world. There many colleges out there in India.
Failure is felt harder when someone fails at something that was their only option which leads to a crisis because of a lack of other opportunities to perform in. Giving yourself multiple options from the beginning doesn’t leave you as helpless as it possibly could have.
Read the story of Jacin who failed to clear the Medical Entrance Exams and later opted for BSc in Geology and he felt happy that he failed the entrance exam.
Avoid Getting Depressed
A very essential aspect of how to cope with exam failure is to prevent from slipping into depression. In order to get rid of their emotional pain, students start consuming alcohol and end up taking drugs. If needed, seek professional help from psychologists or psychotherapists.
When you notice worries or negative thoughts swirling in your head, write them down. Penning down help release those cooped up worries from your mind and empties your brain making you feel lighter and less tense.
Look at the Bigger Goal
IITs are among the most difficult schools in the world to get into. Ivy League Schools accept one in 12 – 15. The University of Oxford accepts one out of five applicants. IITs take in just one out of 50. In 2018, 13 Lacs students are fighting for 54,000 medical seats all over India. So, don’t beat yourself if you couldn’t come at the top.
Failing to get into top colleges should not be treated as an ultimate failure. Students often treat entering IIT or AIIMS as the ultimate goal.
But, students do fail even after getting into IIT. Your goal should be a meaningful and satisfactory career.
If you really want to be an engineer, doctor or scientist, you don’t necessarily need to attend IIT or AIIMS.
There will be opportunities ahead. You can attend a top college or university at the Masters or Doctoral stage as well. Read the IIT-JEE failure story of Akshat, who later got a Ph.D.in Chemistry from the University of Oxford.
Moreover, like Jacin, you could change your career path and do better in life as well.
In order to achieve your goals, it is imperative to push yourself harder and never give up. A firm determination, strong willpower, and a positive outlook can result in success. Never give up means to figure out new and efficient ways to achieve your goals – the real and the bigger goals in life.
Take Time to Relax
Give yourself some time!
Do not get back to the grind. Instead, take a short break. Spend some time with family or friends. A vacation can be very refreshing. It will help you to reboot your spirits.
Exam pressure often makes it difficult to socialize. Many students completely avoid socializing a few weeks before their exam. Isolation usually has a negative effect. So, it would be better to accept what has happened and hang out with your friends.
Finally, I would also urge you to take some time off the gadgets and social media (Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat) for a few days or a whole week – of course after reading (and sharing) this blog post.
Even Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart (which was acquired by Walmart for USD 2 billion) didn’t clear IIT entrance in the first attempt.
I have seen toppers and high performers going jobless for months. At the same time, I have seen people like Jacin and Akshat.
One of my colleagues failed to clear IIT-JEE in 2010. He is now a Data Scientist at the Space Centre in the Netherlands. Two of my friends didn’t do even score 60% in Grade 12. They are doing extremely well in their jobs and careers.
Even I failed badly in all my science subjects in Class 11. I failed in many other things later in life. But, failure is that one thing that will make you stronger and better. So, chill out. Life and career are all about becoming sincere and not serious.
Here is a short video for all of you:
Sources: 1, 2, 3.