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Any time we fail at a personal project, the initial reaction is usually one of shock, a feeling of embarrassment and utter dismay. One area that many people meet with failure is examinations and other forms of progress tests.

The question is, are those feelings we experience whenever we fail to do well in an examination justified? Probably yes. After all, who, in their right senses, would aim at failing in an examination?

So let’s agree that it’s a great disappointment to fail. But that’s where the negative reaction should end. You know why? Because it is entirely possible to achieve greater success in the future in spite of that temporary setback. It is for this reason that I’ve decided to write this article to keep you motivated (if you’ve recently failed an examination or test) and to show you how to overcome the disappointment and move on with your wonderful life lam bang dai hoc.

1. Resist the temptation to blame others.

The most beneficial attitude to develop whenever you fail in an examination is to take personal responsibility. Forget about what that teacher, that friend, your parent, that supervisor or the people who marked your script might have done to put you in your present difficult situation.

This is not the time to play the blame game at all. The reason is that you’re the only one who is well-placed and truly capable of turning your situation around. So waste no more time on pointing accusing fingers. Focus on what you can do personally in order to remedy the situation. This way, you’ll soon realize that you can do it, given another opportunity.

2. Find out what went wrong.

Having taken personal responsibility for your disappointing performance in the examination, the next logical step is to identify your actions or inactions that might have caused your failure.

For close to two decades, I coached and mentored thousands of private candidates for a number of secondary- level and post-secondary level examinations. Here are some of the key factors responsible for lack of examination success I discovered during my long experience teaching adult learners like you. Unwillingness to study diligently, reliance on promised leaked examination questions, refusal to take tutors or instructors seriously, poor time management, failure to practice adequately how to answer test questions, late arrival at the examination venue and active involvement in all forms of malpractices during the examination.

Find out if any one of these applies in your case. And, if yes, don’t beat yourself up. There is no shame in making a mistake or two; there is only shame in refusing to acknowledge and learn the lessons from those mistakes.

Learn your lessons, however bitter, and quickly begin to prepare better to re-sit the examination when another opportunity comes.

3. Try again.

Yes, that’s what I just said. There is a good number of high achievers in the world who had to fall first, get up more energized, and go on to persist till they got what they wanted. That means you too can do it if you try harder.

Register for the examination the next time the opportunity comes for you to do so. With the lessons and the new, more effective techniques you’ve learned, success shall be yours, trust me.

4. What about if you’re still not making a headway after many repeated attempts?

Well, I know of people who would not give up until they got what they wanted. Many usually do, you know? I had a personal secretary who was at the same time a student at my adult learning centre. All she wanted to become was a professional nurse. And that meant she would have to obtain a very good grade in “Integrated Science” in the West African Senior School Examination (WASSCE). She never gave up in spite of the repeated disappointing results. But hey, I’m glad to announce to you that Agnes is now a qualified professional nurse in the Ghana Health Service. Yes, she finally made it!

It is true, however, that not all would have it Agnes’s way. If you happen to be one such person, never lose hope. Failure in an academic examination should never be the end of the world for anyone. There are, again, countless, examples out there to prove this point.

So my advice is this. Move on with your life. Your personal value remains intact in spite of that little failure. There’s definitely something you’ve been wired from conception to do effortlessly. Look for it and you will become a success beyond your wildest imagination.

The point of this article is this: one or two instances of failure in an examination should never stop you from reaching out for what you desire out of life. My recommendations above could be just what you need at this crucial moment. I’ve tried and largely succeeded with them, having lived and worked with people like you for the greater part of my early work life. That is why I trust that you can do well with them.

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