Why it’s okay if you didn’t do well in your assessments

Photo credit: Source: exam halls Natasha C Dunn (flirckr)

Coming out of an exam is usually always worse than going in to the exam. Hearing other people talk about their answers can leave you feeling anxious and dreading results day. Most of us won’t be getting our exams results and essay grades for a good few weeks and will be nervously awaiting the big day the little white box on our SIMS record is filled up. Although we might have put in endless nights of non-stop revision, there is still a chance you’ll be disappointed by your grades. Not getting what you wanted isn’t the worst thing in the world and there are many things you can do turn it around.

Of course it would be wise to actually wait for your results, but if you think there were certain circumstances such as illness affecting your performance in your exams or essays, it’s best to send in an Extenuating Circumstances application as soon as possible. Usually the examining board will give you the chance to re-sit the component of your module again as a first attempt if you don’t pass. You can also do this after you get results, as often sending in Extenuating Circumstances can help you make sure you’re not capped at the pass rate if you do have to re-sit.

If the nerves are getting too much it may be helpful to book a meeting with your personal tutor. Although they may not be able to change your actual grade, they can talk to you about your main area of concern and help you figure out what to do if you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped. They might even suggest booking in a few sessions with the universities counselling and well-being centre to help you overcome any anxiety or confidence issues relating to exams or coursework.

Usually failing one component of your module isn’t too bad because it doesn’t make up the full mark. Most modules have one form of assessment each term so if you didn’t do too well in the Autumn term, you can make up for it by bringing your grade up in the Spring term. If you know that this is something you need to do, it would be extremely beneficial to sit down with your seminar leaders to see what your weak areas were in the assessments you failed and figure out how to improve. Remember that you are paying £9000 a year for a reason, so you should make the most of it. If you think you’re capable of getting a higher grade than you did, definitely put in an Extenuating Circumstances form so you can re-sit.

Like I said, doing badly in your exams or essays isn’t the worst thing because fortunately we’re at the point in the year where we can easily turn things around. But if you know the fault lies within yourself, and you didn’t revise well or hard enough, then make sure you change your ways and motivate yourself for this next term. Good luck for results!

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