It is always upsetting to receive a bad grade, especially when we put in a substantial amount of effort into studying for the exam. The thought of disappointing not just yourself, but also people who believed in you is demoralising. However, if we look at it in a different perspective, we might find many important things that can be learnt from receiving a bad grade.
Most importantly, adopting the right mindset when facing your failure is the best way to learn from your mistakes and become not just a better student, but also a better person.
It is alright to underperform sometimes.
The first thing that we should all acknowledge is that it is alright to underperform sometimes. As the famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt goes, “A smooth sea never makes a skilled sailor”, failures are the only way in which you become a stronger version of yourself.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. The fact that you are concerned shows that you are motivated and have high expectations of yourself. With the right mindset of consistently seeking self-improvement, you will definitely succeed in future.
A bad grade does not mean it is the end of the world. It is definitely possible to turn poor performance around with a sincere approach and the right support.
Having a positive mindset is the best way to get over it.
Feeling upset, anxious, frustrated, and even confused from a bad grade is normal. Do take some time to process your emotions. Suppressing them is never good for you mentally and you may even feel worse down the road.
Engage in activities that you usually enjoy, such as going for a walk, having your favourite ice cream, or watching a few episodes of your favourite series. These activities help to distract you from the negativity and reset your mind.
Try thinking in a positive manner. The bad grade may be a reminder for you to start working on the subjects that you are weaker in so that you will perform better in future.
Famous scientist, Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This iconic quote is an excellent example in showing how having a positive mindset is essential in paving your way to success eventually.
Identify your weaknesses and start working on your gaps
Receiving a bad grade may also be a sign for you to take the time to deeply reflect on your weaknesses. Getting a bad grade does not mean that you will always be bad at the subject. With the right approach to work on your weaknesses, you will definitely be able to improve.
Think about why you are not getting your desired grades despite all the effort you put in. It can possibly be that your study methods are not effective, or simply because you did not spend sufficient time on your revisions.
One way is to look for patterns in your mistakes. Are you constantly making careless mistakes? If so, check your work several times before submitting your paper. Are there instances where you are unfamiliar with the topics tested? If so, try spending more time revising those topics so that you can familiarise yourself with your lesson materials.
Having a plan on how to improve after reflecting is crucial. You may want to pen down your action plan and place the note on your study desk to constantly remind yourself to follow your actionable items closely.
In essence, try not to dwell on the fact that you performed badly but instead, think about solutions on how to move forward.
Seeking help does not mean you are showing your weakness
One more thing to keep in mind is that seeking help from others does not mean that you are showing your weakness.
Ultimately, experience is all that matters, not age, not appearance, not notoriety. There is no shame in asking for help from someone who is younger than you or someone who holds a lower position as compared to you.
Besides your peers, you can also turn to your tutors for help. Never be afraid that your question is a redundant one because if you are having a doubt, someone else may be having the same question as well. With all the available resources, try to utilise them fully to help yourself grow from failure.
In essence, being narrow-minded makes you lose sight of what is really important: growth. Adopting the right mindset and seeking help from people who performed better can be a great way for you to learn some useful tips to ace your future examinations.
Lastly, your grades do not represent you
The last and most important learning point from a bad grade is that your grades do not define who you are. There is so much more to you than just one bad grade. Rather, it is your attitude, effort, and strengths that determines how you are as a person.
When you are out in the real world, there are no tests or exams to take. No one will even remember the bad grade that you received 5 years ago. What truly matters is who you are in the present and what you can do at that moment.
Today, many people are entering industries that are totally unrelated to what they studied. There are endless opportunities waiting for you and you never know how your future will turn out to be. Try your best to not let that one bad grade ruin your motivation to excel in life.
To sum up, there is so much to learn from a bad grade. Rather than beating yourself up for performing badly, changing your mindset towards the whole situation may bring you the positivity and strength to move forward. Always keep in mind that a bad grade is not the end of the world. You are most definitely able to do better, so try not to be too hard on yourself.
Afterall, life is full of ups and downs and growing up is never an easy journey. There are bound to be disappointments at some points in your life. Learn how to recover from disappointments here.