28 December 2016

How to Bounce Back After Mock Exam Failure

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Failing a GCSE mock exam feels like a stomach punch. It truly hurts - leaving you anxious about the future. How could you fail to achieve your predicted grades? And with such little time before the summer finals, how is it even possible for you to turn things round?

The truth is, it IS possible. And you are NOT a failure. Do you know why? Because ALL of us fail at something in life. Super smart students like you know that trying again - having another go - is what matters. 

Yes, it's disappointing to only achieve a 3 for your GCSE English Language paper, knowing that you are capable of a 6 or higher. And yes, your grade for that Science or Maths paper was so low that you wonder what you've actually learnt for the past 10 years.

Putting ALL of this to one side, there is only one way to handle mock exam failure: fight back! Here's how to do it...

1. Learn from your mistakes

As J. K. Rowling famously said, 'It's impossible to live without failing.' The trick is to accept it happened. Forgive yourself. Next, be smart: use your exam papers to weed out weaknesses you need to work on in the future. Be honest with yourself. Did your exam preparation go to pot? Did your exam timing fall short? Do you feel uninspired by topics? 

For each paper you tackled, list your strengths and weaknesses. Highlight the weaknesses to make a plan of action.

2. Work out what matters most

It's hard to feel motivated after disappointment. So fix your eyes on the future instead. What long term goal do you have? Even if you don't know what you want to do with your life yet, long term goals might include driving a fantastic car, travelling the world, leaving home to live independently...

These dreams are what you are fighting for. Short term sacrifices now will give you a bigger opportunity to step closer to making them happen one day. Never lose sight of that... 

Exams, though, are just one part of your life - they're not everything. And you are not defined as a person by your exam results. They simply give you choices. 

3. Shake things up 

If you do what you've done in the past, you'll get the same result next time. So be smart: do something different.

Perhaps you revised by reading your expercise book, then couldn't recall the information? Instead, try different revision techniques.

Create bite-size flash cards, highlight key information, or mind map. Then download practice papers online (along with mark schemes) to test yourself against the clock. 

4. Tackle revision the right way

At Lemon Tree Tutors, many of our students struggle this time of year. Students who simply can't do it on their own, or just don't know 'how' to put things right. 

And since subject teachers - with all the will in the world - are simply unable to support you in person when you need help the most, what other options are there? 

One choice is private one-to-one tuition with an experienced tutor. Someone who can help you explore why you went wrong in the first place, and how to put it right. And as your confidence builds, you'll be armed with a range of skills - ready to take on anything the examiners throw at you. 

With a pick of the best private GCSE tutors in the Weybridge and Chichester areas, why not get in touch today?


Last modified on 20 February 2017
Nikki de Villiers

Nikki de Villiers - Lemon Tree senior tutor, owner and English/SEN specialist. For the best private tuition in Surrey and West Sussex...

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