Exam Post Mortem – It’s Out of our Hands Now
As soon as we walk out of the examination hall, it is common to witness students comparing answers, exchanging notes, and calculating an estimated score, maybe to evaluate their own performance or to give feedback to their parents or teachers. However, will your own evaluation post an examination be able to change anything at that point of time? Most likely not. In fact, this is the time you have to rejuvenate yourself after the examination, and in case you have a next one, begin to channelize your energies and efforts on the future instead. While giving exams is in itself a huge stressor, for most of the students, the stress persists until the results!
1. Move on from dwelling in the past. Shift the focus to what needs to be done. It is easy to get stuck in the rut of wishful thinking, wishing that things had not worked out the way they did. Howeve, you need to bring the focus on the future plans.
2. Don’t be a prey to peer pressure. Competing with your peers might help motivate you at times. However, it is important to avoid making comparisons between your work and anyone else’s. Instead, you should pay attention towards fulfilling your own expectations from yourself. Therefore, do not allow the pressure from peers to influence you.
3. Take into account extraneous factors. It is important for you to have realistic expectations from yourself. This is equally important for both students as well as the parents. We must keep in mind that there are multiple factors which could influence the exam results, which are not within our control. Therefore, when your performance has not met your expectations, we must be able to take a reality check, and consider what factors could have influenced the results, and whether you could have done anything to change them.
4. Evaluate efforts, not results. Remember to focus not on the final grades, but also to pay attention to the effort you put in behind the exam. Even if the results do not seem to be proportionate to your results, do keep in mind the influence of various external factors, and therefore make a realistic evaluation of your efforts.
5. Talk about it. Instead of sitting and moping over your poor performance, it is a better idea for you to think about the future, and talk to your parents and teachers to help guide you towards the next steps that you need to consider. This is not the time to cry over spilt milk. Do not hesitate to talk about the results, not to try and reverse or undo what has already happened, but instead to express your emotions and strive to make the next steps in the correct direction. And at the same time, as a parent, you must be able to listen to the child. Before you give your feedback and opinion, it is important to talk to your child, and give them a listening ear. Provide them with a chance to have their say first, and acknowledge their point of view, and sit with the child to help decide the next steps of action.
6. Exams are not the end of life! Remember, exams are just one part of a lifetime. They are not the only deciding factors of your future, but are simply a stepping stone. So, do not make exam results a bigger deal than the numbers that they actually are. Do not let the numbers dictate your life, and instead take a call on moving beyond the results and focusing on what else needs to be done.