There are some tests you fail that are fairly insignificant. The ones that barely contribute to your final grade, or have no effect on your professional aspirations or you can easily recover the points you lost. Well, those kinds of failures may hurt, or give a slight pinch, and be forgotten soon. That’s not the focus of my piece today.

The failed test of interest today are the ones that create a major dent in your plans. Those you have to wait another year to write, or those that make you repeat a course, or the ones that keep you from graduating, etc. When you fail a test like that, you might recognize that tightness in your throat, uncontrollable tears, shivering under the hot sun, pain in your chest, and just fury at yourself.  At that point, you begin to imagine, if there is anything worse that could happen to you.

I remember my very first JAMB, I was a miserable 3 points off for my POST-UME. I cried like tomorrow would not come. This is common ground to a lot of people. So how do we deal with this?

Vent your emotions

 You have the right to feel the way you feel, it is normal. Don’t break anything or hurt someone. But please express yourself. Take time to cry (men and women). Tears are healing. Mourn your loss. However, this venting has an expiry date. While people differ, if you are mourning a failed test more than a month after it happened with no new plans, there is a problem.

Evaluate the failure

You play a role in EVERYTHING that happens to you. The moment you try to blame someone or something for your failure, you give up your power to make a change. Look out how the events played out and look for places that could be better. How did you study? What was going on in your life when you took the test? How long/well did you prepare? How are your test-taking skills? How serious were you? Be honest with yourself. You can only maximize your strengths when you figure out your weakness.

Explore alternatives

Every seemingly closed-door has a hole at the corner. While that failure will cost you something, there are so many things you can do in the time being that will move you forward and help you meet your goal. You might consider retaking the test, repeating the class, changing to a different program, all depending on the situation surrounding the failure.

Come up with a plan

Now you’ve weighed different alternatives, the next step is to plan. You decide how you want to proceed on the alternative you’ve selected. The key thing here is changing your strategy. Do something different from what you did before, especially things you know did not work.

Resume working

This should happen soon. You can’t make any progress if you hold on to your failure or spend forever on the other steps. Get back on the horse. Starting reading, start practicing, start working on those plans you created. You’ll soon realize that you won’t remember the pain of the failure, but you’ll be looking and working towards the future.

Try again

One thing that frustrates a lot of people is FEAR. It’s like the memory of that failure terrorizes them. If you’ve worked hard, regardless of your past experiences, TRY AGAIN. You owe to yourself to conquer failure.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t deal with failure. The amazing thing is great people FAIL/FAILED a lot. So if you’ve racked up a few rejections and failures, it makes your victory sweeter. I also noticed that failure builds character because you always learn from your experiences (if you choose to). Don’t let a failed test keep you down. Dust your behind and hit it.

Make it a Winning-Day

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