Students – here’s what to do after exams

This BLOG has a few different parts to it for students.  The first is for what students should do when they finish completing an exam, the second what they should do when they finish all their exams for the year and finally how to deal with exam results.  Keep reading to learn more.

When you have finished an exam

My advice to students after each exam is to not hang around too long after each of your exams and conduct too much of a post mortem – self assessment.  Discussing the exam with others sometimes can be too harsh and can create more stress rather than solve it.  Replaying an exam over and over in your head, is not going to help you in your upcoming exams and will only leave you feeling stressed.  No matter what, you cannot change the outcome so being stressed will not help.

A better approach is to congratulate yourself for the things you did right and learn from the bits where you could have improved and then to move on. Remember that you most likely did the best you could in the present circumstances.   This advice is particularly important if you have more exams to prepare for before you finish.

When you have finished ALL exams

Many students I have been speaking too have recently told me that once their exams are over that they often feel more stressed and worried than they did during the preparation and lead up to their exams.

No matter what year level you are in, feeling stressed about your exam results is a normal feeling.  However it is important to quickly realise that you actually cannot alter the outcome so being stressed will not in fact help.  One of the most important things is to remember, as noted above, is to make sure you use each time you sit an exam as a learning experience for next time as to what you could do differently with your preparation, revision techniques used and even the way you approached and responded to the exam questions on the day.

I regularly say to all my students that it is good to have something planned that you are looking forward to when all of your exams are over.  This could be catching up with friends, going on holiday or just finally having time to do some of the activities that you usually enjoy doing but with exams your haven’t had the time – watching that netflix movie, reading that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for ages.

Whilst waiting for your results it is important that you try and manage both your stress and anxiety levels.  You need to continue to believe in yourself and your abilities and not to miss out on enjoyable moments whilst you worry about your results.  Keep communicating with those around you and it can be useful to acknowledge how you are feeling.  You might also like to undertake different activities to assist you to relax like mediation, exercise, listening to music, playing video games and the list goes on.

Dealing with exam results Pass or fail - what students should do after exams

Stress levels usually peak the day before the announcement of results and that of the day a student gets them.  At this time try and relax as best you can to take your mind off the results.

Remember what ever the results are that you have options and a result does not define who you are as a person. Remember the results are a reflection of your performance on particular days and nothing more.

Take some deep breaks when you get your results.  If you ended up achieving the marks that you were seeking then you can celebrate.  For others who didn’t achieve what they wanted, it might feel like it is the end of the world but it really isn’t.  It is important that you speak to those around you – your parents, teachers and friends to discuss how you might be feeling and what your next steps might be.  If you are in a lower year level at school, then you do have more opportunities to improve during the next round of exams that you sit.  Whereas if you are in Year 12 and didn’t receive the mark you ideally wanted, there are still often ways to get to where you ultimately want to go – it might just mean taking a different path in the short term.  There is always room for a Plan B and you will most likely find a way to where you want to go!

For more advice about exams, preparation, study strategies or tips for students,  please get in touch to learn how I might be able to