How to Overcome Fear of Failure in Exams?
“What if I fail in the exams? Will I be able to score passing marks? What if I fail to score 90+ marks in the exams? What if I score below less than my previous marks?”
Do these thoughts cloud your mind before the exams? Are you afraid of failing in exams or scoring less than your expectations?
It is okay if you are nervous and afraid a little. But don’t let it become your weakness. If you have been struggling with your exam fears, this article is for you.
We are sharing tips on how to overcome the fear of failure in exams. Whether you are a school student or a professional course student, these tips will help you overcome your fear of failure in exams. You can be the topper if you overcome your fears and follow these success mantras.
Before we go on to the tips, it is important to recognize the fear of failure, why it happens, and its effects on students.
What is fear of failure?
Fear is not about what is happening but what will happen in the future. The future is indeed unpredictable. Still, fear is when you only imagine the most horrible scenarios for your situation without giving any notice to the positive turn of events.
For example, you fear failing in exams. For any reason, you fear that you will fail the exams without noticing the possibility that you can pass the exams.
Now the key point here is—your fears are your imagination of the worst, not reality. When you start believing your imagination as reality is when you will have a fear of failure.
Causes of fear of failure in exams
There are certain reasons due to which you can be afraid to fail in the exams. Before you know how to overcome your fear of failure in exams, you need to know how deep-rooted it is and why you feel it in the first place.
- The reason for fear of failure can be due to a traumatic event or poor experience. For example, you have performed poorly in a class test, and you are afraid the same will happen in the next test.
- You are afraid to score low marks in the exams, but mostly because of how low your friends will think of you.
- Your fear could be rooted because you are afraid of how disappointed your parents and family members will be in you.
- You are nervous because you have not learned anything or just a few topics. As compared to other situations, your fear is justified if you haven’t studied anything, but you still shouldn’t let it control you.
- Another reason for failure in exams could be wrong decisions. For example, a common reason CA students fail in exams is because they make wrong decisions. Like selecting both groups when they could only do one, selecting the wrong study material, etc.
How Fear of Failure affects Students?
If you let this fear of failure in exams control you, it can affect you deeply. Due to this fear, your mind and body will take unnecessary stress. Whenever you sit down to study, you will be restless, and your time which should be spent studying with concentration will be filled with thoughts of negativity. You will waste time and procrastinate your studies. Even if you could have achieved your goals and passed the exams, this fear leads you to waste precious time, and scoreless.
This fear will make you give up before trying. It will take you away from the chance to perform and see if the results could be different than what you imagined.
If you feel this fear due to peer pressure or competition with yourself, it will also low your self-esteem.
The fear of failure can also affect students who have done enough exam preparation. If you have studied your chapters, but you let this fear take over your mind, it will block your thinking process. Regardless of your preparation, you will still perform badly in the exam.
Now that we know what the main reasons are and how this fear of failure affects students let us move to the better part- how to defeat it.
How to overcome the fear of failure in exams?
Your fears are only in your mind, not your reality, and most of the time far away from turning into a reality. Instead of giving up on life due to your fears, you just have to learn how to overcome them. We know it’s easier said than done, but it’s never impossible until you make it.
Find the cause of fear.
The first and foremost thing to do is find out why you are so afraid of failing the exams. A part of your subconscious mind knows failing in exams is not the end of the world, but when your fears take over, every logical sense becomes less important. So first, look into yourself and think about why you are afraid? Is it because you will disappoint your parents and family, or you won’t get admission to a better college/university? Is it because your friends or teachers expect you to perform well in exams? When you know your reasons, you will understand most of them don’t even exist.
See failures as temporary setbacks and learnings, not permanent.
Your marks are not irrelevant; yes, they matter because they are an opportunity. But your exams are not the only opportunity in life. If you fail in the exams, you can appear in the exams again. If you don’t score what you aimed to, it is still fine. You might not get admission to your dream college, but it can’t stop you from getting enrollment in any other institute or course. Your parents may be disappointed with you at first, but they will only tell you to learn from your experiences and move on.
Life will give you infinite opportunities in the future; you have to focus on them. Even if you do get failed in exams, be it literally or just not meeting your expectations, it is only an opportunity missed.
Whatever reason you might have, think if they will matter after a few years down the line? Won’t you be able to live a good life if you don’t get the marks you have aimed to get? Will you give up your studies and career if you fail or don’t score well? When you turn your reasons for fear into baseless things, you will ultimately overcome the fear of failure in exams. Redefine failure in YOUR terms. Failure does not mean losing something; it means giving up.
“You can put efforts, not give results,”—Embrace it!
As a student, you can only focus on the preparation of the exams, not the results. So give your best in what you have control over, manage your time and preparation. Don’t think of the results, just learn and write what you know in the exams. Control your focus and direct it to learn. The results will be the best outcome of the efforts you put.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Another best way to stop this fear of failure in exams is to distract yourself from negative thoughts. The moment you start thinking you will fail, think the opposite. Say it to yourself— ”I will pass, I will score well, I will top the exams,” whatever is your goal. The more your work towards it, the world will take you to it.
Give yourself a power boost.
Even if you are ready to give exams, you might feel the fear of failure set in your gut. In such moments, all you need is a power boost to make yourself feel more confident. Tell yourself—” I have already given six months/a years studying this subject, I know and understand most of it, I can write the best answer to whatever the question is asked in the exam.”
Redefine goals and expectations
There are times when you might push yourself more than your capabilities and set unrealistic goals. For example, you aim to score 90+ marks in the 12th board exams, but you only have the caliber to get 80-85% marks. In the burden to score 90+ marks, you will let negative thoughts distract your mind, and your results will be only 70% marks.
It is important to realize your capabilities and set your goals accordingly. Everyone has a different level of understanding, and you need to find out yours. You can achieve your goals if you don’t burden yourself with unrealistic targets, your mind will be calm, and you will give your best in the exams.
Leave your Excuses
Don’t hide from your failures, never behind any excuses. Accept and embrace them. Your failures are the best teachers. If you fail in any exam, it doesn’t mean you will always fail. Learn from what mistakes you made, and understand how you can prepare for exams in better ways.
Stop comparing yourself with others.
Give the exams with the agenda of giving your best, not defeating others. When you start competing with others, it will distract your mind towards the results, not the efforts. So focus on your efforts and give your best in the exams. You won’t feel afraid of not winning over someone else or not scoring the best marks.
Win over your fear of failure in exams; success is waiting for you.
So you have a few methods on how you can overcome your fear of failure in exams. Not just exams, you can apply these methods to any fears you have in life. Find the cause of your problem and change your mindset, so it doesn’t bother you. Redefine your goals and failures, and things will fall into place. As soon as you start thinking about failure, replace those thoughts with positive ones. Give up on excuses, you cannot control situations, but your actions are still in your control. If you just follow these basic things, you can overcome your fear of failure in exams.
Start today; beyond your fears, success awaits you.