You Are More Than Your Test Score
You didn’t get the test score you wanted, and it’s eating at your self-esteem. Don’t despair — follow these attainable tips to snap out of your funk, do better next time, and feel good about life.
Don’t beat yourself up.
When you receive a bad test score, resist the natural inclination to fall into negative self-talk. Personal-success authority Brian Tracy believes 95 percent of our emotions are determined by the way we talk to ourselves throughout the day, so don’t be your own worst critic. If a negative thought starts to creep into your mind, try this tactic: Mentally say, “Cancel.” Here comes another disparaging thought — cancel again. You can even picture yourself clicking the cancel button on a laptop to stop that self-demeaning thought in its tracks.
Focus on your positives.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and now is a good time to take inventory of your strong points. OK, so you got a bad grade in math, but you aced your composition essay. Or school is a struggle, but you’re a gifted athlete. Another great idea is to celebrate your good character qualities; Creative Affirmations lists an extensive selection of positive characteristics to get your wheels turning. To dive even deeper into your strengths, consider purchasing StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, and redeem the access code in the book for a free online assessment.
Stay off social.
Theodore Roosevelt once said the comparison is the thief of joy. Dude knew what he was talking about. When a poor test score is undermining your self-confidence, scrolling through Instagram and seeing how great everyone else’s life is going is only going to make you feel worse. “One reason we struggle with insecurity: We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel,” said Charlotte, North Carolina–based pastor Steven Furtick. Bottom line, put your phone away.
Make real-life plans with good friends.
True friends provide support, give advice, make you laugh, offer a different perspective, and believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. Simply put: Quality time with friends is almost guaranteed to give you an emotional boost. Why? Because of science. “Interacting with other people can play a big role in preventing and decreasing depression by helping to up and normalize oxytocin levels,” writes Debbie Hampton, author of Beat Depression and Anxiety by Changing Your Brain. Check out her list of easy ways to get the brain benefits of socializing, from hugs to volunteering.
Learn from the experience.
Maybe you failed that test because you procrastinated on studying. Lesson learned — hit the books earlier next time. Maybe your low test score is a red flag that you don’t truly comprehend the material — hire a tutor (SolutionInn is an online tutors portal where you can get 24/7 homework help for textbook questions). Maybe you can retake the exam, meet with your teacher, or even drop the class. Regardless, this may be a good clue that this particular subject is not for you, and you can rule it out in terms of choosing a major or career path.
Remember you’re not the first person to fail at something.
Whenever you’re feeling down about your academic standing, consider this: 12 different publishers rejected J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscript before she finally got a book deal. Now the Harry Potter brand is worth $25 billion. “Failure is so important,” the author is famously quoted as saying. “We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” As the old adage goes: If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.