What to Do After a Failed Test

By: Tasha Kolesnikova

6 min



What to Do After a Failed Test

So you failed a test or semester? Let's talk about how to recover from the setback. There are two key points that you should keep in mind:

  1. Maybe it's your first time, but failure isn't the end of the world - everybody experiences it.
  2. Failure resilience, learning from failure, and continuing to retry are all necessary skills.

We don't want to make ourselves weak by exposing our mistakes, so we prefer to project our victories instead. As a result, people are always unable to live with their shortcomings on their own.

Coping With a Failed Test

When you get a failing score, the first thing you can do is relax and take a deep breath. For a second, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Know that you aren't the first person to fail a test, and you won't be the last. There are solutions available.

To deal with the issue head-on, evaluate the case, figure out what went wrong, and then follow up with your professor on your test results and see if there are any other solutions.

When you check out of an exam, you usually get a gut feeling about what went wrong. Go into automation mode. Look back right now to think about what happened. First, check to see if you comprehended the content. If that's the case, take a look at the test-taking setting.

Your bad grades may be the result of a loud room, an incorrect temperature, or a lack of supplies. Distractions from your own life, as well as a lack of sleep or a decent meal, will both affect your desire to achieve better grades. Another reason may be a lack of time. Many students take up part-time jobs. Consequently, they need to juggle between school hours and office hours.

On the other hand, if you feel unprepared for the next exam, analyze why. It's possible that you learned the wrong content or that you didn't learn sufficiently.

Taking the Right Course of Action


Create a list of any challenges you had. Make notes. You should study these notes on your own and decide whether or not discussing them with your professor or TA will be beneficial. If you simply made a mistake and became unprepared or unfit to take a test run, learn from your mistakes and apply what you've learned to the next exam you have to take.

🔍Find a Quiet Place

Go anywhere you feel relaxed and composed to take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and maybe call a friend. If you need to vent, do so, but avoid being enraged or too dramatic, as this will not benefit you.

Go for a stroll or catch up with friends for coffee or a snack if you need to. Once you've cooled down and cleared your mind, you can review the situation later.

💡Examine the Damage

In school, failing tests may sound like a big setback, but remember how this one exam can affect your overall test suite score. If the test is one of many midterm exams or a year-long course, consider how detrimental this one grade would be to your overall performance.

Most teachers have a methodology that includes a syllabus that describes the importance of each assessment within the overall grading system and will help you develop good study habits. Books don't come with a plugin, and neither are there any automated tests. Books need to be read and understood.

Take the time to figure out why you witnessed a test failure, so go through your notes when you left the test room and see if there are any connections. Evaluate your test results from last year and develop motivation to do better.

Schedule a meeting with your professor or TA if you believe this one test will make or break your course score. Request for a test rerun. If you think you should be rerunning.

If you're not sure if you passed or if you don't think you aced it the way you liked, take a deep breath and check your failed test cases before approaching your professor. You could have done better than you thought, and you don't want your professor to believe you don't understand the subject until they even look over it. It's time to speak to your professor if you know you totally missed the mark.

💬Talk to Your Professor or TA as Soon as Possible

If you'd like to contact your professor before receiving your grades, you should send an email or leave a voicemail requesting to meet with him or her. Perhaps you didn't feel that you understood the content as much as you should have, or you didn't do well within the exam framework, and you'd like to speak with someone about it.

If you really did well, you're not asking the professor that you think you failed a test, but rather that you'd like to further your knowledge of the subject or show your mastery. And if the exam didn't go as well as you had thought, you've now set the table for extra help or a chance to make up the score.

Even if you usually understand the content but struggle on tests, you can contact your professor or TA. You should start by suggesting that you don't believe your score reflects your interpretation of the content, and work your way up from there. For instance, your understanding of XML and API is good, but your GitHub profile lacks projects.

Your professor may or may not provide you with another choice for demonstrating that you appreciate the material discussed in the test. The professor's answer is up to them, but at the very least, you've expressed your questions about your test results and asked for study tips or help.

☎️Describe Any Unusual Circumstances

Were you recovering from a bad head cold that you felt you'd be able to get over? Was there a personal development or a family emergency? Is it possible that your computer crashed during the exam? Is the room too cold for you to focus properly?

Let your professor or TA know if there were any unusual events, but only if you believe they had an effect. You ought to provide a justification for your bad grades, not an excuse. Extenuating situations that occur often could reflect adversely on you, so carefully consider whether the extenuating situation was really a problem that influenced your ranking.

Here's the sad truth. They've allowed their previous mistakes and poor choices to shape their futures. Don't be one of those individuals.

There are just a few mistakes that keep you from adapting and trying again. The vast majority of mistakes would actually make you better and more resilient in the future if you don't give up.

Failure isn't the end of the road. It is, rather, a medium of information. If you don't like where your mistakes have led you, learn from them and try again in a more strategic manner. If you don't like who you were yesterday, take little measures to change who you are today - approach the next semester differently, get essay help, and exercise better learning habits.

Final Thoughts

You can't be certain that your score will be adjusted or that your TA will accept your explanations for failing the exam. Unfortunately, the professor would not always give you a second chance. Bad grades happen, and when they do, you must take responsibility for your poor performance and move on.

Prepare yourself by following the steps outlined above and making a game plan about what you would do if you earn a negative test result. Instead of panicking, figure out what to do. The moral of the story is to make sure you learn from your mistakes and improve your performance in the future. And before embarking on a new project, talk to an expert from Studybay.

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I studied sociology and marketing at Europa-Universität Viadrina (Germany) and Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal). When I was a sophomore, back in 2018, I decided to put what I've learned into practice, so I got my first job in digital marketing. I currently work in the content marketing department at Studybay, building strong, effective, and respectful communication between the platform and our clients.

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