Tips on how to deal with failure in examinations

WHILE many matrics will be excited today, many of those who failed will be feeling shocked, humiliated and hopeless.

Education expert Peter Kriel of the Independent Institute of Education said that although a bad result might seem like the end of the world there was still a lot you could do to prevent it from affecting your future.

“All is not lost and depending on the degree of failure there is much to be done to get you back on the right track,” Kriel said.

According to him, supplementary exams are a must for those who qualify.

“If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to retake an exam, go for it,” he said.

For those who do not qualify, Kriel suggests redoing matric.

“I know it can be embarrassing to go back to school, but a quick internet search will point you in the direction of many accredited institutions that can help you get your matric qualification.”

Kriel said those who passed but did not qualify for acceptance at the institute of their choice should also not lose hope. “Maybe you were destined for something else. Take some time, step back and look at your options.”

Almost 10% of teen deaths in South Africa arecaused by suicide, with one of the triggers being exam disappointment, according to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag).

“There are children who have undiagnosed depression or who undergo a trauma or an experience that makes them more vulnerable, and this can be the final stress that causes them to commit suicide or use drugs,” Sadag spokeswoman Dessy Tzoneva said.

“We will all fail at some point. But for some students, failure is a tipping point, when added to any other problems they may be experiencing.”

For those receiving an unfavourable result, LifeLine Port Elizabeth counsellor Werner van der Westhuizen gave the following tips:

  • Acknowledge your feelings, whatever they may be, and realise that it is normal to feel like that;
  • Remember that you are not alone. Many people are going through a similar experience;
  • Talk to someone you are comfortable with and know you can trust;
  • Get the right information before making any decisions. Set up a meeting with the school if necessary and ask for input from your teacher; and

For confidential counselling contact LifeLine Port Elizabeth at (041)373-8882.

Eleanor Douglas-Meyers 

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