I Failed A Test, What Should I Do? 9 Crucial Steps

what to do if you've failed a test : Consider taking these 9 steps next

If you’ve failed a test, and have no idea what to do next? Read this article till the end and you will love this guide.

I remember when I took my first entrance exam I failed and scored very badly. Thankfully, at that time I was surrounded by people who motivated me and taught me many lessons that I would have never learned ever after getting the first rank.

With those lessons, I understood exactly what should I do after failing a test. Luckily, today I also haven’t forgotten anything.

So in today’s article, I’m here to tell you 9 crucial steps that you should take to not feel regretful and get better grades next time.

(We have also created an Infographic for this post that you’ll get while reading the post. Make sure you download it, it’s FREE.)

Read also: How to be successful in college?

Let’s dive into it…

What to Do Next If You’ve Failed A Test or Exam:

1. Stay Calm and Don’t Panic:

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This is the first and most important thing to do when you fail a test- Stay Calm & Don’t Panic. I have seen many students who get tensed because of their results and failure and it leads to test anxiety later.

Even, some kids don’t want to study after failing a test.

Don’t get obsessed with your test or exam results. Remember, your bad result is not going to decide your future. A wise man once said, Exams are not made to fail you, it is just a way to check your knowledge and skills”.

So, don’t much think about what you get in your result card. Focus on the things that you know, and on learning that will help you to achieve your goals.

If your parents scold you, take it easy and make them believe that next time you are going to be the rock.

2. Analyze your mistakes:

When you fail a test, take a moment to analyze why you fail. Did you not study enough? Or did the test format make it hard to understand?

If you got distracted and didn’t pay much attention, take a moment to remind yourself of the information you studied and try to solve it again. If you’ve been following bad study habits, be sure to avoid them.

It is also very important to analyze your mistakes when you fail because, in the next text, you don’t have to repeat those mistakes.

Once you get to know where you made a mistake, and which question you found hard to solve then you can improve your results in the next test otherwise you might get the same result again.

Isn’t it an important thing to do after failing a test?

3. Discuss your result with the professor:

Once you analyze your mistakes you must have a clear idea about where to work on. And, if you’re not sure about your mistakes and how to work on your weaknesses then you need to discuss your result with your professor.

After the class visit your professor’s office and show your result to him/her. Tell them the truth about where you find the material hard, and what stops you from giving your best. Take their suggestions about how you can improve these things.

If you’re willing to improve your results and get better at your studies then your professor will never say ‘No’ to you. However, you can also discuss your results with your parents. It will help you to keep you on track.

4. Give yourself enough time:

what to do if you failed a test

After failing a test how it feels I know very well. And, if you’re depressed also, somewhere you need to give enough time to yourself. Don’t start your study right after getting the result.

Sometimes, it is important to take a long break for 5-10 days from your studies. As a result, you will be able to get out of your depression zone, not worry about the results, and realize just how beautiful life is.

During this break; explore yourself, learn useful skills, try new things, visit cool places that give you peace, and have fun.

These things will kill the monotonous in your life that you have been carrying since you started your exam/test preparation. Additionally, after a refreshment with a break, you will have a better focus on your studies.

5. Start your preparation for the next test:

This test has gotten worse but you have to score excellently on your next test. So, after enjoying a break now you must focus on your studies again.

Focus on the material that you find difficult to deal with and make mistakes always. If your fundamentals in any subject is weak then work on them and give enough time to them.

Here is a 3-steps to start your preparation for the next test:

  1. Write down all the chapters and subjects (in a list form) that are important for your exams.
  2. Make a circle on the topics that you’ve not prepared yet and make a cross (X) on the topic that you’ve studied.
  3. Start studying the topics first that you find most difficult, and once you finish don’t forget to make a cross on its name.

These 3 steps help you to make a goal that you have to achieve for getting good grades over failing the test. Writing the topic’s name on a list and making a cross after finishing it also motivates you to complete the rest of the syllabus on time.

Read Also: 37+ Study Motivation Quotes to Study Hard!

6. Beat all your study challenges:

beat study challenges

Students have to go through many study challenges when they study. If you’ve failed a test it could also mean that you’re surrounded by many study challenges like Laziness, Fatigue, Distractions, Phone, Social media, and more.

Just because of these study challenges students often fail their tests or exams. Now, the question is how to beat these study challenges.

There is one solution for it- Commit to yourself, stick with your decision, and have proper time management (I’m going to talk about this in the next tip).

However, I’ve also created an E-book where I listed 22 such Study challenges and how you can overcome them if you’re interested then you can download it for free from the main page.

7. Have proper time management:

Managing your time is one of the essential skills that everyone should master. And, if you’re a student then it should be compulsory for to you have enough time to study with other work.

Having a fixed and proper time to study daily will never let you fail any test or exam. If you can stick with a routine then I’d suggest you make a routine but I know it won’t be easy for you.

Therefore I have an alternative for you that you can also follow:

Instead of making a routine and following the same as every day, plan your single day. Before going to bed or right after getting up write a note about how you will spend your whole day. Include also what times you’ll have available for self-studies. And finally, stick with this note.

This alternative will really help you to manage your time for studying with other work.

8. Study smart this time

study smart if you failed a test

You studied hard for the test but what did you get- You’ve failed the test!

I know the importance of studying hard but you don’t need just sit and study for 10+ hours at a time. There are many study techniques that you should also take into use if you want to study smart.

Here are some smart study techniques that you must try:

  • Pomodoro Technique:
  • SQ3R Study Technique
  • Feynman Technique
  • Leitner System
  • The Learning Pyramid

Using these study techniques makes you a smart learner and saves you lots of time while getting the most out of what you read and study.

9. Solve the previous year’s exam papers

Does it also happen to you- You know and understand a question very well at home but when it appears on your exam paper, you find it hard to solve.

Exam papers always contain the best questions, even sometimes an easy question may look harder to you in the exam paper. This happens mostly when you have a fear of exams. And, exams fear is one of the big reasons why you fail a test.

To beat your exam fear you must practice the previous year’s question papers. These previous years’ questions will make a habit in you to solve exam papers easily.

If you can’t finish your actual exam/test paper on time, I’d also suggest you use a timer while practicing previous years’ question papers. This tip will surely improve your grades next time.

Now It’s your turn:

As I said in the beginning, sometimes failing can teach you many things that you can’t learn even after getting the first rank.

Now, you must have an idea about what to do next if you’ve failed a test. If you’re ready for your next test, make a promise to yourself that in this test, you’re going to give your best.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Is there any question, or do you want to share something? If you’re depressed or going through any pain, you can share it with me.

Let me know in the comments. I must try to respond to you back.

12 thoughts on “I Failed A Test, What Should I Do? 9 Crucial Steps”

  1. Hello actually i am depressed right now coz i scored very badly on my 2nd term exams and am only depressed coz my parents will obviously scold and punish me and our school is very strict when it comes to results and whenever someone scores very bad grades they have to appoint with the school principal and ive been to principal last time coz last time i also scored the worst ever in my life and after that day ive been depressed so much after the principal’s appointment. I’ve even cried infront of my friends. Now this i told myself that i will do better in the 2nd term but i still failed to get good grades although its better than the 1st term but still. And i am pretty sure i have to appoint with the principal again , so my parents told me in the 2nd we don’t want to go to the principal but i actually have to go 🙁
    Now what should i do to manage all these pains? last time i suffered a lot coz of this and its happening again 😭. And i always used to get decent marks before but since this session i am having some issues with my studying and that’s why i am not able to get even pass marks 🙁 pls help me

    • Hey Aryan,

      Sorry to hear that. I feel you. But I must tell you there is no such medicine available that can cure your pain, only you can only help yourself. Remember always, Exams and your marks are not going to decide your future. If you want to improve yourself, that’s enough. No need to pay much attention to what your parents and professors say about your result.

      Let me tell you how you can help yourself: First, figure out why you got such poor grades, and then work on where you need improvement.

      If you don’t understand the material, dive into the basics and learn step-by-step. If studying is not your cup of tea, make sure you love learning. For example, if you hate studying and memorizing the gravity formula, you will surely enjoy learning about how gravity works and how it was discovered. This way you must learn better and achieve better results in life, not just in exams.

      Additionally, pursue any of your hobbies daily. It could be bodybuilding, sketching, or writing blogs like mine. It will surely overcome your depression and you’ll engage yourself better at what you love to do.

      Let me know how can I help you more 🙂

      • Oh thanks for these tips and now i understand the things properly then memorize it. Well everything is fine right now but still my parents are worried about me and pressuring me but that’s completely normal i know its a temporary phase which will obviously go away after getting better grades but the only issues is my parents hate my hobbies which is playing video games and i am not alone almost everyone in the world have this issue. Not gonna lie whenever i play games it cures my stress & anxiety by a lot and makes me feel better to do other activities but because of generation gap they aren’t aware of it and they say wrong things about it and they even say you won’t get anything if you play games and i don’t even cross my limits whenever i play but still 🥲

  2. Hi
    I Monica
    Currently I am in my btech 2nd year
    And I got very bad grades
    In my 1st ut
    In all the subjects
    But now I want to improve it
    Help me from where should I

    • Hey Monica,

      Sorry to hear that! I’d suggest you to please find the reasons first why did you get bad grades. Is it because you don’t understand the material or you didn’t have time to study them before your exam? Or, You may have some other reasons. Once you figure out the actual reasons for your bad grades, It will be easier for you to improve your grades.

      Now, be honest with yourself while finding the reason. You may check out this article: Why do I get bad grades after studying hard? Remember, I can only guess your reason.

  3. What must I do when I have to show it to my parents when I fail my test they literally punish me and now my school became strict now plz give me advice

    • Sorry to hear that! Your parents might not have understand you but you better focus on your improvement. Try to find your flaws and where you were lacking, once you’ll improve everything will be better. Let me know how can I help your more 🙂

  4. Hi
    I’m Amrita
    I’m in my 3rd year. I failed in one subject in 2nd year. It was not easy to get out of it. But I have accepted it.I was preparing myself for the fail subject. but at this moment my 5th semester results come out and i got fail one more subject. Now I am afraid to open the book. I lost confidence in myself. I don’t want to give up so quickly but I’m afraid to even open the book. What should I do?

    • Hey Amrita,

      I can feel you. You must be going through a tough time. Here, I would suggest you take a break for a few days from your studies, travel somewhere, or just relax. During this time, try to find the reasons why did you fail. Was the question paper so tough or, were you not prepared enough?

      Once you know the right reason for failing then only you can improve your results. Always remember, exams are just a way to check your preparation and knowledge. It can’t decide your future. We study to learn and acquire knowledge not just for the grades.

  5. hey, im maryam and i recently had a maths test. im getting results tomorrow and me and my friends were talking about the answers we got.
    i apparently now will get 8/15 depending on 1 question which hopefully will give me the 2 marks i need to pass – so now im acc so stressed figuring out it i’ll fluke it through or not.
    my parents also expect the best and now im scared that if i dont fluke it thru im letting everyone down. ive been trying to stay happy and motivated but its getting to me really badly. what should i do now? im so so scared 😭 i have bad anxiety too so im struggling really bad – any advice?

    • Hey Maryam,

      First things first, your marks do not determine your future. I understand that passing exams is important, but it’s essential not to take them too seriously. Your goal shouldn’t solely be about achieving passing marks, but rather about how much you can learn in math. I suggest analyzing your mistakes on the paper and restarting your learning process. Math is all about practice; the more you practice, the better you’ll become. I’ve also shared some tips on how to improve your math skills that you’ll find really helpful. Let me know if you need anything else.

      Happy Learning 🙂


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