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Overcoming a setback to get back on the study horse

You may have studied up a storm, been confident in your content and slept a full eight straight hours the night before the big date, but sometimes HSC exams throw up a curve ball you weren’t expecting, and have the potential to shake your confidence to the core. Here’s how to overcome an exam setback and get back on that study horse.

Take a breather

Let’s be frank, life is full of setbacks and if the HSC provides one, it’s time to get some perspective. The most important thing is not to let one little exam glitch derail your HSC strategy. If an exam hasn’t gone to plan, take a moment to reflect.

This could be an opportunity to learn, or it could just be a minor hitch. Whatever the reason for things not panning out the way you’d like, take a breather and some time to absorb the situation, shake it off and move on from the event.

That might involve a brisk walk, trip to the gym, or just some quiet time to reflect, but allow your mind to ponder what happened with a view to moving on and up. 

Re-set your mind

With a little reflection under your belt, it’s time to move forward and this is where mental fortitude plays a critical role.

Have confidence in the work you’ve done in other areas, the content that you know and the successful exam strategies you have employed in the past.

Draw a line in the sand and stop dwelling on the past, in the knowledge different subjects and exams require different strengths.

You can also draw comfort from the fact your significant study training acquired over recent months should allow you to compartmentalise and switch from subject to subject with ease.

Get back to the books

There’s no time for self recrimination and getting caught up in ‘what ifs’, you only have the power to change the future. So get back to your study schedule and start the next topic refreshed.

Now is the time to get serious about study, allowing yourself to be absorbed but not overwhelmed by the task.

It’s critical to also ensure you get adequate sleep, so if you’re feeling anxious after a poor exam experience, allocate additional time to relax prior to bed.

Seek help

It’s never too late to seek help and if a bad exam has rocked you, reach out for a little help. Talk the experience over with friends, your parents or tutor to work out how to get back on track.

They will provide you with reassurance and perspective, reinstalling the important fact that one tiny test does not define a year’s effort or shape who you are.

Talk yourself back in the game

Whether it’s sport or exam strategy, positive self-talk is imperative to success. And there’s no better time to employ it than after things haven’t gone to plan.

Now is the opportunity to summon confidence in your ability, note the hard yards you’ve done and envisage a successful exam in the future where you breeze through with ease.

About Chalkwall

For over 25 years Chalkwall has been assisting students sail through exams with confidence and clear exam strategies. You can learn more about our tutoring services here, or contact us for further advice.