What if I fail my exams?

You always have options.

You don’t need us to tell you that exams can be crazy stressful. All the revision, procrastination, deadlines and textbooks can all get a bit too much sometimes. Between episodes of revision meltdown, you’re probably having some scary thoughts about what might happen if you don’t do so well in your exams.

What if I fail my exams?

Tens of thousands of students either decided they wanted to do something different or didn’t do as well as they thought last year and got their place at uni through Clearing.

If you’re worried about your exams, try and turn a negative into a positive and follow these steps:

1. Find out why you’re worried about the exam

Think you’re not prepared? Don’t know how you’re going to learn everything in time? Procrastinating too much? Or do you just get nervous in exam conditions? Lots of students get worried about their exams for lots of different reasons but if you figure out what exactly is making you have these "Oh no, I’m going to fail’" kind of thoughts, you can start doing something about it.

2. Assess what you can do to ease your exam worries

Whatever your specific worry is, the answer will probably be to do some more revising! But what if you’re already doing hours of revision per day and are still worried? Maybe you’re not seeing the results of your revision. Keep testing yourself with past papers so you can track how your hard work is helping. Make a list of all the topics you need to revise and tick them off when you’ve learnt them, turning that ‘I don’t know anything’ feeling into an ‘I was born ready’ kind of feeling.

3. Avoid other people who are being negative about exams

While it’s great to vent to your friends, and even better to realise that other people are having a hard time with revision, it’s important you don’t get used to thinking negatively about your exams. It may sound cheesy, but positive thinking has been shown to boost confidence and reduce anxiety. So even if you’re talking about how much you’re dreading the exam room, make sure you’re visualising yourself passing with flying colours.

4. Study now!

This one’s obvious, but the best way to stop worrying is to take action. If you hate one (or many) of your topics then those topics might be causing you stress – revise those until you’re more comfortable and your exam thoughts might become a little more positive.

5. Have a plan B

Thinking about the future and worrying about it are different things. Making a plan B for just in case you don’t do as well as you hoped in your exams could help ease your worries. It doesn't mean that you think you’re going to fail, you’re just taking a few small steps to avoid any panic if the unfortunate should happen on results day. If you want some help with your plan B, check out our early clearing guide.

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