Exam failure is not the end of the road

theaccablog —  12 March 2015 — Leave a comment


by ACCA student blogger Mukund Agrawal

Hey guys, apologies for the long article but I am hoping it will prove useful. In this post, I take a different outlook on failure, a psychological outlook. All of us sitting ACCA exams prepare as hard as we can and may still manage to fail and this could create a psychological barrier in our head. The aim of this post is to help break through that barrier so we can be geared up and armed for the next exam attempt.

Personally I failed in both my June sessions (2013 and 2014) which was disconcerting and disheartening. I will not go into the boring details but nevertheless, with the help of the tips below, I was able to attempt four, yes four, papers in the December 2013 and 2014 sessions and successfully pass them.

Here we go…

1. “So what?

Asking this question to ourselves is an important technique to get over failure that I learned from my uncle. Asking this question firstly makes you think about the consequences of the supposed failure and secondly, once that is done, a realization sets in that the “failure” is not all that bad. It’s not the end of the world. The wonderful thing about life and especially ACCA with its new format of four exam sessions a year is that you will definitely get a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. This mindset thus gives you the much needed hope that you can do much better. This shouldn’t make us complacent but at the same time, it gives us some breathing space. As Eloise Ristad said, “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

2. Atychiphobia

Atychiphobia – Fear of failure. This fear is worse than failure itself. Failure implies an effort to do something that didn’t quite work out. Fear of failure means not even putting in that effort just because you are so afraid to fail. Countless students have fallen prey to this. Some of my friends registered and studied for the exams well, only to not appear for the exam. Why? “I’m going to fail!” This thinking is UNFOUNDED and BASELESS and only serves to keep you forever in its clutches. Rising from it would only be possible once you banish these thoughts from your head. How can this be done? SELF-BELIEF!

3. Self-Belief!

A simple enough attribute, a much needed attribute and yet lacking in so many a person. Countless books have been written on the power of self-belief and rightly so as it is so crucial in literally anything and everything we do. Imagine you didn’t have the belief to even get out of your bed in the morning. Chances are, you probably didn’t! It’s also a fickle emotion that can slip away very easily until you have achieved mastery of it and are confident in yourself. One way to do this is to simply look at the successful things all of us have done in life, be it big or small. This will tell your inner self that, “YES I CAN DO IT. YES I CAN DO THAT. YES YES YES.” Your mind will then start thinking of ways to actually get that seemingly “impossible” thing done. Believe me, it’s pretty cool!

4. Supportive and positive surroundings

I cannot stress enough on how important, how imperative, how central it is that this facet exists in your own lives. I was only able to sit  four papers twice because of the support I had from my family, friends, colleagues and institutes. Among this entire support one person, my uncle, being probably the most positive person I know ever, showed me things in a refreshing and encouraging light that convinced me that I CAN DO four papers. It’s not impossible and if someone else can do it, why can’t I? Why can’t we? So find these people in your lives and they will uplift you and enable to successfully and enjoyable get over failure and achieve greater and greater heights.

I hope this helped all the readers of this article. Please feel free to connect with me if in need of more such motivational tips and advice. We all have gotten over failure at one point or another in our lives and I am sure, together, we can do it again.

P.S All the above is necessary, but also remember the five P’s – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. SO STUDY HARD AND GOOD LUCK!

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy



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