Exams are excruciating. Testing in general is unbearable, a true pain and seemingly a testament of one's self worth. If you allow it to be, that is.
Try to remember that failing a course won't be the end of the world. Yes, it will be quite a bump in the road, and it might make you a little late, but it won't steer you completely off path. Only you have the power to do that. You've just got to keep trying.
1. Did I study enough?
Whether we spend 20 minutes or two hours preparing for an exam, we feel unprepared regardless. Especially if you're like me, and once a test is placed before you, everything you've ever learned has been magically transported out of your body and into the air, getting farther and farther from you with each unsteady exhale.
2. Did I study the right material?
Were those hours spent with your nose in a book even worth it? What about the creation of all those note cards, the skipping of meals or time with friends? Will any of what you've studied even be on the test?
3. Does that even matter?
Tests are for sure important, and that's why studying is so important. If you're one of those people that can ace everything without putting much effort in, just know that I hate you. For the rest of us, we've got to put in time, effort and sometimes tears.
In the end, though, failing a quiz, exam or even a course isn't going to signal your own implosion - unless of course, you let it. Reflect. Take what you've learned from the your experience with the class and simply give it another shot.
4. Is it me, the professor or the subject?
Face it, some professors are better than others. Some can get you really engaged because they're energetic, hilarious and very good at explaining concepts. Other professors are monotonous and so unenthusiastic that they dribble out half explanations and unrelated personal stories.
The professor teaching the subject is not the only influential factor; the subject itself matters as well. Unless you are an extremely well-rounded individual who is gifted at everything, then you probably have a subject or two that sends a shiver down your spine and turns your brain into goop.
More often than not, your incomprehension during exams is the result of a combination of these things. Probably, a few other factors matter as well. Life isn't perfect and doesn't always go as planned, but that doesn't mean what you're experiencing is worthless.
5. Should I get a tutor?
Would a tutor help? Yes, most definitely. Sometimes even tutors can be mistaken, especially if it is a peer tutor. But even in making mistakes, you learn. You learn what was done wrong and find a way the two of you can work together to figure out what is right.
6. Is this degree worth it?
Is all of this work even worth all this time and money? Of course, it is, at least in my opinion... or in society's opinion in general, which is a sad thought to be quite honest. Why must someone have higher education to be treated as a competent human being? Why is higher education so expensive?
7. CURSE WORDS GALORE.
I drop F-bombs, C-bombs and all of the other bombs imaginable. Most of them slip out silently during the day, with a few in my sleep. All this stressful yearning for validity penetrates my subconscious. What else can I say?