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A 16-year-old batsman went back for a duck in his first two ODI matches. For debutantes in any form, no matter how much they’ve played in other formats, even a single duck can be more damaging mentally; than on paper. The man being talked about here is the living cricket legend, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who took these blows in the right spirit. We all know how his career went on from there. He scored 20 ducks in his ODI career. But he also made more than 15000 runs. So, the bottom line is—everybody scores low. It is not about the ducks you score but the runs you score after the initial disappointment. Right?

Any event of one’s interest can turn out in at least more than two ways. So, while you work your ass off during the preparation, you should be ready for all the possibilities. And even if you don’t prepare yourself for failures, you should learn how to handle it.

How to Handle the Disappointment After Getting Low Marks in Exams?

The exams are over. You know how you fared in them. The period between exams should be spent relaxing, with family & without any worries. The professors are probably done with checking your papers. The only thing you can do is cross-check your answers and get an idea of your performance. Maybe, make a note of the mistakes you made. Don’t start working on them just yet. Let the results be declared.

But once the results are out, a lot of things happen at once. And you need to be prepared for all of them. Here is a range of the emotions one can go through.


It’s really funny how comparisons are drawn. People compare you to someone they know who took the same test some ten years back when the question pattern and competition was completely different. Or worse, compare your scores to a cousin who did fairly well. These comparisons sound and feel great if you are the competitive type. If you are not, avoid the comparison. You failed to achieve your target, and it doesn’t matter if you get low marks than someone else. Remember that others’ scores were never a benchmark and they shouldn’t bother you. Franklin D. Roosevelt, American statesman and political leader, rightly said —‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’

Even if you did extremely well, don’t feel superior based on lame comparisons. It will make you lose the habit of comparison. If you don’t compare when you are doing good, you won’t compare when you are doing badly. 🙂

Sinking Confidence

If you couldn’t do well even after strenuous preparations, it is obvious that you’d feel down. But your first and foremost duty is to keep your confidence unmoved, no matter how bad you performed. Do this by being accepting and not rude and defiant. Because, it is only you who knows what went wrong and how hard you worked for the test. Try to look at the results with a perspective different than mere marks and ranks. Think of what exactly went wrong, that you couldn’t meet your expectations. Work on these errors in your next exams and never repeat a mistake.

Take Selective Feedback

When you get low marks or fail in an exam, a lot of people will come running to you with advice. But you are not supposed to listen to all of them. Be careful who you take advice from. No matter how bad your results are, you should always take feedback from your teachers or guides. They’ll help you understand your problem and find a solution.

Don’t listen to everyone. That’d only confuse you. So, learn from selective feedback that is constructive.

Think About Loved Ones

The way you deal with low marks is very important for your loved ones. If you are negative, it affects your loved ones in a negative way as well. Remember: they’ve helped you a lot during the preparation phase. The best you can do for them is not be enslaved by sadness. Take your time, evaluate and tell them you could have done better. Tell them you will do better in the future.


If you think there’s a mistake in evaluation of your response sheet, you should go for a re-evaluation. You need to ensure that your institution has that option available, to begin with. That’s only being fair to yourself.

For those dissatisfied with their results, life always throws more chances your way. Everyone faces failure in their lives at some point or the other. It is how that failure changes you that matters the most. Loss is bitter in taste. But success is the main course for which failure is an appetizer. Just keep moving forward! Dream higher! You might get bit by the ‘Snake of 99’. Well, so was Sachin so many times! But, he is a winner, and you might be one too; just keep playing.

Best of luck. 🙂

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