How to manage academic failure

Do you know anyone who is struggling to deal with an academic setback?

Are you struggling to deal with your own academic setbacks?

In this article we outline 5 tips to help you understand and deal with academic setbacks.

1. Failure is NORMAL

Nobody likes to fail an exam but it is important to remember that academic setbacks are NORMAL. You are certainly NOT the only person to have ever failed an exam. In fact some of the most famous people of all time suffered setbacks on their journey. If you are reading this article on an Apple iPhone, iPad or Mac then you have academic failure to thank – Apple founder Steve Jobs famously dropped out of College before going on to achieve unimaginable success with Apple and his other business ventures.

2. Academic failure is NOT personal

Not passing an exam doesn’t make you are a bad person. Qualities such as friendship, determination and kindness are far more important in life than academic results.

3. LEARN from mistakes

If you are able to learn from your setbacks then they can actually help launch you towards success in the future. As Henry Ford famously once said:

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”


Perhaps this exam or course came at the wrong time in your life – it does not mean that you will not be able to pass in the future. Work out what is best for you and try to achieve it.

5. Focus on the FUTURE

You cannot change your past but you can change your future. It would be foolish to let one setback define the rest of your life so learn from your mistakes and keep moving forwards towards your goals.

Interested in further study?

Check out some of the amazing FREE courses and learning materials provided by some of the world’s very best universities at: How to Study for FREE

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