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“Our worth is not defined by the way others see us but what we know about ourselves”. May this thought inspire you today and encourage you if you do not get the result or recognition you expect, or are afraid you will not.

This time of year for many is one of receiving and exam results, with the inevitable series of reports, evaluations and marks. If you have worked hard, give yourself a pat on the back – this metaphor means you can congratulate yourself!

If, even after all your hard work, you get a bad mark in an exam or even fail it – don’t immediately question your ability. Naturally you’ll be disappointed, but ask yourself how it was possible that you didn’t succeed in demonstrating all that you know and are capable of. Here are some thoughts to focus on before your next attempt.

For written tests – do you have poor handwriting? Work on improving it – however much we love our keyboards, many tests and exams are still done by putting pen to paper.

Did you get enough sleep before the exam? You can’t expect to do well, if your brain and body haven’t had all the rest they need. Get in the habit of going to bed earlier.

Did you run out of time and not answer all the questions or write a long enough essay? Train to be quicker by using your phone’s stopwatch feature or setting an alarm which should go off at least five minutes before the end of the allotted time, so that you can re-read your work, draw it to a conclusion or go back and complete something you forgot. Obviously this technique only works during training – it won’t be allowed in the actual exam room.

Did you do badly at an oral exam or interview? If you get nervous and feel anxious when you have to speak in front of someone who is assessing you, then you need to practise this kind of situation beforehand – in your head, with a friend, even taking a video of yourself talking, to see how you ‘perform’. After all, actors don’t go on stage to perform to their public without doing many rehearsals in advance!

If you prepare well, you will be ready for your next testing situation and come out on top – giving others the chance to see just how valuable you truly are.