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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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I have been doing good all semester in my glasses, but on my

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I have been doing good all semester in my glasses, but on my last exam in a certain class where I was averaging a 90%, I got a 74% on one of my exams. Whenever this happens I feel like it is hard to get motivated to study for that next exam because the 74% makes me feel defeated. Why do I feel defeated and how can I see this in a positive perspective?

I can understand that feeling, but you simply can't let it overwhelm you. You feel defeated because you didn't measure up to the standards you set for yourself. One positive spin is that you mastered 74% of the material. That's hardly failing, and that in itself is an accomplishment. Being defeated would be a score so low that it ended your chances of passing the course. That has certainly not happened. So first, stop looking at that 74% as a failure.

Next, take a look at the reasons why you didn't do as well on that exam. Did you not study enough? Did you study in a different way than you normally do? Were you lacking sleep? Was there some sort of stress from family, a relationship, or work in your life? Were you not eating nutritious foods? Was the material in that section less interesting to you or perhaps more difficult? Write down the potential reasons. Then make a written plan. Include how and when you need to study, hours for sleep, meal plans, how to deal with any stress in your life so it doesn't interfere with your goals. You may need to consult a student advisor for help withe motional issues, or your instructor if the material has gotten more difficult as the course progressed.

Then before you start your plan, get into the right frame of mind. Instead of wondering why you feel defeated, turn off those feelings. When you find yourself thinking that way, say aloud to yourself, "Stop!" Then substitute other thoughts. Visualizing has been proven to help. Use your imagination to picture in great detail every step of the way. Your final picture should be of seeing your score of 90% (or better) on that next exam. You already know you can do it, so make yourself remember that.

Little motivation tricks can also help. Set aside a certain amount of time to study, which will be rewarded when you complete it. Everyone's rewards will be different - a pizza or a sweet snack, a phone call to a friend, meeting up with friends, a movie, listening to music. But don't let yourself have the reward until you complete the study time. Having a friend in the room who is also studying can also help motivate you. You don't even need to be in the same class, as long as you're both studying.

I hope some of these tips will get you going again. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I wish you success!

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