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feeling down from flopping exams

Community Member

Hi everyone,

Recently i just did my trials and i didn’t prepare for them as well as i could (probably going to get marks around 50-60%). I feel so mad at myself for not studying earlier or preparing well and i’m also feeling extremely burnt out. I really want to get an ATAR of 85-90 and i don’t know if it’s still possible. Feeling really lost and unmotivated right now 😞

My averages for my subjects are 75 for english, 70 for maths, 80 for bio, 87 for business, 85 for geo and 60 for chem (thinking about dropping it) Would anyone have any advice or thoughts?


2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Jzn,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and congrats on having the courage to reach out! I hope you find this community a place where you can openly share your thoughts and support others! 🙂

I am in university right now, but I remember this feeling that you have described- knowing that you could do better but not preparing enough. Especially during the end of school- it seems like our grades are the be-all and end-all. Don't get me wrong, it is important to do as well as you can, but there are so many people who do not get the ATAR they want. When it comes down to it, doing a year of a similar course, then applying to get into your desired course will only delay you a year (nothing in the long-term). When you get to university, you will see people (even those that you think are really smart!) chop and change their degree halfway through! You will also meet people who are in their first year at 25! I have also changed a few times.

It sounds like you are really smart and will still do well. I completed an OP (a few years ago in QLD), so I can't confidently comment on your ATAR trial results- perhaps someone else can do it.

I have felt burnt out and similarly angry at myself in the past. The following are things that have helped me:

(1) Meditation/Mindfulness- focussing on the present

(2) Non-resistance/Self-Compassion- realising that it is okay to make mistakes, and that everything, in the end, will be okay

(3) Seeing a counsellor- usually free for students, but it is really nice to have a level-head to talk to

I hope some of this has helped! Feel free to reach out if you want to talk more 🙂 Hopefully, some others can comment more on the ATAR side of things.

Aphador 🙂

Community Member

Hi jzn,

Welcome to the forums, it's so wonderful to have you join us here! Thank you for taking such a brave step in sharing this with us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and we're so glad you've done so 🙂

It's been a little while since I finished high school but I do remember going through the stress of year 12 and the obsession with getting a good ATAR. I just also want to mirror what Aphador has said, although it feels like the most important thing right now, there are so many different pathways to get to what you want regardless of what your ATAR is. From my experience, people don't really ever talk about ATARs again once you finish high school. Of course doing well would be the ideal but I just also wanted to let you know that your score does not define your worth or your future! Did you have something in mind that you wanted to do/study after high school?

I'm also a bit rusty with how the ATARs are scored, but it looks like you're doing great! From memory, I think the exams at the end of the year counted for most of the grades, so you could still bring up your mark there! I found picking a mix of easy and harder subjects helpful to manage my time during VCE. For me, bio was my weakest subject and I ended up putting more time in all my other subjects and doing well in them, (and not so great for bio) but still ended up getting above 90 so don't be too disheartened about your chem scores 🙂

It's completely understandable that you're feeling a bit lost and burnout right now, it's a really tough and full on year. Aphador has made some great suggestions, I find self-compassion particularly helpful as well 🙂 The only other thing I wanted to add was to take some time for yourself! I find that sometimes just taking a bit of time away from studying and doing things you enjoy, like talking to friends or going for a run, helps me to refresh and gain my motivation again.

Please do let us know how you go, we'd love to hear back from you!