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I got a terrible test result and I am starting to doubt myself

Community Member
I am in high school currently and I work hard to achieve good grades because it is really important to me to do well in school. I haven't gotten a bad mark at school ever until today. My teacher called out everyone scores except mine in front of the class so I went up to him and asked him what I had gotten, and he said i got 55%. I was in denial so i just looked at him shocked and said "oh," and walked away. My friends came up to me and asked me what i got and i just said "oh i did alright." when i got home, i started crying so hard to the point I couldnt breathe properly. I started doubting if I was smart or was I just talentless. I felt like my teacher thought I was stupid and i felt extremely sad and disappointed considering everyone else in my class got A's. i didnt understand what i did wrong as i did studied. my concentration has been a bit off lately but im not really sure why. anyways, i just feel like i cant give myself a break for anything i do wrong and i feel petrified to walk into class tomorrow with a smiling face and act like everything is fine because i feel like my teacher thinks im a bad student. i feel like im being a bit dramatic but i dont want to bury the way i feel because that will just make me doubt myself more.
6 Replies 6

Dear Hm,
  Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members. This is a safe space to share and express your own feelings, struggles and experiences without judgement.


Sophie M

On The Road
Community Member

Hi Hm,

I'm sorry that happened to you and I can see your sadness and disappointment, reminding me of my high school year 😞 sending you a virtual hug 🫂

I can tell you is that these kinds of things happened to me I performed the worst at one particular test even tho I'm not the worst or best one academics-wise. I was so embarrassed and worried about what the teacher would think of me. so this can be a one-time thing and usually, teachers know well of this. and they are so occupied that they would forget about it soon unless you constantly underperformed.

I can see you cared about your grades, and others' opinions, you also have doubts about your way of studying, which is a good thing in some ways, it means you have self-consciousness and you value your studies. Your feelings are validated. It would be great if your worries about studies can be transformed into strengths that help adjust your way of studying and improve your grade.

If you feel comfortable, share your concerns with someone you trust (close friends, family, etc), they may give you some different perspectives on how they view this issue, which could ease your stress for a little bit. and of course, feel free to share with us on here.🙂

Take care

Community Champion
Community Champion
Hello Hm,

I can definitely relate to how you’re feeling. I’m also someone who expects myself to do well in school and attach my self-worth to my grades.

In my fourth year of university now, I feel like I have some hindsight. Grades don’t define you. Getting one bad mark on a test does not mean your teacher thinks you’re a bad student. Perhaps you could ask your teacher where you went wrong in this test and improve for next time.

It’s also important to remember that you’re always doing your best. There’s a lot of things that are out of your control, like your teacher’s interpretation of your answers when marking your test. I know if I’ve tried my best, I’m happy with whatever mark I get.

In high school, having the support of my parents and friends helped reassure me. Further, even a chat with the school counsellor could be helpful.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
I hope you have addressed your results and how deflated it has left you feeling. If not, please read on...
"My teacher called out everyone scores except mine in front of the class"
I question the efficacy of publicly announcing results as it places pressure to do well for fear of being shamed and humiliated - that being what you have suffered, by omission, along with raising curiosity from classmates necessarily inflaming your embarrassment.
The response from your teacher was equally unsupportive as he avoided specifically asking you for a private conversation after class, leaving you to approach him... or not, at your discretion; and in only answering the questions you asked is, in my estimation, highly inappropriate and somewhat immature, placing his indignance at your result over any problems you may be having, either academically or personally.
This method of instruction uses competition in preference to mutual support and encouragement to enjoy the material with evidence found in the subsequent results.
I hope you can raise this with another teacher, support coordinator, or family member, along with how you feel about the experience over and above your test results (on this occasion).

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi hm_

I wish that teacher had led you to understand your result better. This could have made a massive difference to you, perhaps even leading you to think 'While I'm still disappointed, that makes perfect sense as to why I didn't do as well as I would have like'.

I think 2 key things to keep in mind are

  1. A test or exam is basically a test or an examination of what we know, whether we've fully understood what's been taught to us
  2. We can be tested or have our knowledge examined under a variety of different circumstances which can go toward explaining the outcome

The different circumstances we can be tested under can involve a serious lack of focus, stressing about other things to the point of distraction, not enough time to complete things, a noisy environment, a teacher who has not taught us in relatable ways, serious mental exhaustion, being told to study the wrong content, the inability to work under exam based pressures and the list goes on.

I'm glad you don't want to bury the way you feel, for our feelings can tell us a lot. What do you think you were feeling? Were you feeling your teacher's neglect, in the way they handled or mishandled that situation? At least they were thoughtful enough not to call out your mark in front of the class. To think beyond that, to think 'I should discuss the possible reasons for the mark and how I don't judge my student for that mark' would have been constructive. Disappointment can be a seriously hard feeling to manage, that's for sure. If you've always appointed yourself as 'The student who always studies hard and always gets great results', the result of that test dis-appointed you from that role. What would a different role look like? Could it perhaps be 'I am a student who always studies hard under ideal circumstances and always gets a result which is partly determined by those circumstances'? If you become overwhelmed by work at any time, for example, the results will be reflected through an overwhelming amount of work, as opposed to a basic amount of work. Our results will always vary, based on our circumstances. Just say you were actually told to study the wrong content for the test and you studied it intensely, under such circumstances you could then say 55% isn't all that bad, considering. You can make sense of it.

Are you able to speak with this particular teacher? If you don't want to do this face to face, perhaps email correspondence will offer an explanation. I imagine there's a good reason for the mark.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi hm,

Wellcome to our forums!

You are a remarkable student! I can see how much you care about school and your grades.

I understand your disappointment due to the grade but it’s just one grade ……….. that one grade is just that” a grade” and it really doesn’t hold any power over you…… unless you allow it too……..

We can’t control what happens in life sometimes but we can always control how we “ respond” to it.

Stay positive tell yourself that you tried your best and you will do better next time…… there always will be a next time and when we get that time over again we can work on improving ourselves.

A lot of people who are now famous got bad results maybe 100 times but they kept “ trying “ and stayed positive and finally they succeeded…….

Please don’t allow one mark to make you think you did bad or feel embarrassed about what the teacher thinks….. they are just one teacher and you will meet plenty of teachers in your time and the best teachers are the ones you don’t expect to be teachers in your life.

Hold your head up high and give yourself positive self talk…….

Don’t let this one grade define you …….. if you don’t allow to it can’t….. rise above it 💪😊