Screwed Your VCE Exams?

By ATAR Notes in VCE
21st of November 2018
vce exams

So VCE exams are now over. Hopefully, you absolutely smashed them, and you achieve all of your wildest study score and ATAR dreams. There will definitely be some of us, however, who didn’t perform quite as well as we would have liked. That can be a major motivation killer and extremely stressful, but things might not be as dour as they seem. Feel like you screwed your VCE exams? Here are four reasons NOT to panic.


1. Assessing performance is actually quite difficult.

VCE is, ultimately, a competition. At least to a degree, your marks are contingent on the performance of others. With that in mind, it’s actually pretty difficult to work out how you performed in an exam – because if you don’t have context of how everybody else in the state went, how can you really judge?

What if it was an obscenely difficult exam that everybody struggled on?

There have been countless instances of students coming out of exams, distraught, only to find later that they actually performed quite well. Again, it’s difficult to objectively judge.

Now, that’s not to say you’re not allowed to be disappointed, because you are. And maybe you feel like you didn’t perform well, even taking into account the rest of the state. If that’s true, then the next point is especially important.


2. Dwelling on things rarely helps.

You probably know this already, but if you feel like you didn’t do so great on an exam, thinking about it incessantly is unlikely to make things any better. You can get into this horrible loop where the more you think about it, the more you think you did poorly. The more questions you think you should have answered differently. The worse you think your mark will be.

This wait now between the end of exams and receiving your ATAR in mid-December can be pretty difficult. Painful, even. But if you can distract yourself, stay busy and productive, and get on with your life as much as possible, the wait will become more bearable. The last thing you want to do is to be thinking about VCE all day, every day. These post-VCE holidays have the potential to be the best of your life, and you should celebrate making it to the end of school, irrespective of your marks. ✌️


3. You have so many options.

You’re not defined by your ATAR, blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah.

You’ve heard that before. Whilst it’s definitely true, it might not seem it at the moment, given what you’ve just been through and what you’ve been working toward.

But did you know that the ATAR literally exists only as a way for tertiary institutions to measure high school performance? Nothing more, nothing less. Once it’s done, it doesn’t have to mean much if you don’t want it to.

Sure, you might not get into your dream course, and that sucks. But you can still make it – seriously. There are lots of different options available to you. If you’re not sure what to do, why not make a new topic and ask about it?


4. Screwed your exams? You have support networks.

It sucks to not meet your goals in an exam. It sucks really bad. It’s demotivating, it’s stressful, and it can cause lots of fear and anxiety. In those times, you can feel really isolated.

Two things. First, there are a HEAP of other students out there feeling exactly the same way you do. Guaranteed. Hundreds, probably thousands, all ranging from a little bummed about one exam to seriously anxious about their future. You are not alone.

Support each other, and be kind to each other. The time for competitive edges? Gone (and should never have been around in the first place).

Second, you’ve got the ATAR Notes Forums. And you have places to ask your questions about VCE in general, technical VCE scores, university and a heap more. Any possible way we can help, we will, and when we can’t, you can bet your peers will step in and help out, too.


Final thoughts.

It’s absolutely in your right to feel however you feel. That’s totally valid, whatever it is. This article isn’t intended to be like, “hey, cheer up – you shouldn’t feel sad at all!” Because we know how devastating it can all be when things don’t go to plan, particularly given how much you might have put into your VCE journey.

So – it’s okay to feel whatever your feeling. But whatever that is, all of the above is still absolutely true, and you’ll be okay. 👊