Overcoming Feelings of Failure After Failing the BOC Exam

Don’t let failure define you.

The Board of Certification (BOC) exam is a rigorous test that is designed to ensure that individuals who are pursuing a career in athletic training have the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the field. Unfortunately, despite the best preparation, some students may fail the exam. This can be a devastating experience, and it’s common to feel like a failure after receiving the news. However, it’s essential to remember that one test does not define your worth as a person or your ability to succeed in your chosen profession.

Recognize and Process Your Feelings

It’s normal and natural to feel a wide range of emotions after failing the BOC exam. You may feel embarrassed, frustrated, or even angry. Recognize and process these feelings rather than suppressing them. Take some time to reflect on the experience and allow yourself to feel the emotions that come up. It can be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or mentor who can offer support and guidance as you work through your feelings.

Assess Your Performance and Identify Areas for Improvement

While it’s important not to let failure define you, it’s also essential to take a critical look at your performance on the exam. Identify areas where you struggled and evaluate your preparation leading up to the test. Were there topics that you didn’t study enough? Did you struggle with time management during the exam? Use this information to create a plan for improvement. Consider enlisting the help of a tutor or mentor who can provide additional guidance and support.

Reevaluate Your Goals and Create a New Plan of Action

Failing the BOC exam can be a setback, but it does not have to be the end of your career aspirations. Take some time to reevaluate your goals and create a new plan of action. Did you create a study schedule, or did you cram the week before? Did you overstudy things you already knew and neglect topics you weren’t as interested in? Consider the struggles you had on the BOC exam and reevaluate your study plan. 

Stay Positive and Maintain a Growth Mindset

Finally, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude and a growth mindset as you move forward. Embrace the concept of “failing forward,” which means using failure as an opportunity for growth and learning. Remember that every successful person has experienced failure at some point in their life. Use your experience as a motivator to work harder and smarter as you pursue your goals. Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve success in your chosen profession.

Failing the BOC exam can be a difficult experience, but it is not the end of your career aspirations. Take time to process your feelings, assess your performance, and create a new plan of action. Stay positive, maintain a growth mindset, and believe in yourself as you continue to pursue your goals. Remember that success is not defined by one test but by your commitment to learning, growth, and perseverance.

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