What To Do When You Fail the BOC Exam

Did you walk out of the Board of Certification (BOC) exam and think “That exam sucked”? This post is for you if you failed the BOC exam the first time. 

Even if you put your best effort into it or know that you could have studied more, the result still stings.

In my experience, however, the 3 R Strategy is highly effective when you fail an exam. The three Rs are: relax, recover, and rebound.

How To Respond When You Fail the BOC Exam

1. Relax

Take a deep breath first. Realize that you weren’t the only one who failed that test; everyone fails an exam at some point. It’s important to remember you aren’t alone in this situation, so don’t feel isolated.

Be aware that you have failed in other moments of your life and that you are fine today. Treat this recent failure similarly.

That’s not to say you should slack off, but to say your future isn’t dependent on this one exam experience. You get to try again.

Make sure you take a break and do whatever makes you feel relaxed (nap, talk to friends, work out, eat, drink). It’s extremely difficult to take the next step if you aren’t mentally relaxed.

2. Recover

Having achieved a controlled psychological state, it’s time to regain your direction.

If you failed or performed less than your expectations, speak to your program director. They will be able to tell you how you did this time around, what you got right, and what you can do to prepare for the next BOC exam.

Even though classmates and friends can be helpful (and you should also speak with them), no one has as much insight as your program director. 

Also, try to find a student in your class who did pass and ask them how they study. I will bet that they will be more than likely to give you some advice.

By the end of this process, you want to have answered these questions:

  • Did I study the right material?
  • Did I study enough in advance?
  • Did I study enough?
  • What could I do better?
  • How did the students who passed the BOC exam study?

3. Rebound

Now that you’re mentally relaxed and have a greater perspective of what went wrong, start the rebound.

Look at the date of your next BOC exam and prepare accordingly. You can prepare by:

  • Using focused preparation to get the most out of your time
  • Taking the knowledge you gained from speaking with your program director and other students in your class to improve your study process
  • Using a study tool like ATStudy Buddy

Don’t be discouraged by the BOC exam. Instead, be encouraged now that you have better information and resources to improve.

Last Words

Failing the BOC exam can ruin your present day, but don’t let it ruin your next day. Instead, spend time relaxing, gaining perspective, and then making an action plan to study for the following BOC exam.

Failing the BOC exam is a reflection of how you studied, and not a reflection of you.

Passing the BOC exam the first time does not define you. But, how you move on from struggles can define you.

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