Corporate Stories

Coping Up with Board Exam Failures

BY: Admin • Jul 12, 2019

Board examination can be considered as one of the toughest and important exam in the world of professionals. It enables an individual with bountiful opportunities in job seeking and gives him an edge over other applicants. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to pass the board exam in one, two, three, four, etc. takes.

Ten years ago, like other fresh graduates, I was once hopeful to get that piece of card stating that I am a licensed engineer. The first time I took it, I failed. It was the first failure I received in an examination. I was heavily burdened and I thought, my dreams just flew away. But the little hope in my heart told me to take the exam again. Then, I failed. I took it again and I failed. After failing six times in the board examination, I almost gave up. But then, that little hope in my heart said that I could pass it. The seventh time I took the board exam, I prepared for it. I enrolled in a review center but the preparation was not enough. I conditionally passed, meaning I got in the quota average but failed one subject so I still need to retake that subject. It was still a 50-50 chance for me. I tried to remove the conditional pass. Although I prepared well for it, the day of the exam seems wrong. I got lost in locating the school and the examination room. I arrived 30 minutes before the exam begins. The result, I failed!

That moment was more hurtful than the first time I took it. I almost have it, but still I failed. Although I was in pain, I still felt that I am happy because I became a better and a stronger person. I just mourn for a day, and moved on. I know God has greater plans for me. He knows when the perfect time is and if we need it.

The experience taught me humility and to be more considerate to others because I know the feeling of hitting rock bottom. I learned to accept my failures and told myself, everyone fails, even the richest people on earth. The point is that we have to acknowledge our failures and learn from it. Then, forgive ourselves. True acceptance means acknowledging one’s weaknesses and strengths. I still hope that one day I could be a full-fledged engineer, but over the years, I learned to accept that I am still striving to be good in engineering. I am also good in literature, music and arts, and these are my passion.

There were seven life virtues I have gained from all my failures. Let me enumerate them:

  1. Faith. Remember that God is always guiding us to where we should be. Failure is hurtful but if we 100% trust God’s will, we learn to look on a better perspective that He is still asking us to do something else and that it is still not His perfect time. Everything should be offered to Him and discerned. God has full of surprises. His blessings are overflowing than our miseries. In His time, the purpose of our existence will little by little be revealed.
  • Acceptance. It is not Christmas every day. Life is hard and unfair but how we accept the situation, matters. Acceptance is believing that we are born for greatness and these failures are part of that greatness. It makes us braver. It motivates us to conquer ourselves and release the goodness in us. We acknowledge our limits and the things we still need to do. 
  • Independence. This means improving ourselves more, freeing ourselves on earthly desires. We learned to live each day as if it is our last. Instead of striving for material success, we strive more for what really last long, attitude and character. 
  • Love. Failure teaches us humility. With humility comes love. We tend to appreciate more God, our family, friends and special someone who stand as our support group. More importantly, the love for ourselves grew stronger, and we tend to do the same to others.
  • Understanding. Failure gives us the opportunity to resonate to other people who are also experiencing the same. We learned to empathized more. Failure teaches us to be more patient. We tend to realize that true happiness does not come from material successes but from using our talents and gifts to help others. 
  • Respect. Honestly, there were really some who judged me, called me stupid, idiot and super dumb. Those were their opinions and I respected them. My board failure taught me to respect the lowly people in our society.
  • Encourage. Failing challenged me to do well in my life, to increase my life number (the number of people you touched lives) and not only to focus on myself. It encouraged me in becoming a blessing to others.

Character and attitude still define who we are as a person. How well we manage our lives and see the goodness in every situation will truly be our key to success. Success and failure are always intertwined. Failures are pre-requisites of success, success is nothing without failures. I know that everything happens for a reason. I am not perfect and not trying to be one, I know I will always fail, but I am trying my best to become a good person, and that is my success.

Ms. Crystalynne Cortez is a member of the faculty of the Centro Escolar University under the Technology Programs.  She is pursuing her doctorate degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.  Her passion is to inspire people and pass on life’s goodness as she struggles with her own weaknesses.

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