Class 12 Board Exam results and its impact on the students and parents

Whilst a majority of children and their parents are happy and satisfied with the results of the exams, a significant minority whose results did not come as they expected would not be happy. It is obvious that  a wide range of emotional reactions would be evoked in the children and their parents. Some parents, out of excitement and happiness of their children’s achievements, will broadcast them on social media while others will shower their children with gifts and applauses. Some parents and children would have mixed feelings because even when they have done well, the results did not meet their expectations. But a significant minority of children will go through a different experience altogether. They may feel dejected, desperate or doomed. Their parents may show similar emotions such as anger, violence, dejection or neglect of their children. 

Whatever may be the outcome of the exam, it is important to be mindful about how you respond to it and deal with it sensitively. Because a wrong step could adversely affect young minds and their future potentials. While it is natural for parents and children to celebrate the results of their hard work, it is also important to do it privately. Broadcasting on the social media is not necessary. It will only provoke a sense of failure or doom among other children who did not do as much. Many more children would have done well in the exams but they may not be satisfied with their performance. They may get angry with themselves for not working harder, or get angry with their teachers or parents for not supporting them. All these are normal reactions to adversity. What is important is to recognize your mistakes and learn from them. Engaging in negative emotional states can only feed to anxiety and clinical depression and not solve your predicament.

For those children who have failed in the exams or not earned enough marks to qualify for further studies, you should know that this is not the end of the road. Your life does not end here! Indeed, you have a long way to go and there are still many opportunities lying ahead. All you need to do is to be open and accept your results, learn from your mistakes and resolve to correct your mistakes and move on with life. An old saying “Failure is pillar to success in life” holds really true because everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone fails in life. Everyone is not gifted with the same abilities or have the same opportunities in life. Some people have high cognitive intelligence (IQ) whilst others have high emotional (EQ) or social intelligence (SQ). A hard-working student with an average or low IQ cannot compete with a hard-working intelligent student, nor can children with access to different support systems earn the same results. 

Success in exams does not necessarily translate to success in life. It is not just the IQ, EQ and SQ also play important role to succeed in life. IQ has two components – verbal IQ which is helpful for academic subjects and visuospatial IQ which is good for vocational skills. A child who struggles with academic work may do well with vocational training. Achievement in sports or physical work also depend upon physical size, strength and stamina of individuals. Although, two children have same the age, they may not be able to carry the same weight or run as fast as the other. It depends upon other factors such as their size, strength, stamina and skills. Performance in academic subjects is also depends upon many factors. It is not just a child was not studying harder. It is important to identify the child’s assets and encourage them to pursue in that direction.

Given these circumstances, it is important is to strive for ones best potential rather than to compare or compete with others. It is the responsibility of every parent to encourage their child to perform to the best of their abilities. If they have not done that, it is not fair for them to expect better results, much as the children themselves should do so if they have not performed.

Kuensel will feature Q & A with retired psychiatrist Dr Chencho every first Saturday of the month