Exam Tips – After the Exam

Well the Exam is over – and you’re still alive!

So what’s next? Well go and relax – have a party, go for run, have a jam session with your buddies. Go and enjoy yourself! After all the hard work you put in it’s important you reward yourself.

Now the first point – stop worrying about the result! It is only human nature to think we did badly – probably a defense mechanism to help soften the blow of failure. But, most likely you haven’t failed. Also, don’t worry about what the grade. Remember, the basic aim of sitting the Exam was to Pass – a Merit or Distinction Grade is just a bonnus.

It’s good to take a break from study but don’t make it too long or you can get “rusty”. I once taught a Sports Physiotherapist who said that we start to lose our finley honed muscle memory skills in as short a time as 8 days! Nicolo Paganinni, the great virtuoso violinist once said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I notice. If I don’t practice for two days, the orchestra notices. If I don’t practice for three days, the audience notices!”

So take say a week off from study and play – “noodle” around, relax and enjoy playing your favourite pieces. During your week off order your next set of Grade books (stop worrying, most likley you will have passed). When they arrive take a causual look at the new syllabus – surprise, surprise it all looks very familiar. The scales and chords will be often based on, or extensions of, what you learned in previous Grades, that is there will be interconnects to prior learning so the new syllabus shouldn’t look too daunting or difficult. Just take gentle “walk” into the new material – no pressure!

The Exam Result – either you will hear via the Post or from your RGT Teacher. It’s one of the great pleasures a Teacher can have sharing the good news that a student has passed – it’s possibly our greatest reward. It’s even more satisfying is to see their faces when when they receive a Merit or a Distinction. This is the best example a candidate can experience of an Intrinsic Reward – that is the feeling of personal satisfaction that comes from within knowing that you worked hard and achieved success. A great “life lesson”.

Now, horror of horrors – you didn’t make it! Don’t despair sometimes we all experience failure – it’s all part of learning and life. Sit down with your Teacher and review the Exam Feedback Sheet (a very useful map of your strengths and weaknesses). It will not be all gloomy – look for the sections you did well in and then look at the areas that let you down. These are the ones you should focus on for the re-sit. To that end the best postive strategy is to get your re-sit Exam booked for the next available date – don’t focus on the past, look forward to the future!

So, keep moving ahead with your studies and learning and, be successful!