What do you do if you failed the board exam? It’s a massive blow to the ego, and you might feel a lot of things, disappointment the least of them. For Asians, it may even cause “loss of face”. I’m from the Philippines, and I have a friend who failed his board exam certification and he never went back home, literally. He didn’t “have the face” to show his parents because they were expecting a lot from him. All his neighbours expected him to do well since he graduated with the highest honours, and here he was, flunking the test for professional licensing.

Accept it

What To Do If You Failed The Board Exam
It’s not the end of the world.

Failure is a part of life. You will not remember this, but before you could learn to walk, you stumbled, like a LOT. Plenty of theories need to be tested out before we can come to a single conclusion. You would make a lot of decisions in your life that you would rue the day after. Failing a board exam does not mean that it’s the ending in the novel that you call your life. It’s just a day that may not even be a whole chapter.

Own it

Yes, you failed. Big deal. Not! A lot of people fail, and a lot of people stand back up, dust it off, and try again, to borrow from a song by Aaliyah. Tell the people who maybe crowing at you that you did not meet the current guidelines that the professional board set. It’s positive, and it takes away the sting of saying that you, well, did not achieve the standards that the institution determined.

Move on

What To Do If You Failed The Board Exam
The best way to move on is to laugh about it. And try again.

If this is your first time to flunk a major test, you may be tempted to brood and overthink and be all growly. Nobody is perfect, and as my mentor told me, get over yourself. Nobody would remember it, unless you lived like there’s a cloud of doom hanging over you the whole time. Move on and learn where you made mistakes. You can review your board exam results and see which subjects had the most negative impact on your overall score. Then you’ll know which areas you need to improve on.

Try again

You know you can try again, right? Most board certifications would give at least one or two retries for those who did not meet the criteria the first time. Finally, look on the bright side. You’ve already gone through this, so you’ll definitely know what to expect the next time.