Advice for after the exam
You’ve just come out of the exam room. Your exam is over, you’ve finished, you’ve done it! So how do you feel? Did the exam go well? Do you feel happy that you have played as well as you could or disappointed, upset, feeling you messed up and that you let yourself down?
A music exam or indeed any performance, is a snap shot in time, it’s a peak moment. Straight after this peak moment of intense focus along with adrenalin, you’ll be in a heightened state with a wide range of emotions. You might feel happy, sad, upset, exhilarated or more, and you may find your feelings are much more extreme than in your normal everyday life. This is absolutely fine and in fact, this is normal! This is what every performer experiences in some way or another, whether they are a musician playing in an orchestra, an actor in a play or a footballer playing an important game. If you are aware of this, it can really help you look after yourself straight after the exam.
Realise too that you may not be able to absorb any constructive feedback straight after the exam to take it in effectively. Most people just want to know that it went well and that they did ok. After a few days, or when you get the result with the report form, this would be the time to get together with your teacher, talk about what went well, what didn’t, what you can improve on for another time and how you go about that. Be careful not to focus too much on the negatives, but instead learn from them and use them as a launch pad for improving in the future.
One of the best ways of managing the time just after the exam and supporting yourself is to do something normal, ordinary and totally unrelated. This can help you regain perspective and refocus. You are more likely to see the value of the exam in a wider context, as an opportunity to learn and move forwards.