How to fail effectively

2015-06-09 06:00

Fight with your parents.

Use phrases like “Of course I am studying, what do you think I am doing?” or, “Relax, Dad, you are far too tense, I have got plenty of time” or “I am on a study break, Mom, no-one can study forever.”

Slam your door; be obnoxious and rude. When your parents leave you alone, you will have succeeded in your mission.


Delay, delay, delay! Find other, nicer things to do, wait until the absolute last minute before starting studying.

Spend longer on your cellphone, in the shower, at the gym, start watching the National Geographic channel because it is “relevant to what I need to be studying, Mom”.

Examine your skin, start a new novel – the thicker the better – procrastinate.

Believe the voices in your head

“You can’t do this, you have never understood it, you never will, so why try?” “I don’t know where to start.”

“Hey relax, you can always pass at the end of the year. June doesn’t count, there is plenty of time.”

“You will always get a low D no matter how hard you try.”

Be disorganised

Ensure that you have lost at least two of your textbooks or notebooks. Be careful not to stick your notes in and definitely not in the correct order.

Ensure that you are unsure what you have to study.

Stay at home in the last few days before you write to catch up on the work you haven’t started to study yet.

Pretend you are studying

Open your textbook, read it occasionally, don’t underline, highlight, write down keywords, revise difficult sections, teach the work back to yourself or use the notes taken in class.

Do it on your bed at an ang­le as close to completely horizontal as you can. Just sort of read your textbook.

Ignore your goals

Better still, don’t have any goals at all, then you can’t be disappointed with your marks.

Think of today only. Tomorrow, manyane, we can worry about becoming a doctor, a physiotherapist, a teacher, a human resource manager, an executive secretary.

Later, not now.

Ignore the obvious

Don’t ask for help with the fact that you freeze up in exams with anxiety.

Tell nobody that you are dealing with emotional issues that make studying difficult or impossible.

Blame someone

Blame anyone. How about the loadshedding? That cold that you can feel coming on, just how bad your History, Science, Technology, Geography teacher is, the exam paper that sucked, the hall that was just too cold… Blame somebody!


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.