When you get a SAC or a test back, what do you usually do? For many of you this is a time to look at your scores and to rejoice or despair. There's always the sharing of scores around the classroom and guessing who has the highest score. Very rarely do you look at the feedback given by the teacher first and digest that. Most of us want that immediate score to know how well we did. But I'm here to tell you that while the score may matter now, the feedback matters in the long run.

This involves knowing what to look for in feedback and asking for help when you need it. Seems easy right? But for many it's just too daunting to go to someone and admit that you have less than stellar scores.

Looking at feedback

The first thing you should do after many of you eagerly check your grades is to read the feedback thoroughly. Then you should look at the test itself, keeping in mind the feedback that they gave. Now you can see where you lost your marks.

After that, if you still are confused, then the teacher is your next best bet. They know the test, after all they're the one who marked it. Ask them a few questions like:

    • Why did I lose a mark here?
    • What needed to be improved overall?
    • What parts did I excel in?

Asking for specifics will help you know what to improve next time.

Asking for help

Now for many, that would be daunting enough, asking for feedback can be embarrassing for some people. But it’s something that you need to learn to do. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the smart kids in your class ask the most obvious questions? And they never seem to be embarrassed about it? It's because they want to clarify that every single morsel of information they receive is absolutely correct. So get into the habit of asking more questions.

Remember, asking for questions now and possibly feeling dumb is better than not knowing the question during the exam and getting a bad score that could have been easily avoided.

How about help outside of school?

So asking for help in your exams and tests is one thing, but asking for help with your friendships, relationships and everything in between is really hard sometimes. You might feel alone sometimes. And that you shouldn't ask for help.

Remember, it's okay to ask for help.

Find someone you trust, a family member, a friend, even a teacher and confide in them; sometimes that might be enough. But if it isn't, you can get their point of view, their wisdom and their knowledge.

If you feel like there is no one to talk to, services such as Kids Helpline are there for you when you feel like you have no one.

Everyone asks for help

All these people, the smart ones, your teachers, your parents, and everyone you know has asked for help. The most successful people needed others to help them succeed. Asking for help and knowing when to help yourself is one of the most important life skills to learn.

So it's best to start now, and never be afraid or ashamed, it's better to ask for help now, than to have wished you asked for it before.