Unlimited Access to Online Course Modules at a Click
Learn More

So What if You Didn’t Clear the Cutoff - How to Deal With Failure & Next Steps

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: October 08, 2021

So, you were not able to clear the cut off. How do you deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with it? What are the next steps you can take? This article attempts to answer all of your questions.

So What if You Didn’t Clear the Cutoff - How to Deal With Failure & Next Steps

Whether you are a student aspiring for BTech Admissions or appearing for an MBA entrance exam, clearing the cutoff is always on your mind. However, a large number of students find that they are unable to clear the cutoff.

Around 9.34 lakh students appeared for the JEE Main exam  2021. Out of these, only the top 2.5 lakh candidates will qualify the cutoff to appear in JEE Advanced. Meanwhile, the DU First Round cutoffs were also announced recently on October 1 and the cutoffs for some colleges went as high as 100%.

After investing so much time and effort in exam preparation, not clearing the cutoff can bring in anxiety, nervousness and loss of confidence for any student. However, instead of focusing on the negative, it is best to treat it as a learning opportunity and move on.

Failure Helps Us Learn From Our Mistakes

Having big aspirations motivates you to become better every day. While the competition for entrance exams can get stressful, it does give us the confidence to improve and show our own worth. Even peer pressure, so commonly disregarded as a bad thing, motivates us to do better in a classroom environment.

However, when we fail at our aspirations, it can usher in feelings of not being worthy. But facing failure and how we deal with it also makes us better in life. It is not just our achievements. And you are not alone in feeling dejected at failure, everybody does. From school students to even the most successful CEOs.

5 Healthy Ways to Deal With Not Clearing the Cut Off

If you were unable to clear the cutoff for your entrance exam or favourite college, you may be dealing with issues stemming from failure. In such as case, it is best to adopt healthy ways to cope with failure. Here are 5 ways that will help you deal with failure.

1. Accepting Your Emotions: The first and foremost step is to acknowledge your feelings. Instead of just pushing all of the negative emotions down, it is better to embrace them. Remember that you are a human being and all of us feel bad when we fail.

2. Do What Makes You Happy: Whether it is talking to friends or family, going to your favourite place in the city, eating your favourite meal or indulging in a hobby, try doing what makes you happy. It is not even necessary to just express your emotions to anyone immediately if you don't want to. You can give yourself time to process and understand what you are going through.

3. Don't Take it Personally: Failure is something that we all experience at some point or the other. I have attended 5 SSB interviews and never got recommended. At the end of every interview, we were reminded that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan were only some of the great personalities who were not recommended by the SSB.

4. Find Lessons in Failure: Every time we fail, it presents us with a learning opportunity. By understanding why we failed, we can find ways to improve and gear up for success. Walt Disney felt that facing failure made you more aware and decreased your fear.

5. Talk to a Mental Health Professional: All of the guides and motivational speeches available on the internet are no replacement for a professional. Sometimes it is better to just seek professional advice.

What Should You Do If You Don't Clear the Cut Off

It is not the end of the world if you were not able to clear the cutoff and qualify. There are still plenty of options available whether you are a student or a working professional. Here are 5 options you can choose if you do not clear the cutoff.

1. Go For a College with Lower Cutoff

If you weren't able to clear the cutoff for a college, check what other options are available to you. There might be good college options available with your score. Even if you aren't dead set on joining another college, explore other options before anything else. You may just be able to find a college that matches all your requirements. 

2. Appear for a Different Entrance Exam

For some courses, students may have the option to appear for different entrance exams for admission. In some instances, individual colleges and universities conduct their own entrance exams through which you can gain admission.

3. Opt for Direct Admissions through Management Quota

There are many private colleges that offer direct admissions based on the qualifying exam score. Direct admissions are available for almost all courses. If possible, this can be a good option for many students.

4. Opt For a Different Course

Choosing the right course is very important. We often see that students go for a course simply because of parental pressure or because their friends are going for it. However, if a student has chosen a course that they have a passion and aptitude for, they can not only excel in it but also easily clear the cutoff. Hence, proper research is mandated before applying for admission. 

Not doing proper research or going just by the spoken word can prove to be detrimental. In fact, there are many instances where vocational courses give better returns than an MBA but students still would choose an MBA over the former.

5. Drop a Year or Go for Lateral Entry

Dropping a year can be a difficult decision to make. Some students have found it beneficial and it has helped them improve their rank while others advise against it. However, instead of focusing on external advice, just focus on your needs and requirements when making this decision. Dropping a year can provide you with the chance to focus solely on your preparation with the added benefit of working on your mental health if needed.

For students who do not want to take this route, going for a diploma course can be beneficial. Such students can target lateral entry admissions after completing their diploma. A diploma course can help build up the basic practical and theoretical knowledge of the student, thus improving their chances of selection in lateral entry admissions.

6. Revaluate Your Career Goals and Expectations

Did you know that there is a scientific way to find out the right career for yourself based on your personality type? Depending on how our brain works and how we perceive the world, we can be perfectly suited for a type of profession. However, this is often overlooked in front of the expectations that we may have from ourselves or others may have from us. Searching for your passion can be tough but once you find it, you will be able to go on a journey that you truly love.

7. Talk To a Counsellor

If you are confused about how you want to proceed, talking to a career counsellor is a no-brainer. With counselling, you can become aware of options that you may be otherwise unaware of. A counsellor can also help guide you towards the right path based on one-on-one interactions. 

Not clearing the cut off is a bad feeling but it does not make you a bad student. There are plenty of options available. Just give yourself some time and have confidence in yourself. 

If you feel the need to connect with an anxiety/stress management expert, call us at 90528-90528 or write to us at seeksupport@collegedekho.com


Be the First to Know

Get Access to Latest Updates

View All Questions

Related Questions

Does NIMS University offers PG Diploma in Hotel Management?

-shivani sharmaUpdated on November 27, 2021 05:09 PM
  • 2 Answers
Yash Dhamija, Student / Alumni

Dear Student

Yes, NIMS University, Jaipur offers PG Diploma in Hotel Management. The duration of the program is 2 years. If you have completed a bachelor's degree with at least 50% marks (45% marks in case of candidates belonging to the reserved category) then you can apply for this program. The program fee is INR 30,000. You can apply for admission in the PG Diploma in Hotel Management at NIMS University by filling the application form available on the college website. You can also apply for admissions at NIMS University by filling our Common Application Form.

If have ...


Is BSc nursing admission are still open in K.J. Somaiya School And College of Nursing?

-sannu vinod sharmaUpdated on November 04, 2021 07:08 PM
  • 3 Answers
Rahul Raj, Student / Alumni

Dear student,

The admission for the current academic year is closed at K.J. Somaiya School And College of Nursing.

If you want to apply for the course and need any admission-related information and assistance, please fill our Common Application Form and avail expert assistance throughout the admission process. You can also try our toll-free student helpline number - 1800-572-9877 to get instant assistance.

Thank you


Can I take admission in GNM course when my age is 35 years?

-AmrinUpdated on October 24, 2021 07:19 AM
  • 2 Answers
Rahul Raj, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

No, you are not eligible to enrol in the GNM programme. Most colleges have a minimum age requirement of 17 years and the maximum limit to apply is 30 years. If you have any more questions or would want to learn more about the GNM, please complete our common application form and one of our education specialists will contact you and provide you with all of the necessary information. If you have any further questions or concerns, you can call our toll-free number 1800-572-9877 for FREE counselling.

Thank you


Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now

Join us and get exclusive education updates!