I have an exam system which tells the examinee whether they have passed or failed. This is displayed in the form of a title, and descriptive text below. A failure is not necessarily a big deal, as they may very well have the opportunity to retry at another point though this is not guaranteed.

A passed exam displays Congratulations in prominent letters and the related text.

For failed exams I chose Commiserations after wracking my brains. However, I'm unhappy with this as I feel it implies sadness or loss. Though I could perhaps be convinced otherwise.

Other options I considered were Sorry which felt too personal, Exam Failed which felt too blunt, and Try Again which may not apply depending on circumstance.

What other options have I missed that might be considered an appropriate antonym to Congratulations?

  • 1
    "Loser"! (I'm kidding, of course). Don Nov 7, 2016 at 18:25
  • You could use sorry, it's not as personal as you think. If you were to ask a sales assistant for an item the business does not stock they might well say "I'm sorry we don't have that". Similarly a hotel receptionist might say "I'm sorry we do not have a room for tonight"
    – BoldBen
    Dec 8, 2016 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


I think you should just say it straight. Any dressing up probably won't be appreciated.

"You have not passed this time".

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