I failed IIT JEE. Got an abysmal score in BITSAT, AIEEE and Maharashtra CET. Its not that I had not tried hard, and I won't be playing the blame games on anyone but the truth is "I had failed".
I was very disappointed and so were my parents, and I felt somewhere I have let them down. I was low on confidence.
I had to prove my myself, and earn my family's confidence back.
After my admission, I did only I thing, "I enjoyed", I kept my spirits high and started to learn to acquire knowledge and did not care about exam scores. I learned to understand. I didn't study much, but I studied just enough to understand how exactly a particular thing works. I stopped focusing on the curriculum and more on expanding the breadth of my knowledge, and working on practical applications instead of rote learning.
- I was in top 2 teams at inter-college level for Infosys CampusConnect Aspirations2020.
- I got "decent" marks at first, and started being somewhat consistently in the top 5 students in my department.
- I got through Google Summer of Code twice (2011 and 2012).
- I was in the organizing committee for my college festival.
- I got an awesome job just couple of days after my final exam in a US-based company. I later worked at IITB on a government project and am currently working in a startup founded by IITB alumni.
- I have conducted workshops and sessions at various colleges on Python and open source technologies in general at colleges all over Mumbai including University of Mumbai.
"People now know me not because of my ranks/scores, but because of my work and knowledge, and that is all that matters in the end, my knowledge. Period."
P.S.: original answer on Quora here.