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A Level Results: Anxiety vs Opportunity

July 20, 2021

The big day is fast approaching. With just a day to go before the release of A level exam results and GCSE's soon to follow, you may be starting to feel a little bit nervous. My best advice is that whatever mixture of emotions you are feeling, do not allow yourself to panic, that goes for students and parents! 

Exam results, if they are not what you were hoping for, will not define you, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore regardless of what your results sheet says. Many students will be over the moon, others may have hoped to for better grades and some more may be confused and concerned about where to go next. My advice is to think carefully about your main goals and then go from there.

Managing disappointment

It is true that it is easier to get into university with good results, but there is a whole range of options you can pursue if things don’t go your way on results day. 

I believe that disappointment or even failure is an opportunity to rethink your options and begin again. I work with many students who are confused and despondent with their results and feel like they have no options. There are always alternatives.  Stepping back, re-evaluating and seeking a fresh approach will enable you to see things more clearly and with a fresh perspective. You can turn this disappointment into success.

Making plans for the future

What you decide to do next will depend on you as an individual and what drives you. What you are hoping to study, or the area you would like to begin working in, should inform how you tackle this challenge. Think about other ways you could build up your CV and your skillset and be proactive!

For some students, it can be very beneficial to take a gap year. Far from being just about travelling and partying, as it is perceived by many parents, a gap year can be an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones. Most universities and employers are now looking for a varied and interesting CV and your experiences will have just as much an impact on how you are perceived by potential employers than just exam grades and university degrees. With the right experience, you can still secure the future you want.

On the other hand, it might be more suitable for you to begin applying for internships or work experience in your chosen field. You could consider volunteering in a relevant organisation or somewhere that would require you to use similar skills. Weekend jobs can also be a great way to improve your CV if you are also studying. These experiences all demonstrate your determination and intentions to employers and universities, whilst giving you a chance to see if that job or subject is really what you want to do.

Outside advice

If you feel like the pressure is too much or if panic is beginning to set in, it can be helpful to seek outside advice. Unfortunately, many schools place a huge amount of importance on exams and offer very little after-care for students who don’t manage to get their predicted grades. At this time, it is vital that students have someone experienced to turn to who can help them manage their emotions and outlook. An impartial expert with no vested emotional interest will help bring focus, clarity and motivation.

I have many years’ experience helping students who struggle with exam results and often it just takes one session for them to gain more clarity and feel in control. I can help you build confidence, gain clarity and take control of your future.  Whilst anxiety and stress at this time is normal, it is possible to approach the future with positivity and enthusiasm.  

I will help you develop a step-by-step program which will allow you to see beyond your current confusion or anxiety and put in place a strategy for moving forward with confidence.  We will focus on your key skills and ambitions and this will help you to progress onto the next stage of your education or career.  The process is personalised to each individual and is centered on practical advice. I am very proud to have helped many students on their way to becoming happy and fulfilled adults, and you can check out some of their comments on my testimonials page.

I cannot stress enough that exam results are not the only things that matter, even though it can seem that way at the moment. Life is what you make it and these exams are just are just one stepping stone on the path to achieving your long-term goals. Whatever happens on results day, you will be fine. 

Finally, you are not defined by your exam grades, but by your values and how you are as a person; your strengths and determination will see you through any obstacles that are put in your way in your journey through life.

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