What to Remember During Exam Results Week

In the UK we are approaching to those exam results for those that may have taken their GCSE’s and those with their A-Levels. Although this last year has been extremely difficult and exams are not how they usually are, it still is a stressful time. Therefore, I want to share things to remember during exam results week.

Of course these tips I am sharing can be applied universally as well, I just wanted to make it clear that I am from the UK so if I refer to anything specifically that will be because of my exam experience here. Also if you are struggling then please head over to Young Minds as they have a variety of resources, articles including how to cope with stress and support available – it is ok to ask for help.

person using macbook pro on table
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What is my experience with exams?

I would like to think that I have done my fair share of exams, and trust me when I say that for me personally they never got easier and I hate exams. When I compare my coursework grades to my exam grades it is so different, however at this moment in time we don’t have another system to grade people of what they know (apart from the coursework and of course during a time where exams haven’t been set)

I have completed GCSE’s, A-Levels, a Degree and a Masters all of which had exams in their own right. I know though that things have changed during the pandemic to which no exams are sat and students are being awarded on their merits throughout the year from teachers. However, it doesn’t make this time/week any less stressful especially when your future relies on these results. For example, it could be you are going to University or you might be hoping to get into a Sixth form (or something similar depending on your Country).

It is important to try and calm those nerves and stresses, look after your mental health and well-being and I will share below my top things to remember during exam results week.

Distractions can be good

Of course it is tense when you know results are coming up, but it is important to remember during exam results week that diving into things you love doing is a positive way of keeping those worries at bay. For example, hanging out with friends, playing video games or doing anything else you love.

Also if you are extremely anxious then please do not be afraid of opening up to others around you. So many people are in the same situation or feeling the same way, so talk about it and then ensure you do things you enjoy doing to help you relax.

Exam results do not determine success

Sometimes in our life we don’t always get what we want and at the time it might feel like the end of the world but we all have setbacks. However, there are other ways to showcase your skills and talents that can still get that University place or whatever it is you need.

The truth is success is not just determined by grades but success comes in different forms and sizes. If you keep working hard towards your goals you will get there.

wood dawn coffee cup. Plus what to remember during exam results. Revising and notes on paper.
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Map out all your options

Linking to the point above your results may lead to a change of plan, and this could make you feel confused/emotional especially if you had one route/plan you wanted to take.

However, it’s important to remember during exam results that you should take the time to sit down and just map out every potential path you could take. It could be that you may have not got the results you wanted but you can still stick to your plan. If this is not possible then just mind map other options you have.

It could be that there are opportunities to resit, you could take a gap year to figure things out, choose an alternative course, go to a different University, think about potential jobs or internships you could take and the list goes on. Make sure that when you map out your options you include the positives and negatives but also skills and support you will need.

I know it is hard when you feel like you cannot do the course you wanted so it might even help to write down the pros and cons of this too. I think in life for us to overcome / lose things we have to acknowledge what we have lost.

Be kind to yourself

Something that is a priority to remember during exam results week is to be kind to yourself. When we don’t get the things we want it can be easy to fall into a trap of telling ourselves that “I always mess up” or “I knew I would fail” or “this always happens to me”.

But remember that you are only human. We all make mistakes and then we learn and grow, and again success is not determined by your results. So be kind to yourself, tell yourself not to give up and that you will do whatever it take to get to where you want to go. Treat yourself like you would your best friend.

Make the time for self-care

Another top priority to remember during exam results whatever you get is to make time to look after yourself. Practicing good self-care is essential for when you may be feeling anxious about the future.

This should include ensuring you are eating, sleeping, talking about how you feel, scheduling time for what you enjoy or even making time for friends.

laptop with copybook and cup of coffee on bed sheet
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

There you have it some things to remember during exam results week, and I hope these bring some peace and let you know it is ok. But if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed then do talk or open up to those around you or seek further support, never go through this in silence.

Remember during exam results week that if you do need further support then check out the following (and also at the beginning of my post):

Samaritans – Talk to a volunteer for free and in confidence, 24/7.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading,

Gemma Jayne x

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Author: gemmaajaynee

24 year old just wanting to write with her spare time.

18 thoughts

  1. These are all such important things to remember! I got my GCSE results last year and I found distractions were really helpful, particularly as we had to wait longer than usual. Thanks for sharing x

  2. Exam results aren’t the be all and end all at the end of the day, someone’s worth or how smart someone is shouldn’t be determined by a grade. Personally I didn’t go to university and I was academic and considered ‘brainy’ but it was my choice. I studied for a year when I left school and got an extra qualification and I don’t regret it. If I decide to study down the track it is always there and I’d be doing it because I want to not because I feel forced or because it’s what people should do. Parents, teachers and friends can subconsioucly pressure students but life is about more than exam results. If someone works hard and enjoys learning and wants to continue that’s more important. Work ethic is just as important 🙂

    1. Absolutely love this! I agree, I studied both my degree and masters because I love education and learning and that is where I wanted to further my career in Psychology and that is my choice and no one else’s! But I am sooo bad at exams and yet that doesn’t mean I am not worthy of all my achievements! Thank you for your comment ☺️ xx

  3. OMG I was terrible at exams! I often aced all my projects and presentations and barely got through my hand written tests! I have bad intuition when it comes to tests and second guess myself! These are fab tips!! Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. Yesss me too! Coursework or anything else I got great grades for and then exams I was the complete opposite and I just don’t think it reflects me truly! Thank you lovely xx

  4. Results definitely don’t determine success- you might have made tonnes of progress which is a much better measure of how well you’re doing 🙂 thank you!

  5. Great tips! I didn’t go to University but I remember my GCSE’s and A Levels quite well; although it’s been a LOOONG time since I had to do them! I actually used to enjoy revising but it’s so important to not over-do it and forget to look after yourself as well x

    1. Yeah it has been a long time when I think about it too haha! So did I, I love learning and education but naturally I just wasn’t great in exams. Coursework and other means of getting grades I aced- just exams I sucked 🤣 xx

  6. Great post. I was probably a bit strange as I loved exams! I loved revising and putting the work in. It’s been a long time since I did mine but I did enjoy it. I got decent grades in the end. But it didn’t matter as I ended up having a career in the company I worked at part time during uni, haha!

    Corinne x

    1. I mean I just naturally was not good at exams but any other form of assessments I aced so it was weird! But I did love learning and revising. That is great, sometimes that is the thing you find your career in other ways ☺️ x

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