Coping with anxiety about Results Day

by Anita Naik

At last, GCSE and A-level seasons are coming to an end, and it's time for students (and parents) to sit back and take a sigh of relief. However, with the end comes the agonising wait for results. If you or your child feel anxious about results day and what happens next, here's how to feel calmer.

Take a deep breath

Feeling anxious about results day is normal, and it's a positive sign that you care about your exams and your future. However, if you're anxious about your exam performance, it's important to put this into perspective. It's a waste of time to keep revisiting what you did and didn't do. So, take a deep breath and focus on the present and future.

What helps is to channel those nerves into activities that allow you to feel a sense of control in your life. Maybe take up an exercise regime, get a summer job, or even plan a trip away with friends. At the very least, ensure you have a routine; otherwise, it's easy to spiral into staying awake all night and sleeping all day.

Get informed about what happens next

Knowing what happens next is another way to feel a sense of control and feel less anxious.

A level results day is Thursday, 18 August 2022.

GCSE results day is Thursday, 25 August 2022.

For students in Scotland, the results day is Tuesday, 9 August 2022.

All students should receive results from around 10 am (though check with your school for more details).

Know your post results options

For A levels, results day can be stressful, so make sure you know what happens and what you must do.

Firstly have your UCAS application sign-in details ready so you can determine whether you have a place at the university of your choice or need to go through UCAS clearing.

Be around on results day because UCAS and universities will only be able to speak to you about your application details (unless you have already given someone nominated access, contact UCAS to find out how to do this.

GCSE results also come by email or at your school. Once you have them, if you are happy with the grade and intend to continue down the academic route, you will need to do A levels or an equivalent qualification. You can do this at your school, Sixth Form College or a Further Education College.

Students who are unhappy with their grades and have either been unsuccessful in their appeal or chose not to appeal will have the opportunity to sit an examination in the following summer series in 2023. English language and mathematics will be available to re-sit in the November 2022 exam series.

As usual, all students will be able to appeal their grades.

Talk to someone

If you're upset, anxious, or worried about your future, it can help to talk to someone you trust about how you feel. Talk to a teacher or tutor you trust if you don't want to confide in your parents for fear of letting them down. Talking about your worries can help you see things differently.

Teachers and tutors can give you tried and tested ideas about how to cope or help reassure you that things are not as bleak as you may think. Plus, talking to someone means you don't have to deal with it alone, making hard feelings more manageable.

Childline is there to help anyone up to the age of 19 years; call 0800 1111

Family Lives offers a confidential and free* helpline service on 0808 800 2222 for emotional support, information, advice and guidance.

For more help, see our blog posts on How to look after your mental health, Post A level options | where to go from results day and everything you need to know about retaking your GCSEs and A levels.