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That day that everyone dreads is fast approaching:  A level and GSCE results day.  This year could be particularly stressful as the press has already painted a rather gloomy picture of what to expect.  Sadly, the anticipation ruins the holiday for many young people and their families.  The stress of needing certain grades can play on their minds all summer.  Luckily for many, they will open the envelope and wonder why they allowed themselves to get so wound up. They will survive results day with a smile and a celebration.

But there will be those who sadly will not get the grades they were so desperately hoping for.  The disappointment for some will be overwhelming.  For some they will feel that they have no options and that they have no control at all over their future.  Despondency and a feeling of worthlessness could kick in.

Here are some tips that could help you survive results day:

  1. Have a plan B

If you think you could be disappointed on the day, you need to have at least one alternative option.  What you do not want to do is simply grab the next thing that comes along.  Stop.  Think.  Look around.  And ask others for guidance, help and opinions.

  1. Go to School

I am always amazed at the number of pupils who do not go and collect their grades personally from school.  If the grades are not quite what was hoped for, there are always staff on hand who can offer immediate advice and support.  The school will want to the best for their pupils and will be able to give sound, objective guidance as to what the next steps could be.  But to sit at home, worrying about the future will not help.  Use the expertise that the school has.

  1. Be open to alternatives

There are times when disappointing grades reveal other opportunities that had not been considered. But you must be willing to hear these.  Disappointing grades can be the sign that the chosen degree or A level options where possibly not in your best interest. Have a read of this blog about starting a new academic year.

  1. A word about remarks

Yes, if you were genuinely expecting a grade much higher than you were awarded, a grade enquiry or a remark could be an option.  But do not sit back and wait.  Apply for the remark but set plan B in motion as well.  There are no guarantees with a remark.  But again, this is a good reason to be at school on results day.  Your teachers can explore with you whether the remark is worth it in the first place.

  1. You are not the grade

Just because the result is not what you wanted or expected, it does not mean you are a failure.  It was just an exam.  You are more than an exam and a sheet of paper with numbers and letters.  See it as an opportunity.

One final option

There is the small possibility that you have might have to go back to the drawing board and rethink everything.  There are some A level students who redo 1 or more A levels and then re-apply.  You might even be one of those who has to rethink everything including career options. This is when using a career counselling service might be a really useful option.

Good luck to all of you! Your future awaits!