Best of luck to everyone receiving their GCSE results today!

These past two years have undoubtedly been a bumpy ride, and this has made lots of us anxious to see how it has affected our GCSE grades.

You may be relieved that you didn’t have to take your exams, or worried about the grades you’ll receive- especially now that it seems like the whole process is out of your control. Whatever your situation is, you should know what to do before the results are announced, as it can be an incredibly stressful period of time under normal circumstances, let alone during a global pandemic!

Firstly, it’s important to realise that it’s completely normal to feel nervous about GCSE results day! Having to wait for results is stressful for most people, so you’re certainly not alone!

1) Before results day, make sure you check with your school about the way you’ll be receiving your grades. In most cases, schools will send you your results in the post or by email, although you may be allowed to go to school to pick them up in person.

If you are receiving your results by email, don’t refresh your inbox repeatedly throughout the day- instead-take a deep breath, have breakfast, and then check your email at the time your results are supposed to arrive. Checking your email before will only make you more anxious.

2) Since worrying will definitely not change your results, make the most out of your summer. During these last few months, you have studied hard, so give yourself a break by watching your favourite movie, playing music, baking a cake, drawing cartoons or taking a walk on the beach. Taking your mind off of results day will help you have a more positive and healthy mindset.

3) If you are feeling overwhelmed about your results make sure you talk to people you trust. As they say: a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes it’s nice to get someone else’s perspective on your concerns too. One method that I usually use when I’m feeling stressed is writing down all my thoughts and feelings on paper- this helps me to clear my mind so that I can rethink my problems more logically.

4) It’s important to make sure that you get plenty of sleep to allow your mind and body to unwind. It’s no use pondering over results day- you have worked really hard for the past 2 years- now you can’t do anything, so relax.

5) Try to keep occupied, and distract yourself – this will stop you from worrying about results day. You could enrol onto an online course, binge-watch a show on Netflix, read a book that you’ve been putting off for a while, or sign up for a Stemettes event.

6) Remind yourself how much time and effort you have spent revising and learning over the past two years. Take a deep breath- you’ve successfully completed your GCSEs. Now that your final results are in your teacher’s hands, you can’t do anything else but relax. Remember as well, that GCSEs are difficult, and regardless of these grades; you have worked hard, learnt valuable lessons, and grown as a person.

7) After results day, it can be really hard to feel satisfied if you haven’t achieved the results that you wanted-but don’t panic- you always have plenty of options. Talk to your teacher if you are unhappy with your grades and ask for their advice on what to do next. You’ll be able to make an appeal or you can decide to sit the optional extra series of GCSE exams in the autumn.

8) Remember that the grades you earn at GCSE aren’t the end of the world. Things usually have a way of working out. With perseverance, hard work, and determination, you can still get to where you want in life, regardless of your GCSE results.

Congratulations on your grades! You’ve worked really hard and you should be extremely proud of yourself for getting through your GCSEs! After results day, take time out to relax and celebrate your achievements.

This article was written by Vindya, a Stemette Society member.

Want to discuss this with other young women in STEM? Why not join the Stemette Society to continue the conversation.

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