30 Sep 2021

What To Do When You’re Results Aren’t What You Expected


Most Importantly… Do Not Panic

… I repeat, do not panic. The first and most important piece of advice we can give you is to not panic. Everything happens for a reason and you will learn and grow from this experience. This will help you understand more about the best ways for you to learn and succeed.

There are a few things you can consider to help achieve the grades you want/need now.


Fear not, for GCSE’s, A-Levels and BTEC’s, you have the option to resit your exams. Sometimes the exam pressure gets to you, a question throws you off or you’re having a bad day and all the information you’ve been revising and cramming just leaves your brain! If this happens, don’t panic, you have the opportunity to resit.

Try to identify what went wrong the first time around so you can avoid making the same mistake again.

Be aware, if you are resitting your exams in Autumn, this will mean you won’t be able to start your university course in September as you won’t get your results until December. Check to see if the university can offer a January start instead, otherwise, make sure you are all set to start the following September.

Appeal Your Grade

If you think that exam went better for you, chat to your teachers or the exam board and see if you can appeal your grades. Be aware, whilst your grades could go up, they could also go down, so make sure you are confident before requesting an appeal. Your teachers should be able to advise you on if appealing is the best route to go.

If you decide to appeal your grade and your applying for a university or college, make sure you keep them updated with what’s going on and ask if they can hold your place whilst you wait for your new results.

For more information on appealing, take a look here >>

Exams Aren’t For Everyone

Not everyone is great at tests and exams. Some people thrive under the pressure of exams, but not everyone does. Take some time to see if there is a similar course that will help you progress towards the career you want without any exams.

Take a look at UCAS for more information about the different courses available to you >>

If you are determined to resit or complete a course with exams, then take a look at advice for remaining calm in exams. There are lot’s of articles out there to help with exam anxiety. I really like this article from Oxford Open Learning >>

Research Other Routes

For many STEM careers, there’s more than one route to get into this field. Take some time to yourself to research other people’s routes into your dream career or perfect course. A great way to do this is to start reaching out to people in these careers or on these courses. For this, I would recommend LinkedIn and connecting with people and sending them a message explaining your situation and that you are just looking for advice – what’s the worst that’s going to happen?! They will ignore you, in which case move onto someone else.

Talking to people about your situation and your plans is the only way to get advice. So don’t be hide this away, talk to your family, friends and teachers and see if they can offer you advice or if they know anyone they can connect you with to help.

Whatever happens on results day, do not panic. This is not a reflection of who you are as a person and it does not define you. Use this time to learn about yourself, connect with others and take time to reflect on your goals and the way you learn. You will soon bounce back stronger and wiser.

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