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How to Deal with Results Day Stress

The lead up to Results Day can be a stressful period. If you are someone who already suffers with anxiety or other mental health issues, it can be especially tense. 

For most there is no way to completely overcome the stress and anxiety associated with exam results – your successful university application depends on them, after all. We have compiled a list of tips and techniques for you to use and help yourself through this period. Not all of these tips will be right for you, so pick and choose the ones that you think will work:

1. Talk to the people around you

Do not bottle up your feelings. Chances are there are people you know who will be willing to listen and empathise with you. Mental health issues are not uncommon among students so you will likely know others who are struggling, or teachers who have helped students in the past. Your parents or older relatives may have also felt the same sort of emotions waiting for their results.  

2. Plan for the best, and worst, outcomes

Unfortunately, exams do not always go to plan, and there is a possibility that you will fall short of the grades you need for your university choices. Make sure you are clued up on the ins and outs of what to do on Results Day and UCAS Clearing, but d not dwell on the worst-case scenario. Think of a way to celebrate with friends and family if you do get the results you need.

3. Keep up with your normal routine

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Try to keep up with your day-to-day routine as best
you can.

Try not to let waiting for your exams take over your summer. If you have hobbies you do regularly, keep up with them, and try to stick with any plans you’ve made, such as holidays. Keeping yourself as busy as possible is the perfect way to distract yourself from exam results.

4. Make sure you’re in the country for Results Day (and for a few days after)

Being in a different country for the exam results period can create unnecessary complications. It can make it more difficult obtaining your results and contacting universities if you need to go through Clearing.

You will also lose out on advice from teachers and advisers, and, if things go well, the chance to celebrate with your friends.

5. Have someone with you when you collect your results

This could be a parent, sibling, friend or even a teacher. It is important to have someone with you on the day to offer reassurance, talk through options if your results are not what you wanted or, hopefully, celebrate your success with.

6. On the other hand…don’t feel like you have to open your results with friends or share what you got

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Finding out your results with friends can be fun, but 
don't fell like you have to do it!

On Results Day, there can be a lot of peer pressure to open results at the same time and share what you got with everyone around you.

This can be nerve-wracking, especially if your friends are celebrating good results and you have fallen short of what you wanted. To avoid this potential scenario, you can collect your results and open them at home.

Alternatively, many schools and colleges will publish results online or offer a text results service.

Finally, just because your friends are sharing their results with you, that does not mean you have to tell them what you got if you don’t want to.

7. Don’t compete with others or compare your results to other students'

A feature of Results Day now is students sharing their results on social media. This can lead to you comparing your results unfavourably to the results others have achieved.

It may help to avoid social media completely for a few days. Failing that, just remember that your success is not dependent on how well other people do. If you got BBB and you know you worked hard for those grades, your friend getting AAA does not make your achievement any less impressive.

Judge your success by your own standards and not those of other people.

For additional advice on mental health issues, you can contact one of many charities or organisations, including:

Find out how to prepare for Clearing and Adjustment.