Coping with Exam Results Stress - Supporting learners with disappointment

What can be done?

The media attention paid to A-Level and GCSE results is considerable. Learners who have not achieved the grades they needed or expected can often feel that this amplifies those who got better grades. It is important not to pay attention to the overall reports, but rather the news and information about options and choices.

Learners who feel disappointed must take a moment to absorb their feelings. It is important to remain calm and remember there are other options.

Considerable help is available from media outlets on the day, including the BBC TV, radio and web services.

Can I Resit?

It may be possible to re-sit your exams next summer. Before re-sitting, however, it is important to seek the view of your teachers and other educators.

Do keep in mind that resits can be challenging as your friends may move on to the next level of education. So, it is always worth considering other options as well.

Can I get the Qualifications I need without resit?

There are always other routes to getting the qualifications you need. You might, for example, want to explore the Technical and Professional Qualification offered by your school or local College. You might hear people talk about BTECs, but these are often called Diplomas or Certificates at Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) or Level 3 (A-Level) equivalent.

Schools, College and Job Centres in Northern Ireland have careers advisors to help you understand these routes. Get as much information as you can, from as many sources as you can, before making a final choice.

If you cannot access your original Higher Education course, then do consider alternatives, such as Higher Level Apprenticeships, Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas. These are often offered by local Colleges. Places for these will fill up fast, so make enquiries quickly to ensure you don’t lose out on options.

Could I take a Gap Year?

Some people choose to take a gap year to take stock and increase their life experiences. Think carefully about this option and look into gap year facts before jumping to this choice.

You can, in many cases, return to the options above after your gap year.