When we talk about ‘exam stress’, we often think about revising or taking exams, but stress around results day is common too. To manage this anxiety, it’s important to explore a few strategies that might help.
Right now, it may seem that all you can do is worry about the dreaded day – it’s very common to feel this way, especially when there are two months between the end of exams and results. That gap can give you a lot of time to overthink and worry. Feeling some level of stress is a completely natural reaction, but if it becomes persistent, it’s important to take action to stop these nerves from affecting your health and well-being.
Here's a couple of different ways that could help you reduce your exam stress:
- It’s good to talk to someone when you feel worried about your exam results or your future. Whether it is your parent/carer, friend or even a staff member, discuss your thoughts and emotions when you feel troubled. For example, they might be able to reassure you about how much revision you did and how well you have performed in past exams, or normalise the situation. After all, we’ve all been through this so some wisdom might make you feel better than you think it will.
- Try and keep yourself busy by distracting yourself. For example, give yourself a project to complete over the summer, find a new hobby and make sure to have fun with your friends. If you keep yourself busy, you have less time to sit and dwell on your thoughts.
- We understand that getting a good night’s sleep may seem difficult because of your nerves, but it is important to try your hardest to get into a good routine of getting a good quality night’s sleep. If you do find yourself lying awake worrying, try to distract yourself by reading a book or even try using a free sleep meditation app.
- Also why not make a plan for results day? Think about all the possible outcomes and jot them down. Then, write down a potential plan for each of those outcomes. For example, if you were to get your expected grades, what would happen? And if you got lower than expected, what would then be your next steps? This can help you to recognise that there are options and a future, regardless of the result.
- Challenge your thoughts in an exercise called ‘take your thought to court’. If you find yourself having thoughts like ‘I’ve failed’ or ‘I won’t get the grades I need’, these are negative assumptions you are making. Try to think of all the concrete evidence – evidence that is factual that a lawyer might use in a courtroom – and see if you can come up with anything to support that assumption. You’ll soon find there isn’t any real evidence right now that that’s true, so it wouldn’t make sense to make that assumption.
With all of this in mind, we want to give a massive well done to all students for all the time you’ve spent studying, for your dedication and for your hard work. We wish you all best of luck on your results!
Some helpful information:
· What to expect on A level results day: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/applying-for-university/getting-into-university/what-to-do-on-a-level-results-day
· University offers: what does my UCAS status mean: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/results-confirmation-and-clearing/results/what-your-application-status-means#-what-your-status-in-your-application-means-and-what-to-do-next
· A levels: information about clearing https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/results-confirmation-and-clearing/what-clearing
· GCSEs: Understanding my grades and options https://www.aqa.org.uk/student-and-parent-support/results-day