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Taking the stress out of results day

By: Bill Thrall

Results day is nearly upon us, and if you work in the field of education, you’ll be well aware of how stressful this period can be for students who have just completed their A-levels.

Whether you’re a student, parent or a teacher, we’ve compiled a list of tips and strategies to help those waiting for their results get through with minimal stress.

Get plenty of rest

Everything feels worse when you’re tired, so in the few days leading up to results day, try and relax and get plenty of rest. If results haven’t gone your way, you’ll cope much better if you’re feeling fresh.

Ensure your phone is charged

If you get the results you wanted, you’re going to want to share your good news with someone. If you’ve just missed out on the required grades for your preferred university course, you should call them, as they might still accept you. Then there’s clearing and adjustment to consider too, so make sure that phone is charged.

Listen to music and exercise

While you’re waiting for your results, or for UCAS Track to update, a bit of your favourite music can help keep your mind occupied and calm. Also, if you’re finding the wait is shredding your nerves, try going for a walk or a run – exercise is great for the mind, body, and soul!

Eat well

As well as getting rest, make sure you have a good breakfast on the day. If you do have to make a few phone calls, or feel stressed about not getting the grades you wanted, the last thing you’ll want is to feel light headed on top of it all.

Have your UCAS details to hand, and a pen and paper.

If your status hasn’t been updated on UCAS Track by mid-morning, you should contact your university to see if they have made a decision. Be sure to let them know that you’re an offer holder in this circumstance, and not calling for clearing. If you either don’t make the grade, or exceed your grades, then you might want to enter clearing or adjustment. Either way, you’ll need your details ready.

Know about Clearing and Adjustment

You can find out more about clearing in our downloadable Clearing Handbook. If you’ve received higher grades than you anticipated, you will be eligible to register for adjustment in UCAS Track. You would only do this, however, if you wanted to apply for another course or university that required the higher grades. You can find out more about adjustment here.

Prepare for all outcomes

All being well, you’re going to get the grades you aimed for, but should you fall short of what you needed for your chosen university course, it need not be the end of the world.  In some cases, if you’ve only just missed out on the grades you needed, you might still be accepted. You will also have your insurance choice to fall back on.

It might be that you exceed your required results. In this situation, you’ll be eligible for Adjustment, and will have the opportunity to apply for a different course that has higher entry requirements.

Just in case of the worst-case scenario, make sure you’re aware of the Clearing process, as this will give you an extra chance of going to uni by offering you alternative courses.

Take a friend or family member with you

If you’re heading off to school or college to collect your results, ask a friend or family member to go with you. Should the results not be what you wanted, you’ll have someone to reassure you that all will be ok – and it will be ok, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time! If you do get the grades you needed, you’ll have someone there to share that special moment.

You might be thinking, why me?

Don’t worry, and don’t compare yourself to others

On your way to collecting your results, remember this: even if the worst happens (and it doesn’t for most people), there are always other options, so don’t feel it’s the end of the world.

It might seem that you’re the only one who’s not off to university, but this isn’t the case. It’s very common to hear from students who didn’t make the grade (but got into university through clearing) who say that it ended up being the best thing that happened to them. They had been so focussed on one particular course or uni that they hadn’t considered others. When their hands were forced, it actually turned out for the best.

Now, good luck and go and charge that phone!

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