Read about our top tips for dealing with results day stress. We take a look at the essential details about the day itself, as well as how to stay calm in the run-up to it.
Updated July 2021
For students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, results day is just around the corner. Given how strange the world seems right now, it can seem like a particularly stressful time. But don’t worry! We’ve got some top tips and advice for dealing with results day stress.
We explore some of the essential details you need to know about results day and where to get your results. We’ve also outlined some of the steps you can take to minimise stress and stay calm while you wait.
Know the details
Perhaps the best place to start is with the day itself. Often, the stress can come from not knowing what’s going to happen. What’s more, due to the coronavirus pandemic, things are a little different from usual.
You can find many of the details you need about results day online. Check either on your school’s website or contact them directly. At this point, your school should have already let you know about what you need to do on the day. You’ll either go to school in person, receive an email, or log in to an online portal. It differs by school, so make sure you check. Here are the other essentials you need to know:
- A-Level and AS-level results and their equivalents (such as BTECs) are released at 08:00 BST on August 10th 2021 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scottish results are also released on August 10th 2021.
- GCSE results and their equivalents are released on August 12th 2021 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- For another year, there were no exams, so schools and colleges will submit predicted grades for their students. These predictions, along with other information about each student, are used to calculate a final result.
- Exam boards have provided teachers with guidance assessing your grades. They will not use the controversial algorithm used last summer to moderate teachers’ predicted grades.
For information about what to do once you’ve got your results, you can head over to the UCAS website for full details.
Make a plan
One of the things that can help you manage your stress in the run-up to results day is to have a plan. As well as thinking about the moment itself, you should also consider what you need to do after you have your results.
The first thing you want to think about is being able to actually get your results. So, find out whether you need to go to school or sign in online and plan accordingly.
Similarly, you’ll want to know what your next steps are in a number of different scenarios. For example, if your grades are different from what you’re expecting, you might want to consider clearing or adjustment to get a place at university. Knowing how these processes work ahead of time can make it easier to deal with on the day.
If you’re feeling a bit anxious and worried about results day (or anything else), one of the best things you can do is to practice mindfulness. This practice is all about being present and aware of the current moment. It’s about noticing and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings, making sure they’re not overwhelming you.
You can learn about how to maintain a mindful life in one of our online courses. Things like meditation and breathing techniques can help you be mindful, and in turn, you can reduce stress and gain insight into your own mind.
Below, we’ve outlined the steps for a simple mindfulness exercise you can use:
- Sit somewhere comfortable and peaceful, where you won’t be disturbed.
- Focus on your breathing, taking slow and steady breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Let your other thoughts and worries slip away as you concentrate on the sensations of breathing and how your body feels.
- If other thoughts do creep in, notice them and then set them to one side. Instead, stay aware of your breathing.
- Pay attention to how your breath feels as it enters your body, and take a moment to be aware of how it leaves your mouth.
You can keep doing this exercise for a minute or two. It will help calm your mind and let you refocus on something worthwhile.
There is a lot of evidence linking the benefits of exercise to help you relax. As well as being good for your physical health, exercise can help take your mind off things for a while. It also helps to calm and relax you when you’re stressed, and even a 20-minute walk can bring benefits.
If you’re feeling particularly worked up lately, getting out and about in the fresh air can really help you gain some perspective. Whether you do it alone or with someone from your household, it can help you manage your results day stress.
Spend time with people
It’s easy to get stuck in your own head when it comes to worrying about things. Before you know it, your thoughts can start spiralling out of control, and it becomes the only thing you can think about. Yet when it comes to managing mental health and stress, spending time with others can go a long way to helping matters.
Spending time with your friends and family can help to take your mind off your results day stress and give you something else to think about.
Talk about it
Whether you’re meeting people face-to-face or in person, you can talk to them about how you’re feeling. It’s important to realise that you’re not going through this alone – many of your peers and friends will also be feeling a little anxious about getting their results.
Talking the time to speak with those people you’re close to about how you’re feeling can help. Not only does it give you the chance to identify what it is you’re worried about, but it also lets you start making plans for various situations. What’s more, your friends and family can give you some perspective and insight, helping you all to get through it together.
If your mental health is suffering because of your results day stress, and you feel you can’t talk to anyone about it, charities such as YoungMinds offer help and support. For those who are supporting a young person with their struggles, we have a range of courses on youth mental health.
Your body needs time to rest and relax, and keeping a healthy and regular sleep routine plays a big part in that. Most of us need around 7-9 hours’ sleep each night, so make sure you’re getting enough in the days leading up to results day. Not only will it help you de-stress, but it also means you’ll be fresh and ready to face the day when it comes around.
Don’t go alone
If you’re experiencing results day stress, it’s useful to have someone with you for the big moment. Having a family member or close friend by your side can help keep you feeling calm and reassured.
That being said, don’t feel like you have to open your results in front of others. If you’re going into school to collect them, you might find that some people want to, and that’s fine. However, don’t feel pressured into sharing with everyone or comparing with your friends if you don’t want to.
Although results day stress is a real thing for many students, it doesn’t have to define your summer. Things may be a little different at the moment, but with a bit of preparation, you can make sure you get a positive outcome from the day no matter what your results are. Good luck!