What to do if you don’t get the exam results you were expecting

Not getting the grades you expected can be not only a huge disappointment, but also a hugely stressful and uncertain time. While just missing a grade by a few points may not have the impact you might expect, scoring significantly lower – or higher – can result in a host of options that may alter the path you had planned.

We have put together six quick tips to help you figure out what you can do if your results aren’t what you expected.

Don’t panic

Seeing results that are lower than expected is understandably upsetting, but try not to panic. There are many options that are still available depending on your chosen college or university, their entrance requirements, and by how much your grade was lower than expected. Try to keep calm while you work through your options.

Talk with your teacher

When you go to collect your results, chances are your teachers will be on hand to celebrate and offer advice. See if you can grab a few minutes with them to discuss your grade and what options they recommend for you to consider next. Teachers can be not only a calm voice of reason, but can also help put things into perspective. Getting a C instead of a B may not have the impact you think, or if you have achieved a higher grade than expected they could have some good advice on adjustment options that might be open to you.

Get in contact with your college, sixth form or university

If you have just missed a grade by a few marks, some institutions may have wiggle room to allow students to still be accepted onto their courses. They may also have advice on if they can hold a place for you if you plan to resit any exams or request remarking.

Ask about remarking and resits

If you have missed a higher score by just a few marks, it may be possible to re-submit your work to be marked again. It’s worth considering that your grade may not change, and you will still be charged for the cost of this even if your mark remains the same. It may be possible to resit some exams. Ask a teacher or the school about your options; they should be able to help organise either of these.

Consider retaking a year

At college, it may be worth considering retaking a year if you are unhappy with your grades. This can provide an opportunity to change planned career pathways or refocus on the subjects you are passionate about. Some people change courses completely while others may take a foundation year before starting on an honors degree.

Call the Exam Results Helpline

Open from the 16th to 30th of August this year in the UK for both A-level and GCSE results, the Exam Results Helpline helps stressed students and families by providing free, specialised information, help and guidance to those who received lower or higher than expected results.

You can call them between 8am and 10pm on 0800 100 900 or visit the website to find out more.

Their experts can help you find out more about which subjects and qualifications are available, resits and getting your exams remarked, gap years, further education options, careers, employment, even moving away from home or how to set up a business. After August 30th, you can call the National Careers Service Helpline for the same range of support from experts, seven days a week.

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Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford
Bonnie Evie Gifford is a Senior Writer at Happiful.
Written by Bonnie Evie Gifford
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