Exam results are on their way for pupils ranging from GCSE students to the A Level candidates.

For many, results will shape futures and open up opportunities.  For many it is also the realisation of hard work and the success that comes with it.  For those of you getting your GCSE results, it’ll be a chance to shape your career path – which believe me is very exciting.

Unfortunately for others the hard work you put in doesn’t always translates into results.  Getting into higher education relies on success at A Level or success in working life, there is a no way about that.  Universities don’t set entry requirements without reason.


So what happens if there’s a disappointment for you come results day?  Here are my tips:

  • Don’t panic – First thing that will likely happen is your mind will go into overdrive.  Take a deep breath, find somewhere to sit and have a slow read through everything you’ve been given.
    You may suddenly find that what looked like a horror show might actually seem not too bad after all.  The number of times I’ve been there and said to myself “oh no, what have I…. oh, well that isn’t so bad.”

  • Look at the detail – Remember to look at overall marks.  Whilst a D looks bad on a list of marks, consider that it might be an individual score for a module and not indicative of the overall subject.  You may still have done enough.
    If your overall grade takes modules into account, I would look for the overall mark first.  That’ll give you a realistic view of what you’ve got.

  • Don’t let one bad result distract you from the others – One bad mark could distract you from two good ones, so it’s important to look at every overall grade as a group.
    One bad grade still counts towards UCAS Points for instance, a popular way of grading and making offers in universities.  At GCSE, one bad mark somewhere doesn’t always stand out in a crowd of excellent other marks.

  • Ask about re-taking a module – If you’ve looked and things and it really doesn’t look good, consider a retake if the module result is in January or you’ve got another year to go.  If you were able to put the effort in the first time then there should be no reason why you can’t use this to push yourself to get it right the next time.  As I say, motivation will get you going, determination will keep you going.

  • Remarks – If something looks a bit suspect, consider a remark.  It will most likely cost you something and remember that the mark could go down as well as up (certainly at A Level, less likely at GCSE) but if you were absolutely convinced that you did really well (but actually didn’t) or your mark sits right on a grade boundary then it is something worth considering.
    Schools and sixth forms are often reluctant to go through this process, given it takes a fair amount of time to do and can build a reputation for the school, but I cannot understand why some are like this – the biggest measure of schools are in their results at the moment so the chance of an improvement is surely a good thing.  If you want it, insist on it.

The notion that results are directly linked to how much effort you put in is sadly no longer true.  I’ve been in a situation where working hard hasn’t paid off and quite frankly it’s awful.  

When it happened to me, though, I picked myself up and persevered.  I encourage you to do the same and remember that there will be other chances to succeed.  And if things have gone wrong, keep your chin up and be rational.




Need an Academic tutoring teacher?

Did you like this article?

5.00/5, 1 votes


I'm an active energetic person. I enjoy long-distance running and have taken part in many organised events including the 2016 Prague Marathon. I'm a keen skier and love open-water swimming, when the weather is right!