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How to deal with exam result disappointment

Exam results are almost upon us. At any level it’s bound to be a stressful time. Prepare yourself with these handy tips to avoid added heartache.

Article by Laura B. 

How to deal with exam result disappointment

Exam results are fast approaching. Be it GCSE’s, A-Levels or at degree level, it’s OK to be nervous! For many the last couple of years amount to this one day in your life, quite unfair really when you think about it. But that’s the way it is and that’s the way it will be for a long time to come given the latest GCSE reform plans so it’s vital to be prepared for every case scenario.

Results days always offer a wide array of emotions. There’ll be the happy, smiley faces of those who have achieved what they were predicted and more. Congrats where congrats are due. There’ll be the smug grins of the underdogs who surpassed expectations against the odds. And finally there’ll be those distraught few who are disappointed with their results.

I speak from experience… although some might hide it better than my mascara sodden face managed.

After my misery at failing by one A-level grade to get into my first choice (and indeed my insurance choice) university, I had to pick myself up. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, here are a few useful tips to deal with the disappointment.

Don’t beat yourself up

Firstly it’s important to accept that what’s done is done, you can’t change the past.

There’s no point dwelling on how much or how little revision you did or that book you never got around to reading.

The sooner you realize your unexpected results are not the end of the world, the better chance you have of making them work for you. This last point is essential for those with hopes of going to university, as clearing places deplete at a ridiculously fast pace.

Consider options

Once you’ve learnt to absorb your results, however disappointing, it’s time to think about where you go from here.

Speak to your tutors, it’s their job to help you and more often than not they’ll want to do just that. If you were particularly close to a grade boundary perhaps a remark might be an option.

Alternatively you could choose to re-sit that paper next term? If being a year behind is off-putting, mull over the pros and cons of a slightly different course or institution.

Disappointing Exam Results  - So Close

Accept sympathy

Your friends might not be going through the same thing as you; they may have got straight A’s but that doesn’t mean they didn’t will you to do just as well.

Take their sympathy with humility and make time to applaud their success too. Rally around with your family and those closest to you for support when you need it the most. Don’t go through the plethora of emotions on your own!

Live and learn

It’s a cliché but in this case it’s hugely appropriate. Avoid disappointment in the future by learning from your mistakes. If you could have revised more, revise more next time. If you could have used extra help, be sure to ask for help as and when you need it.

Ultimately your disappointment might seem like the end of the world at the time but it’s not, it’s merely an obstacle to be overcome.

I did it!

I came out the other end happier for it, so you can too.   

Do you have a similar story to me? Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share?

Laura Beecroft is an English Language student after suffering much turmoil surrounding exam results. She blogs for GKBC Academy to impart her words of wisdom, speaking from experience. 

Featured image by: David Hawgood

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  1. Jake

    July 12, 20137:38 pm

    Thank you for a very inspiring read. I just suffered the disappointment of not passing by just 4 marks for the two subjects I really needed. I guess I just have to accept it and learn to move on from this. Thank you again.

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