When we talk about ‘exam stress’, we often think about revising or taking exams, but stress around results day is common too.

To manage this kind of stress, try to understand what might be causing it and think about strategies that will help.

Remember that feeling apprehensive, worried or anxious about important news is normal. For many students, these results will influence what they do next – the course, college, university, or job they take – and it’s understandable that most will feel some level of nerves.

Students we have spoken to have told us that their main worry was not getting the results they hoped for, how they would tell their parents or friends, and what it might mean for their university or college course. But many were also worried about what would happen if they did get the results they wanted, as it would mean making a change. For many, the main cause of stress was uncertainty.

What can you do to help?

 Although you don’t know what will happen on results day, you can help manage any feelings of stress by making plans and preparing for different outcomes.

Plan for getting the results you hoped for

Getting the results you hoped for can be stressful because it leads to change – a new school year, college, university, or job. Planning for what this might be like can help reduce stress. If you are planning to go to university, find out details about the courses, locations and amenities, or the different clubs and societies you can join. If it’s A levels, do some research about your courses and the resources which might be useful, such as textbooks and websites. Even finding out practical information, such as the bus you will need to catch, can help to reduce stress and make you feel more in control.

Plan for not getting the results you hoped for

It is important to realise that not getting the results you hoped for is really not ‘the end of the world’. We say this because most people at one time or another do not get the results they hope for, but still go on to have a successful life. If you don’t get the grades you hoped for, you may feel upset, disappointed or embarrassed, and that’s completely normal. Planning ahead for what you will do if this happens can help you see that there are ways to move forward and you will be better motivated to put your plan into action if that occurs.

Share your plans

Students often worry about how family and friends will react if they do not get the results they hoped for. As you plan for different outcomes, it can be helpful to share your plans with the people around you. It will help them to see that there are other options available and, if you need their advice, you can quickly begin a constructive conversation.

‘File’ away your plans and get busy with other things

Once you’ve made your plans for different outcomes, ‘file’ them away in your mind and get busy with other things. Being busy, getting out with friends or doing jobs that need attention, can help take your mind off the uncertain future.

Planning for results day itself

 Getting your results can feel like a stressful experience in itself. It is useful to plan in advance how you will approach the day and make some decisions.

  • How do you plan to get your results?
  • Do you want to access your results online, for example through your school or college digital platform? Or would you prefer to open your results at school/college or at home?
  • Do you want someone to be with you?

Planning this in advance allows you to imagine what the experience will be like and this reduces stress. And remember to plan for the way you would prefer to do it, rather than feeling you must do it in the way other people think you should.

It’s understandable you may feel apprehensive on results day. At stressful points, you may find it helpful to use breathing techniques to reduce physical symptoms of stress and to feel calmer. If you think this might work for you, you could try ‘four square breathing’. This works by deliberately breathing in a slow pattern shown here:

 

4 step breathing exercise illustrated with text and arrows. For more information please call our Public Enquiries team on 0300 303 3344

Good luck!

Contributors to this series are:

Professor Kevin Woods (series co-ordinator)

Dr Cathy Atkinson

Kerry-Ann Brown

Dr Rob Buck

Dr Deborah Flitcroft

Dr Jo Greenwood

Amanda Hipkiss

Dr Abi James

Tamsin McCaldin

David Soares

We are a group of researchers and practitioners working at, or in partnership with, The University of Manchester Institute of Education. We have professional backgrounds as school teachers and/ or educational psychologists working in secondary, primary and special schools. Our research and professional practice covers a range of learning and well-being issues, including those relating to school examinations and tests, such as examination stress, test anxiety, and access arrangements. We are pleased to be working with Ofqual to bring our understanding of these issues to a wider audience through a series of blogs to be published over the coming weeks. These blogs are written for teachers, parents, examinations officers, and older students. We hope you find them informative and helpful.

Recent projects:

Buck, R. (2018). An investigation of attentional bias in test anxiety. Manchester Institute of Education, The University of Manchester

Flitcroft & Woods (2014). The language Key Stage 4 teachers use prior to high stake exams and how this can be adapted to suit their students. DfE ITEP-funded through The University of Manchester.

Hipkiss, A. (2014). Management of GCSE access arrangements: utilizing student feedback and observational data. ESRC-funded CASE project through the North West Doctoral Training Partnership (NWDTP).

McCaldin, T. (2015). GCSE student experience across Key Stage 4. ESRC-funded through the North West Doctoral Training Partnership.

Some recent publications:

Buck, R. (2016). An ethical approach to anxiety manipulation in school-based research. Psychology of Education Review40(2), 10-16.

Atkinson, C., Thomas, G., Goodhall, N., Barker, L. Healey, I., Wilkinson, L. & Ogunmyiwa, J. (2019) Developing a student-led school mental health strategy. Pastoral Care in Education. doi: 10.1080/02643944.2019.1570545

Flitcroft, D., & Woods, K. (2018). What does research tell high school teachers about student motivation for test performance? Pastoral Care in Education, 36(2), 112-125. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2018.1453858

Flitcroft, D., Woods, K., & Putwain (2017). Developing practice in preparing students for high-stakes examinations in English and Mathematics. Educational and Child Psychology, 34(3), 7-19.

Woods, K., James, A., & Hipkiss, A. (2018). Best practice in access arrangements made for England’s General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs): Where are we 10 years on? British Journal of Special Education, 45(3), 236-255.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Peter has published a new article: EDHEC and EURECOM Sign Strategic Alliance 9 hours 4 minutes ago
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

Women Empowerment: How Far Have We Come in Recent Years?: Here in the UK, the past year has been difficult for ever… https://t.co/TTsstqnyOy
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page