07 August 2020
Advice for those concerned ahead of exam results
Waiting for your exam results can be a stressful and anxious
time, particularly as many exams were cancelled this year due to
the Coronavirus pandemic and results will be based on predicted
Usually students will have a sense of how they have performed in
exams and will have worked hard to raise any predicted grades they
But with results for both A-Levels and GCSEs looming, Avon and
Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust is reminding
students who are feeling very worried and stressed, that there are
steps you can take to reduce your anxiety.
Claire Williamson, Head of Psychological Therapies for Avon and
Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, said: "Many
students and their families find waiting for exam results to be
stressful, as they can affect the next step in that person's
journey towards their career choice. With schools being closed and
exams being based on predicted grades this year, for some the
situation may be even more uncertain and this may increase stress
and anxiety further.
"Many young people will be anxious about not getting the results
they need and often that can lead to thoughts about under achieving
and concerns about parents being disappointed. The stress
associated with these kinds of thoughts can then result in physical
symptoms, such as stomach ache, increased heart rate and nausea,
and can even lead to changes in behaviour, such as not even wanting
to pick up the results or leaving them unopened."
"We'd like to remind students to be proud of their achievements
and that if the results you receive are not what you were
expecting, there are always other alternatives available. Talking
these through with family, friends and teachers can help you create
a plan of action."
How can I cope with stress?
• Talk to friends and family about your
feelings - stress may alter the way you interact with
people, so it is important to discuss how you feel with those
around you. Talking about how you are feeling and the causes of
those feelings will give others the opportunity to make allowances
for you and provide you with emotional and practical support.
• Look after yourself -
skipping meals and eating foods with a high sugar content can cause
sugar and hormone levels to change drastically, affecting how you
feel both mentally and physically.
• Get active - stress and
anxiety can produce toxins in the body, which exercise can help to
• Reduce caffeine and alcohol
intake - it's important to get a good night's sleep and
caffeine and alcohol can affect your sleep patterns, so try not to
rely on them as ways of coping with stress and anxiety.
If you don't get the results you had hoped for there are other
options available including an alternative course or university
place, exploring the clearing process to see which courses have
vacancies, taking a year out or resitting exams. You can speak to
your school, college or careers advice centre about your
The Department for Education's Exam Results Helpline provides
additional support to students wanting to discuss their results.
The helpline is open from Wednesday 12th until Friday
28th August from 8am to 10pm on 0800 100 900. You can
also access ongoing support from the National Careers Service by
visiting nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/contact-us, or searching
for the National Careers Service on social media.