As the clock ticks ever closer to A Level Results Day, you may find yourself experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. The anticipation, the excitement, the nerves – it’s all part of the journey. While it’s natural to feel Results Day anxiety, there are a number of steps you can take to help manage the stress.

1. Bring someone with you

Whether it’s a family member, a close friend, or a teacher, having someone with you to collect your A level results can help alleviate nerves and provide invaluable support and reassurance.

If things don’t go as planned, they’ll be able to talk through alternative options, as well as help you with the practical stuff – like organising your documentation and writing down phone numbers. It can be reassuring to know that, no matter what happens, you’ll have someone by your side. If you get the results you’re hoping for, then you’ll have someone there to share the moment and celebrate your success.

2. Don’t feel pressured to share your results

In the midst of all the Results Day chaos, it’s easy to feel pressured to have to open your results with friends, or to share them with anybody and everybody who asks. This can lead to additional stress, especially if your peers are comparing their results.

Focus on your own achievements and progress, and try to avoid comparisons. Remember that everyone’s academic journey is different. Judge yourself and your results by your own standards, no one else’s. If being around peers is going to cause you undue stress, then open your results in a more private setting, such as outside or in the car.

Speaking of comparisons, it’s also probably a good idea to stay away from social media.

A happy and surprised teenage girl looking at her exam results on A level Results Day with her friend.

3. Preparation is key

If you’ve read our Top tips for A Level Results Day article, you’ll already know that preparation is key.

Results Day doesn’t always go according to plan. Prepare for every eventuality so that you aren’t caught off guard if you don’t quite get the exam results you are hoping for. Having a plan in place will provide a sense of structure and control amid the uncertainty, and ease some stress on the day itself.

Know when and where you will be collecting your results. Make sure you have a note of your UCAS ID, a copy of your personal statement, a pen and paper, and a fully charged phone at the ready. Write down the phone number of your firm and insurance university admissions teams. And, make a note of the contact details of universities with Clearing vacancies that you’re interested in.

To find out more about what you should expect on Results Day, check out our Surviving A Level Results Day Student Guide.

4. Talk to someone

If you’re entering Clearing or have any other worries or concerns, seek guidance from a professional. This may be a teacher, a tutor, or a careers adviser at your school or college, or the UCAS Exam Results Helpline (0808 100 8000). They will be specifically trained to advise and support you step-by-step, helping you to explore different avenues and make well-informed decisions.

Results Day is a very stressful time. You don’t want to make any rash decisions or settle for a course you’re not truly interested in as a result of panic! Talking through everything with a professional who understands the situation you’re in can help ease the pressure and reduce your overall anxiety.

Psychology A Level could lead to a career in counselling.

5. Take care of yourself

Results Day can be emotionally and physically draining, so remember to take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat good food, and engage in self-care. No matter the outcome of your results, try to maintain a positive outlook, and take care not to catastrophise. Remember that this is only one milestone in your journey, and there are countless opportunities ahead.

Results Day (and the lead up to it) is undoubtedly a nerve-wracking experience. But remember that students up and down the country are all in the same boat as you and it’s natural to feel anxious. By planning ahead, seeking guidance from others, and looking after yourself, you can help minimise unnecessary stress and ensure that you’re in the best headspace to make informed decisions about your future.

Good luck, you’ve got this!

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Molly Wood

Molly is a recent first-class graduate from the University of St Andrews, where she studied biology. As Project Manager at PMT Education, she oversees SEO, digital content, and media management.