GCSE Results Day can be stressful for everyone. We look at what options are available in case your young person didn’t get the results they were expecting.
What’s more stressful? Anxiously waiting to receive your own exam grades, or watching your child get their GCSE results?
The morning of results day is stressful experience. No matter how confident you may feel, there’s the agony of knowing the papers have been marked, grades given and the letter that determines it all are sitting just the other side of the locked school gates.
Weeks of waiting in limbo, so close to being over. But will it be cheers and celebrations, or distress and disappointment?
Here’s our advice on how to deal with stress in the run-up to, and fallout from, GCSE results day…
#1 It’s Good to Talk
It’s easy to become stressed at times like this. So being approachable and able to talk with your child in the run-up can help you both feel less overwhelmed. Make sure you listen to their concerns and try to rationalise their fears. After all, they’re just grades.
If your child would rather talk to a professional about exam results stress, Meic has dedicated bilingual helpline staff who can be contacted via phone, text or instant message.
#2 Make a Plan
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place for all the various outcomes, as this removes some of the unknown and can make you both feel calmer.
Sixth form isn’t for everyone. However there are a number of ways young people can carry on their learning through apprenticeships or other college courses. You can even earn while you learn!
#3 Keep Calm and Carry On
The long wait can exaggerate the importance of these results but the truth is, they don’t have to be final. There are options to resit some exams without missing out on going to sixth form, or even change which A-Levels subjects they decide to continue with. Results Day isn’t the be all and end all.
Teachers and members of staff will on hand at the school to answer any questions your child may have about what happens next.
It may not just be them that has questions, so remember – you can contact FamilyPoint Cymru if you have any queries or concerns about your child’s results.
#4 Celebrate the Effort, Not the Grade
Whether or not it was the mark they wanted, they should take pride in the effort they put in. To complete any course and sit the exam is an achievement and life experience in itself and should be properly praised.
It’s also worth remembering that the grade isn’t always a fair reflection of your child’s ability. They may have been other circumstances which affected their performance on the day. For all the importance exams hold, they are essentially just memory tests and everyone can have an off-day.
#5 Keep It Personal
When the moment comes and the results are finally in, try to encourage your child to stay off social media for the day. Comparing results is a sure-fire way to undermine their successes, and someone else has always done better.
Keep their results only to family and close friends who will celebrate their success and give helpful advice and comments.
When all’s said and done, don’t forget that there’s more to life than grades.
A bad result now doesn’t mean your child is destined to failure. Likewise good results don’t guarantee a successful future. Children and young people can excel at many things that can’t be marked or graded, but equally must not be forgotten. Don’t let the grades define your child, but instead use them as a springboard toward their next achievement.
If there are any other problems your family is having, then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.