- Student Support & Wellbeing
- PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
- Preparing for University
Preparing for A-Level and University Results Days
We’re approaching that time of year again. You’ve done the hard work. It’s now time to see if it has all paid off. However, this year – 2020 – has been unusual. School/college students have had their exams cancelled, which has made results day even more unconventional in terms of how grades are awarded. Similarly, university students have had to adapt to the new exam-replacement assessments (e.g. online exams, assignments etc).
The build-up to results day
The nerves. The anticipation. The anxiety.
You’re not alone in experiencing these feelings. You can end up stressing yourself out- but, it’s not worth it.
Personally, I like to keep myself busy- whether that be working (job, work experience), volunteering, activities etc. The day before my A-level results day, I had a day out with my friends, where we completed an escape room (in 56 minutes!) and did some other things to just get our minds off things. We were all nervous about the following day. It helped to be in each others’ company. This might be difficult right now with Covid-19, but there are so many ways that you could keep yourself busy.
The best-way to become mentally prepared for results day is to void overthinking and worrying. You could do this through:
- Online upskilling – There are a lot of online courses, ‘internships’ etc that are available. The reason why I mention these ‘upskilling’ experiences is twofold. Firstly, you will materially gain something e.g. certificate of completion that will help you in the future. Secondly, this is a more structured and time-consuming task. For example, an online course could take up a whole week – which keeps you occupied! This means you can turn all your focus on to this, instead of worrying about results.
- Entertainment – The current situation has prevented that normality of just ‘going out’ to keep yourself busy. Having said that, there’s so much you can still do, even in the comfort of being at home. Organise a Zoom get-together with friends. Start a Marvel movie marathon (which I have began!). There are so many things that you can do.
- Home projects – Whether that be deciding to clean/paint your room, organise your old stuff or cooking for your family. There’s so much you can do that can prevent you from worrying about results.
- Exercise – This doesn’t mean that you should aim to go on daily runs. You could go for a walk to clear your mind. A bike ride around your town/city/village. Go to the park to play sports. Exercising is good for you.
- Finding techniques to help you to relax if you begin to get anxious. Perhaps learning to meditate or other breathing/mindfulness techniques to relax.
Another thing that students will undoubtedly find themselves doing is speculating.
If you’re expecting A-Level results, it’s best to avoid the speculation, especially given the current context. I have seen many headlines on various rumours on how grades will be awarded etc. You should avoid this because it’s not worth the stress. These may be unfounded and untrue.
In terms of preparation for results day, know the details. Understand how you will be getting your results this year as the way that they are awarded might be difficult. For example, due to Covid-19, you may be invited to school at a certain time to ensure there is social distancing. For university students, you will need to understand when/where you can access your results.
What do the results mean? For university students, begin thinking about beyond. How will results impact progression into the next year? Which modules will you want to do and what do you need as pre-requisite? For A-Level students, you have your firm and insurance choices. Sometimes, things will go as planned, otherwise, it’s worth considering clearing. Have a look a few days before to see what’s available.
In my next blog, I will be writing a second part to this blog, which focusses on the results day itself, and afterwards.