Published on: 6 August 2021

Next week will be an anxious time for many parents and teenagers, with both A-level and GCSE results being published: A-levels on Tuesday 10 August and GCSEs on Thursday 12 August.

If a young person you care for or know is set to receive their results, please try to stay positive.

Year 13 and year 11 students have had a challenging time, with the end of one school year being massively disrupted by COVID lockdown and having to access home learning, then uncertainty over whether exams would take place, and, for the most part, high levels of testing and mock exams from schools understandably anxious to gather evidence for grades. 

Some may feel frustrated that they did not have the chance to show all that they had learned in the summer exams. Others may be relieved that they did not have to face that ordeal. Many will be uncertain as to what the future may hold. 

Whatever the young people you know decide to do, remember that no one is defined by a grade on a piece of paper. They have worked hard and deserve their success; but if the results are not what they hoped for, there are other ways forward.

A-level students may be looking towards university, they may be planning a gap year, they may have an apprenticeship place or a job. If university was planned and grades are not what was needed, there are options, including sitting the exams, appealing or applying through clearing. There is some useful information on what to do next on the UCAS website

GCSE students may need particular grades for a college or sixth-form place, or for an apprenticeship. If these grades are not achieved, again there are options, such as sitting the exams this autumn, appealing or retaking the year. In the first instance students should talk to their school or college about this. 

There are some good ideas and links on this Derbyshire County Council page about emotional wellbeing. 

This Young Minds page also has some good advice on how to deal with issues around results day stress.