Managing Stress on Exam Results Day
Exam results day is stressful for everyone, whether you sat the exams yourself or care about someone who did.
It’s normal to feel upset, disappointed and anxious if you didn’t get the results you hoped for. Know where to get help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Dealing with results anxiety
Don’t let your anxiety take over. Take positive steps to deal with how you are feeling.
Put yourself first
Don’t compare your results to how other people in your class or course have done. Stay away from social media if you find posts about results triggering.
Put it into perspective
Failing an exam, or doing worse than you expected, doesn’t mean you are a failure. You’ll still be able to achieve your goals. You may just need to take another path.
Think about what you can do to stay calm. Exercises like mindful breathing can help you manage stress and anxiety. Our Take a Walk on the Mind Side videos and podcasts can help you to relax.
Do something you enjoy
Take your mind off your results by doing something that you enjoy. Watch a movie, play a game, meet with friends who aren’t affected by results day.
Talk to someone
Talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Choose someone who is a good listener and who won’t add to your stress or negative feelings.
Talk to these organisations if you’re struggling after getting your results
Missing out on your expected grades
Missing out on your expected grades isn’t the end of the world, even though it might feel like that now.
If you didn’t get the results you’d expected you can
- Track your application on UCAS – you may still get the place you wanted
- Use clearing to look for a place on another course
- Appeal your results
- Take a year off from college – this can give you space to think positively about your future
A teacher, tutor or trusted person at your school or college can give you advice about these options.
Other sources of support
You can get independent confidential counselling from Inspire Student Wellbeing if you’re a full or part-time student at
- Northern Regional College
- North Western Regional College
- South Eastern Regional College
- South West College
- Southern Regional College
- Belfast Metropolitan College
The Careers Service can give you advice, support and guidance about your future career. Advisers will be available from 9.30 am to 7.00 pm on 18 and 19 August.
- Chat with a careers adviser online
- Call 0300 200 7820
- Send a message to a careers adviser
Visit NI Direct for information about what to do after you get your results.
Young Minds has tips on coping with anxiety