With constant pressure from teachers, family members and society to gain qualifications, it’s understandable that there is a certain amount of fear connected to exams, whatever your age.
Try not to panicIf you don’t achieve the grades you were expecting in your exams, all is not lost so take some deep breaths and try not to panic. You won’t be the first or the last to fail your exams and there are always other options available.
Talk about how you’re feelingIf you have failed your exams, you'll probably experience lots of different emotions such as shame, anger, embarrassment and fear but remember there is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Don’t bottle up your feelings by hiding your results from the rest of the world, speak to someone you're close to who can comfort and reassure you. There is nothing worse than feeling hopeless and alone in this kind of situation. Hopefully your friend or family member will also be able to help you refocus your mind and guide you in taking the next steps.
Speak to your tutorIn this situation, it can be useful to discuss where you went wrong in your exams. By identifying your weaker areas, you’ll know where you need to spend more time studying. It might be that you just missed a pass grade by a couple of marks, which could give you reassurance that you are capable of passing next time around. Also, if you feel like you struggled on a particular section of the exam, request some extra guidance or tuition.
Explore your optionsThere will be several options available to you once you have received your exam results. Enquire about resitting the exam/s or even retaking the year again, depending on which exams you sat. If you've missed out on a university place, you could enter clearing to see if the college or university is willing to accept you onto the course with your current grades.
If you really can’t face the thought of resitting your exams, there are still alternative options on offer. Have you considered taking a gap year? Not only can this give you much-needed time for reflection, you’ll have the opportunity to do some relevant work experience to improve your knowledge and skills. You might want to take a different route altogether and apply for an apprenticeship in a different field.
Whichever direction you choose, try no to let your exam results hold you back mentally, and look forward to an exciting future.
BBC Bitesize is a fantastic online community where you can read articles and watch informational videos about a whole range of topics, including how to get into university, how to reduce anxiety and stress during exams, and which career path to take.