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What to Do if Results Day Doesn’t Go as Planned

Results Day is a largely anticipated event nationwide. If you didn't get the grades you hoped for, don't worry. Take a moment to breathe. Here are our best tips on what to do.

What to Do if Results Day Doesn’t Go as Planned


Tech Talent Engine


Results Day is a largely anticipated event in many students' lives. Except, when things don’t go as planned, it can often bring feelings of frustration.

Whether you’re a parent or a student, it’s not easy dealing with the news.

First and foremost, it’s important to relax and take things steady. Truth is, it doesn’t matter what outcome you receive on results day, it’s how you approach the next steps in your education that counts.

Remember, some of the most successful people didn’t receive sparkling grades throughout school. They worked on the unique skillset they can bring to the table and used this to push them forward with pride – something many people take years to find.

If results day didn’t go as planned, here’s how you can move forward.

1. Think about your goals

Take a moment to breathe and acknowledge your emotions, giving yourself a pat on the back for the months of hard work.

When you’re ready, the next step is to think about your overall goals in life. Is it to travel, make a difference in the world, become an entrepreneur, or pursue your hobby full-time?

Whatever you hope to achieve in life, remember, you can with dedication and perseverance.

In these moments, take any external pressures out of the equation, such as what your teachers or family wants. Think about the next steps in your life, whether three months, six months, or a year.

Even if you decide to have some time out – that’s okay. You’re allowed to take your time after finishing your education.

If you’re unsatisfied with your grades and have your heart set on a specific college or university, consider looking into the terms around resitting your exams.

Alternatively, if this option isn’t viable, there are plenty of other pathways available, such as going through university clearing or taking a foundation year to allow you to progress onto the course.

Not everyone has to pursue university and that includes you. There are multiple pathways after A-Levels, including taking an apprenticeship, work experience or going into full-time employment.

2. Remember, it’s not the end of the road

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a setback on results day does not define your worth or potential.

Success is not measured solely by how you perform in one exam or academic outcome. Many successful individuals have faced setbacks before achieving their dreams.

For example, the renowned fragrance and beauty entrepreneur Jo Malone faced personal and academic challenges during her school years. Despite her struggles with dyslexia and less-than-stellar GCSE results, she later founded the iconic fragrance brand Jo Malone London.

Use this experience as a stepping stone for growth and learning.

3. Reflect on the results

Once you’ve had time to process your emotions, take a second to step back and reflect on your results. Identify where you excelled and areas that require improvement.

It could be that you performed well in English but failed Science. This is great information for future practice, as you may choose to pursue career pathways with an English background.

This reflection can serve as a foundation for creating a plan to move forward. It may also help you to understand if there were any external factors that affected your performance, i.e., stress outside of school/ college.

Furthermore, this gives you the space to address these issues in future.

4. Talk with a career advisor/ mentor

A career mentor is a great option if you are struggling with direction or would like some professional support.

Aside from the valuable guidance and advice they offer, career mentors can also provide much-needed support and a confidence boost, which will help you pick your feet back up.

Whether it’s CV guidance, attending interviews, knowing what your career options are or simply providing long-term perspective mentors can help to consider the bigger picture and make decisions that align with your overall trajectory of your career.

Additionally, mentors often have great connections within the industry. This means that they can introduce mentees to influential contacts, which leads to valuable connections, collaborations and opportunities that might not have been accessible otherwise.

5. Embrace new opportunities

Even if you didn’t receive the results you wanted, it could lead to an even better opportunity around the corner.

Embracing new opportunities can lead to personal growth, unexpected achievements, and a more fulfilling journey.

Consider trying something new, as it may lead you to areas where you excel and find true passion. By taking on new challenges, you may uncover abilities that weren’t reflected in your academic results.

Further, by diversifying your experiences, it will allow you to pursue alternative career paths and acquire a broader range of skills.

Sometimes, unexpected setbacks lead to better opportunities than you might have originally envisioned. By being open to change, you might stumble across opportunities that are more aligned with your values and aspirations, allowing you to achieve greater success in the long run.

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Stay positive – you’ve got this!

Results day may not always go as planned and that’s okay. Remember that it's just one chapter in your life story and you can use these setbacks as opportunities for growth.

Take the time to reflect, seek guidance and set new goals to move forward with pride, ensuring the next stage in your career supports your overall goals and happiness.

You have the power to turn disappointment into motivation and every setback can become a stepping stone towards a brighter future.

Tech Talent Engine is here to support you throughout your journey with free advice, CV guidance and access to our jobs network. Simply create an account today to explore the opportunities that are waiting around the corner.

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