Low A Level, AS Level or Highers Results
Low results are worrying and upsetting, especially if you're feeling the pressure from your parents and all your friends have done well. But don't panic, there are lots of options open to you.
Many people do much better second time around
It may feel like the end of the world, but lots of people don't get the grades they wanted and go on to have hugely successful careers. This is a good time to take stock of what you really want. Most importantly, don't rush into any decisions. These are your results and it's your future.
Your parents may be concerned, but they also want you to do well in life, and getting lower grades than you'd hoped for definitely doesn't mean you won't! If you involve them in the decisions you make from here, they'll likely respect that you're being so mature about it. Otherwise, ask them to give you some space while you weigh up your options. If you have older siblings or friends that you respect that have been through the same thing, it may help to ask them for their advice.
If you’ve got your exam results and need advice on what to do next, you can call the Exam Results Helpline for free advice on 0808 100 8000. The helpline will open at 8am on the day your results are released (Scotland – 9 August, rest of UK – 18 August).
Can I resit my exams?
You can resit your exams next summer. Many people do much better second time around. Before resitting, have an honest chat with your teachers about why your results were low. If they don't think you can improve them it might not be worth resitting, but if you've got your heart set on a particular course that you need better grades for, look to get extra support. If you only have one resit it may allow you to concentrate fully on that subject, with much better results. With AS and A Levels you can usually just take the units you need to if there's one module that's bringing your grade down, rather than the whole course. Bear in mind that resitting can be lonely if all your mates are going on to do other things.
What about Clearing?
If you haven’t met the conditions of your firm or insurance university place, you can use Clearing to see which courses still have places - this may be a more appealing option than resits, and it's likely that with a bit of research you can find solid courses with spaces. See our full factfile on Clearing which explains what you need to do.
Can I get qualifications without resitting or going to uni?
Yes. BTECs and OCR Nationals are work-related qualifications available in a wide range of subjects. They offer a mix of theory and practice and you can do them with lower grades.
BTECs and OCR Nationals are recognised in many areas of employment and with some of them you can get into university.
A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a two-year qualification offered by colleges that you may then be able to top up to a degree with a third year of study if you get good marks. Have a look at available courses in Scotland by using My World of Work’s Course Search tool.
Modern Apprenticeships are also a great way to gain professional qualifications and work experience while you are earning.
Will I be able to get a job?
Yes, but find out if your results will get you the sort of job you want. If not, can you work your way up? If you have the right attitude and personality some employers will offer you training so you can earn money and gain qualifications.
Everyone has to start somewhere - Sir Alan Sugar's first job was selling cigarette lighters!
Maybe you've thought about taking a gap year before, or perhaps it suddenly sounds more appealing. Either way this can be a great way of taking stock on what you want to do and getting some life experience. If you've finished your A levels it's important to resolve your university situation before you jump on a plane so that you have some sort of plan for when you get back. Take a look at our Gap Year factfile.
Newsbeat: Why Bad Grades Aren't The End Of The World
BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
This page was last updated on 30 July 2016.