How to manage anxiety on GCSE and Nationals results day

This article was last updated on 17 June 2022.

We know it – GCSE and Nationals results day can be stressful! If you are worried about receiving your exam results, there are some things you can do to make results day a little easier.

We've spoken to some exam veterans who've been in your shoes – here they share their words of wisdom on how to cope on results day.

If you're feeling worried about your results, here are five coping strategies to help reduce results day worries:

  1. Have realistic expectations of what your results will be. Our Mind Set experts told us that being realistic means avoiding excessive optimism AND pessimism. You may be totally underestimating your own skills and qualities, which can be just as damaging as overestimating them. Find out more about setting realistic goals here.
  2. Decide before you get your results whether you want to open them alone or with others. Here are some helpful tips from Dr Radha to help you through results day.
  3. Ask someone you really trust to meet you afterwards so that, whatever the news, you can celebrate or commiserate – see how mental health campaigner Natasha Devon suggests keeping calm on results day here.
  4. Remember that it’s your results that matter, not anyone else’s. If you tried your best and are happy with your results, it doesn't matter what anybody else got. Everyone's unique. Check out this guide to see what your next steps may be.
  5. If your results aren't what you wanted, it’s OK to be disappointed, but remember it’s not the end of the world. Read this page to find out what to do if you are unhappy with your exam results.

For more awesome advice and top tips for before, during and after results day, check out our results day collection.

If you need support

You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher, or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.

If you’re in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Childline, where you can speak to a counsellor. Their lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.

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