Exam essentials: Coping with exams and handling your results

This article was last updated on 5 Sept 2019.

Coping with the aftermath of exams

The period of time after you have finished your exams can be difficult. It's hard not to go over and over what you could have done better, or worry you haven't done as well as you had hoped.

Dealing with these feelings can be a challenge, so we've put together some methods to help you to cope:

  • Stay calm and put things into perspective. Even if an exam went badly, it's just one exam. Learn to let it go and move on

  • Refocus on what you can change, not what you can't. If you have more exams coming up, focus on them. If your results were not what you expected, focus on revisiting your options and making a new plan

  • Be kind. Treat yourself to something you love. Watch your favourite movie, go for a walk, have a relaxing bath and take yourself away from it all for a while

Derin and Jack run through their top tips for coping with the stress of exams

Let's recap

The day after an exam

It's the day after your exam. You have another exam in two days, but you just can't stop thinking about the one you just had! Here are some of our top tips to help you refocus and move on.

  • Don't keep going over what you did or could have done. It's over. Let it go

  • Take a well-deserved rest and re-group. One of the best ways is to do something you love, go for a swim, read a book or go to the movies with your friends. Whatever make you happy!

  • Get your head back in the game. Focus on the things you can change, like the outcome of your next exam! Look at your revision plan and get revising

Results day - coping with the stress

You've just opened your results and they weren't quite what you were hoping for. It's ok to feel disappointed, but you'll need to pick yourself up and get started with Plan B.

Remember to:

  • Put it into perspective and remember all the good things in your life. Exams are important but less-than-perfect results aren't the end of the world

  • Be flexible. Look at all the options you have available to you and plot a new course. It could be to the same goal (for example doing re-sits so you can go onto further education) or it could be to a completely new goal

  • Ask for help and advice if you need it. There are so many people around you who can offer insight, such as teachers, career advisers, parents and family members. All you have to do is ask!

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