Worried about A level results?


Receiving your A ‘Level results can be stressful and more so if your grades are below what you have been expecting and now affect your future plans. We...

Receiving your A ‘Level results can be stressful and more so if your grades are below what you have been expecting and now affect your future plans.

We asked Dr Martin Carroll, Clinical Psychologist for some coping strategies:

Let out your emotions

But don’t go overboard. If you’ve suffered a disappointment it makes sense to be sad or angry or frustrated. It’s normal to feel these kind of emotions. Letting out our emotions can help manage the disappointment but it can also help us experience acceptance about our situation. Acceptance enables us to deal with the actual situation as opposed to catastrophic thoughts about the future or regrets about the past.

Social media

You may want to stay off social media for a day. If you do go on, you are likely to see mostly good news stress about other people’s success. While it is not a bad thing to celebrate success, it may lead you to compare yourself to others, which will make it harder to focus on your actual situation.

Hold on

Hold on to what you want to achieve. Not in terms of grades, but in terms of the direction you want to take in your life. If, for instance, you didn’t get the A’ level results you were hoping for, but are  still super set on pursuing the same course get in touch with the university you’d hoped to go to. Lay out your case and ask them whether you might still be considered – there is no harm in asking. You can also check out other universities through clearing  and see what they have available. If, you are really set on your goal, you may even decide to re-sit the year. You may find that you understand the course a lot more the second time round.

Ask for help

Don’t deal with the problem on your own. You may feel ashamed of your situation, but there are people around you who want to help. Get advice from people you trust. Your family and friends will probably all have different ideas of how you can go forward so listen to them! But remember, at the end of the day, this is your decision and you have to choose what will be best for you.

Similar situations

Read about others that have had a similar issue. This can help you not feel alone and also realise that you still have a future. There are loads of articles online about how people have recovered from bad exam results or dealt with not doing so well in A-levels. Hearing about people who have found themselves in a similar predicament to you can really help with motivation to take action regarding your situation.

Do something different? 

Consider doing something different. If you believe the exam results show that your plan is unlikely to work, take time to consider other options. This could open up opportunities that you had not previously thought about. This could be another college course. a year out, volunteering, work placements- and with new choices come new opportunities.

More information can be found via UCAS with help on clearing and useful videos https://www.ucas.com/




1 in 4 people in England need mental health support*

We’re here to ensure you do not have to face it alone.

If you feel like you need professional help, we’re a private mental health hospital in Windsor with nurses on hand 24 hours a day who provide expert clinical treatment.

You can call Cardinal Clinic on 01753 869755 for confidential help and advice or send us an enquiry.

*McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey.

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