The climax to years of hard work and high expectations for 16 year olds nationwide is here. Tomorrow morning at 10am thousands of teenagers across Sussex and the rest of the UK will collect their results.
As GCSE results day looms large teenagers are poised to finally find out if it was all worth it.
Results day is often full of emotions, from elation to disappointment, for parents, teachers and students who can also face huge pressure if their next step is heavily reliant on results – and then there are family expectations to live up to.
So follow our guide, put together with the help of Future Mag’s resident expert Amy Patterson to make sure that whatever the grades, you’re prepared for the impact they will have…
Plan your day
This will be your first time back at school for a few months and it could feel weird. The summer holidays may mean late nights and late mornings, so perhaps get to bed at a decent time the night before, as you’re going to get up early!
How will you get to school?
If you’re going with parents or friends, plan when you’ll leave. Leaving things to chance on the morning of your results can cause anxiety. Make sure you’re in control and that there’s no last minute panic.
Decide who’s going to be there and when you read your results
Some students like to open them with family or friends for support. Others may want to look at their results on their own, to process the information before dealing with the reactions of others. Make sure you let people know what you want to do. Try to open it while still at school if you can, where you will have the support and advice of teachers and possibly careers advisers if it’s not what you were expecting. Or even if it was.
Understanding your results
So, the moment of truth has passed and you have your grades in front of you and maybe it’s what you were expecting, maybe it isn’t. The trick is not to panic, and to understand what this combination of numbers and letters really means for your next step if you’re not sure. You probably already know the entry requirements for the course you’ve applied for. Have you met these requirements? If yes, then great, don’t worry if it’s a little lower than you wanted. You’ve done it. Celebrate!
If your grades don’t hit the requirements, try to get in touch with the college or sixth form as soon as you can. There may be representatives at your GCSE results day, or many of them hold a GCSE advice day the following day to respond to any enquiries. Your teachers will help you to organise this (which is why it’s good to open your results at school). And you will NOT be the only person who hasn’t hit the entry requirements.
Keep an open mind
If the option you’ve planned is no longer available to you, don’t panic. It’s disappointing if your heart is set on something, but there are lots of other things you can do. There may be other courses you haven’t considered which need a lower entry level. You may be able to do your course at Level 2 rather than at Level 3; this way you can ease your way in and work your way up. You may like the look of the many interesting apprenticeship schemes available to school leavers if you decide you want to enter the workplace. Just try to keep an open mind.
Remember, if you don’t pass English or maths GCSEs, you will have a chance to retake them, whether you go to sixth form, college or do an apprenticeship. Your further education provider will help you to pass as part of your next qualification, so don’t worry, you’ll get there!
After your results
Breathe, relax. It’s over! Make sure you take time to celebrate your successes. GCSEs are a really difficult and stressful time, and you got through them. Feel proud of yourself and enjoy the sense of achievement. There is life after GCSEs!
Start to think about the next few weeks. You may have an appointment with your college or sixth form to discuss your results, you may have a few weeks to prepare for a new term and a new start, or you may have interviews for an apprenticeship. This is a time of new beginnings. Those grades are yours. You worked for them, you own them. Now make them work for you.
Thanks to Future Mag for the tips!