The past year has been far from “normal” for anyone; COVID-19 has led to big changes and uncertainty in everyone’s lives. Students haven’t had a typical year at school or college and with more changes to exam marking in 2021, it’s understandable that pupils will be feeling worried.
August 04, 2021
The past year has been far from “normal” for anyone; COVID-19 has led to big changes and uncertainty in everyone’s lives. Students haven’t had a typical year at school or college and with more changes to exam marking in 2021, it’s understandable that pupils will be feeling worried. Students could be feeling frustrated at not having the chance to prove their abilities, wondering if their final grades will be as they expected, or worried about what they should do if their grades are not what they need. To try and reduce these worries and concerns we’ve collated a few things that may help.
Understanding why you’re feeling worried
Students are often told how important exams are and how they can take control of their results by working hard and doing plenty of revision. But with schools closing, then reopening, and exams being cancelled it’s likely they’re feeling like any control they had is now gone. However, students should be reassured that this isn’t necessarily the case; they are still being assessed on their own work and their teachers will do everything they can to ensure the final grades reflect all their efforts and achievements.
Put things into perspective
It’s good for students to remember there’s always been some uncertainty about exams; which questions will come up, how will the assessments go, how people will feel or perform on the day. It’s normal to feel nervous because exam results are important and no matter how relaxed students normally are, feeling worried is ok – they just need to not worry too much about being worried!
In regard to exam results for this year there are a few things students need to remember - their grades will be based on how their teachers believe they would have done in the exam, they will take into consideration all the hard work from the previous 2 years of study; and of course, teachers know the students well. Most importantly, it’s not the end of their career aspirations if a student doesn’t quite get the grades they wanted; they can re-sit and take the exam in the autumn term.
So, although things may feel a little more uncertain this year, uncertainty around exam time is nothing new!
Make a ‘Plan B’
Results day could be a day of celebration for some and a day of disappointment for others. Most students will have a plan regarding where their grades will take them next; whether onto further education, into training or into a first job. Rather than simply worrying about the “what if” of not achieving the grades they need, encourage students to think about a ‘Plan B’, what should they do if things don’t quite go to plan. Teachers or parents can talk through the wealth of options still available to students; this could be resitting exams, looking at alternative schools or colleges, or creating a new plan and alternative career aspirations. Thinking about and planning for the future can certainly help alleviate stress and anxiety; no matter what the outcome is on exam results day, students will be confident the grades are only the beginning of their plan for building a career they will love.
The key thing for students to remember during this time is they are not alone, there are thousands of students feeling the same way.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” ― Christian D. Larson