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Managing Stress on A Level Results Day

12th August 2019 – Tags: A Level Results

Results day is fast approaching, and if you’ve begun to feel the pressure, you’re not alone, with Childline delivering 3,135 counselling sessions on exam stress in 2016/17.

Results day may seem like a massive date in your calendar, however, we’ve got some tips and guidance to help you keep those stress levels down.

Advance preparation

While you can never know in advance what’s in that envelope, you can ensure you’re feeling fresh and well for the big day, and able to take whatever happens to be inside that envelope.

On the day before results day, ensure you know your schedule, transport plan, and options. What are your plans if you receive the results you were expecting – or if they are better or worse than you were expecting?  

Treat yourself to an early night, charge up that phone, and prepare a nutritious breakfast to keep you fighting fit for the big day.

Managing moments of intense stress or anxiety

However well we prepare, sometimes we can feel intensely stressed or anxious when under pressure. The key in these moments, is not to give into the panic. It can feel overwhelming, but there are simple tricks and methods you can use to make the situation feel more manageable.

Simple breathing tricks can help ground you and prevent the ‘what if’s’ from running away with you. Try breathing in through your nose for five seconds, holding your breath for five seconds, and then exhaling through your mouth for a further five seconds. Repeat these five times.

Some people find mindfulness techniques helpful during moments of intense stress. This involves bringing your awareness and attention to the present moment, whilst acknowledging and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. The NHS provides free audio practices which you may find useful if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety.

Some feelings of anxiety or stress is natural, but sometimes it can feel unmanageable, or like it is taking on a life of its own. If you are struggling to cope with your anxiety levels, or are experiencing panic attacks, visit your GP, or contact a charity such as Anxiety UK or Mind.


In the days leading up to results day, keep yourself and your mind busy!

Exercise is a fantastic way of reducing your stress levels, as it releases endorphins – your brain’s feel good chemical. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a session at the gym, or even some yoga poses, get moving to shake that stress out!

If exercise isn’t your thing, consider getting creative with arts and crafts, giving your home a spring clean, or kicking back with friends to help take your mind off of the big day.

If things don’t go to plan

If your A Level results weren’t quite what you were hoping for, don’t panic. You may be disappointed, but this may be an opportunity to explore an avenue you’ve never considered before.

If you are unsure about where to go next, the City College Norwich Advice Shop is open throughout the summer. This expert service offers impartial advice and guidance for anyone considering their career, education, and training options.

Simply drop in to the Advice Shop at the City College Norwich Ipswich Road campus between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday, or ring on 01603 773773.