Young Scot share guidance on how to cope with exam results

5 August 2022 - SQA - Categories: Advanced Higher, Awarding 2022 Programme, Higher, National 5

National Qualifications

In this blogpost, youth information and citizenship charity Young Scot guides you through accessing support – from mental health resources to dealing with exam results.

Your results can feel like the be-all and end-all, but there are plenty of ways to take your mind off things during exam results season.

Whatever your results, there are loads of people on hand to help you, as well as lots of places to find more help and support.

Positive emotional wellbeing

We have lots of information about how to look after your emotional wellbeing and mental health, from support available from organisations around Scotland, to tips on how to promote a positive mindset. These could help you cope with the potential stresses around Results Day.

#AyeFeel is our online resource hub that supports young people to look after their mental health and emotional wellbeing. It includes details on who to contact about mental health support, tips on managing anxiety, info on improving sleep and specialist information on dealing with stress around exams from the Mental Health Foundation.

To start, here are some tips on how to relax and de-stress.

Take your mind elsewhere

Take your mind off things by taking a mind vacation. Meet up with friends and chat about everything and anything or get lost in a good book, have a Netflix binge or even just go for a relaxing soak in the bath!

Get active

Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins, which make you feel happier. Going on a short run or a walk is a great way to clear your head by getting some fresh air and taking in the sights and sounds of your local area. You could also hop on your bike and check out some of the most beautiful cycle routes in Scotland.

Talk about it

While it’s a good idea to try and take your mind off your worries by doing other fun activities, if you’re feeling very concerned about your results you should talk to a friend or relative about how you’re feeling. They should be able to give you some reassurance and advice, – check out our advice for talking about your feelings.

Ditch the caffeine

Drinks that are packed full of caffeine, such as coke and energy drinks, raise your energy levels and as a result will naturally make you feel more stressed. You should especially make sure to steer clear of caffeine just before you go to bed, or you could find yourself tossing and turning all night. Treat yourself to some hot chocolate, hot milk or a green tea instead.

Alternative ways to celebrate exam results

Whether you are up for a party or a bit unsure about your future… it’s good to celebrate getting through those tough exams and getting your results.

Bake off!

Why not have a few friends round and ask them to bring their favourite kind of dessert – not only do people get to show off their cooking skills but you get to try out some new grub! Plus, cooking is a fun way to de-stress and gives you the opportunity to make something from scratch.


Throwback to the times when you didn’t have exams. Why not get your mates round to play board games, twister and all the fun things you used to do when you were younger? You could even dust off some old video games you used to play and have a fun night in. Or watch old Disney classics or TV series you used to love. Jelly, ice cream and goodie bags optional.

Play at the park

Bring a football, some picnic blankets, and have a day out. Exercise will be a great way to give you some endorphins that’ll boost your mood, and a tasty picnic lunch will be a great way to treat yourself. Have a go on the swings (you know you want to!)

Next Steps

Speak to family and friends

Seeking different perspectives about possible next steps can be helpful.

Your friends, family and teachers can all support you when you’re deciding what might be suited to you. They might recommend resitting a subject next year – at school or at college – or that you focus on another subject area which they think you would enjoy and do well in. You could also seek advice from a careers advisor or someone working in the industry you are interested in.

Check with UCAS for university and college places

If you missed out on the grades you needed to meet the conditions of your university offer, all’s not lost.

Check with UCAS anyway – in some instances you may still be accepted onto a course, even if you didn’t quite meet the conditions of an offer.

Universities also offer places that have still to be filled on different courses through a process called Clearing. UCAS also have lots of information about what Clearing is and how to apply for an available course.

You never know, it might even end up working out better than your original choice.

Explore alternative routes

There is #NoWrongPath, it’s all about what is right for you.

If you want to find part-time or full-time employment opportunities, speak to your parents, carers or a careers advisor and browse job sites to get an idea of what kind of role might be right for you. We have developed an information source called W.O.R.K (Working, Opportunities, Rights & Knowledge) where you can find lots of information on your rights while working, such as understanding employment contracts and tips on networking online.

You could also look into becoming an apprentice. Skills Development Scotland’s website dedicated to apprenticeships,  has information about a range of opportunities.

Why not have a look at other ways to gain more skills and qualifications that can help you move on in your career or education. Check out what courses are available at your local college, or take a look at online courses – first aid, sign language, dressmaking and photography are just a few examples.

Go your own way

If you’ve got a brilliant idea for your own business, there are lots of opportunities available for young people to access funding and training to help get you started.

Get loads of advice on starting your own business from My World of Work.

Remember – support is available

So, if you’re stressing about your exam results, try and remember that if it doesn’t work out the way you imagined, there are still plenty of options open to you and plenty of support.

Visit our dedicated Results Day resources for all the info you need to help you relax, to support your friends and to plan your next steps, whatever your results.

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